Master of Accountancy
School of Accounting, Economics and Finance
Phillips, Akiko, Japanese management accounting practices for facilitating eco-efficiency: the experience of Panasonic, Master of Accountancy thesis, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance, University of Wollongong, 2014. http://ro.uow.edu.au/theses/4156
Companies change their strategies in response to changes in their business’ environment. A deteriorating natural environment is an external factor influencing the operations of businesses. This deterioration has seen a change in society, resulting in an increasing demand for eco-efficient products and services. Incremental awareness by society of environmental issues creates new opportunities for the business community. Organisations’ performances change with their new strategies for meeting the demands for environmentally conscious businesses.
This phenomenon is examined through the example of the Japanese company Panasonic Corporation, which regards accounting as the first step of business management. This thesis argues that accounting serves sustainable management because environmental accounting provides the basis for resource management in an organisation. The nation of Japan is committed to accomplishing strong environmental performance, and Japanese companies have an historical reputation of introducing innovative management accounting methods and techniques in response to changes in their business environment.
Due to Japan’s geographic position and its inability to be self-sufficient in natural resources, it is reasonable that Japanese companies regard resource management as a critical area to seek solutions for eco-efficiency strategy. This research uses the examples of Panasonic Corporation and a contingency approach to explore the impact of ‘eco-efficiency’ demand on Panasonic Corporation’s management accounting practices. The demand for ecoefficient products and production entices Panasonic Corporation to change its operational activities, reporting contents, corporate structure and business strategies. Consequently, it designs its management accounting practices to fit its context and in so doing accomplish its strategic objectives.
Specifically this research identifies and explicates how eco-efficiency demand is reflected in designing management accounting practices. The consequential impact of ecoefficiency consciousness has thus grown largely owing to a response to the eco-efficiency demands. The basis of this study is an examination of Panasonic Corporation’s performance in the context of accounting for the environment. Observations are taken both prior to and after Panasonic’s responses to the Kyoto Protocol.