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Journal of Management Control

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 227–243 | Cite as

Improving environmental management accounting: how to use statistics to better determine energy consumption

  • Björn Christensen
  • Alexander HimmeEmail author
Short Survey Paper

Abstract

The accounting literature voices increased concerns about sustainability issues. Environmental performance as one dimension of sustainability includes among others the management and control of energy. Energy is a key production factor to which the stakeholders of a firm pay increased attention. Since energy has a significant influence on the economic costs and the environmental footprint of firms, management accounting is under growing pressure to better monitor and control energy costs. As a consequence, management accounting needs to develop energy management systems which control energy consumption and aim to reduce energy costs which in turn diminish a firm’s environmental impact and thus improve corporate reputation. One of the most important elements for energy management systems is an effective and cost-efficient measure of the energy consumption. However, firms and their management accounting departments, respectively, are still struggling to develop any cost-efficient approach for measuring energy consumption. That is why we suggest a statistical approach to easily and cost-efficiently measure energy utilization which in turn provides information input to improve environmental management accounting (e.g., cost allocations). We demonstrate our approach for a firm from an energy-intensive industry. The approach allows to distinguish more efficient from less efficient production units. We derive implications from this measurement approach for environmental management accounting and environmental management control systems.

Keywords

Energy efficiency Energy management systems Environmental management accounting Sustainable development Regression analysis 

JEL Classification

M40 M41 Q4 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kiel University of Applied SciencesKielGermany
  2. 2.Kühne Logistics UniversityHamburgGermany

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