Benchmarking: A Strategy to Improve Environmental Performance by using Material Flow Cost Accounting Emprical Study Based on a Paper Manufacturing Company


  • Mishelle Doorasamy Durban university of technology 7 Ritson Road Durban 4000


Environmental Strategies, Benchmarks, Material Balance, Best-Available Technology, Cleaner Production Techniques, Technological Standards, Competiveness, Sustainability.


A growing number of organisations have incorporated environmental strategies as part of their corporate business strategies, hoping to improve their competitiveness. To ensure their future sustainability and competitiveness, management needs to consider adopting Cleaner Production (CP) techniques and technologies which will address waste issues at its source and ensure more efficient use of resources. However, management is not keen on this strategy as they perceive CP as a costly strategy that requires innovation with no financial benefits to the company. The aim of this paper is to benchmark the company’s environmental costs by comparing material balance indicators against technological standards and best-available technology. The results are based on a case study which focused on the boiler technology used in the steam generation process. It had been found that benchmarking enabled managers to evaluate and analyse how they can improve both their environmental and economic performance in the future and attain their sustainability targets.

Author Biography

Mishelle Doorasamy, Durban university of technology 7 Ritson Road Durban 4000

Department of Financial Accounting



Altham, W. “Benchmarking to trigger cleaner production in small businesses: dry cleaning case studyâ€. Journal of Cleaner Production (online), 15:798-813. Available:, 2007.

Arlinghaus, S. and Berger, C. Application of environment-oriented cost management (EOCM) in a particle – and fibreboard company. A case study of Zimboard Mature, Zimbabwe.Pilot programme for the Promotion of Environmental Management in the Private Sector of Developing Countries (P3U) (online). Available:, 2002.

AvÅŸar, E. and Demirer, G. N. “Cleaner production opportunity assessment study in SEKA Balikesir pulp and paper millâ€.Journal of Cleaner Production, 16 (4): 422-431, 2008.

Benchmarking energy use in Canadian Pulp and Paper Mills. Canadian Industry Program for energy conservation, 2008.

Berkel, R. Evaluation of the global implementation of the UNIDO-UNEP National Cleaner Production Centres.Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy, 13 (1): 161, 2011.

Buhner, M. ISO 14051 – Based Material Flow Cost Accounting in a nutshell (online). Available:, 2013.

Coal Bottom Ash/Boilerslag- Material Description (online).Available:, 2014.

Csutora, M. and De Palma, R. Using EMA to benchmark environmental costs – theory and experience from four countries through the UNIDO test project (online), 143-162. Available:, 2009.

Despeisse, M., Oates, R. M., and Ball, D. P. “Sustainable manufacturing tactics and cross-functional factory modellingâ€. Journal of Cleaner Production, 42:31-41 (online). Available, 2013.

Domil, A. E., Peres, C., and Peres, I. Capturing environmental costs by using activity based costing method. Economic Science Series (online), XVI: 719-726. Available: (Accessed 10 October 2013), 2010.

Environmental Sustainability Performance (ESP) Benchmarking (online). Available: http://www.benchmarking-sustainability.asp (Accessed 2 July 2013), 2013.

Fore, S. and Mbohwa, G. T. “Cleaner production for environmental conscious manufacturing in the foundry industryâ€. Journal of Engineering Design Technology 8(3):314-333 (online). Available (Accessed 21 June 2013), 2010.

Giglio, R. Is CFB the key to scaling up biomass? Power Engineering International (online), 21(10):32, 34-36, 2013.

Hyrslova’, J., Vagner, M., and Palasek, J. Material Flow Cost Accounting (MFCA)- Tool For The Optimization of Corporate Production Processes. Business, Management and Education 9(1): 5-18, 2011.

Jasch, C. 2009. “Environmental and Material Flow Cost Accounting Principles and Procedures (Eco-Efficiency in Industry and Science Series, vol. 25)â€.Journal of Industrial Ecology. Springer science and Business Media: Berlin (pg832-834).

John Thompson: Utility Boilers and Environmental Solutions. Available online URL: (Accessed 22 March 2014).

Jonall, P. Environmental Management Accounting (EMA), Management Accounting including Environmental Management: 2, 2008.

Kuik, O. Environmental innovation dynamics in the pulp and paper industry.A case study in the framework of the project ‘Assessing innovation dynamics induced by environmental policy’.European commission, DG Environment, 2006.

Lagioia, G., Tresca, F. A., and Gallucci, T. Adoption of the Material Flow Cost Accounting (MFCA) approach to integrate physical and monetary data in small enterprises for waste-reduction decisions. Evidence from Italy (online). Available:, 2014.

Lambert, S. C., Carter, A. J., and Burritt, R. L. Recognising commitment to sustainability through the Business Model. Centre for Accounting, Governance and Sustainability. University of South Australia, 2012.

MacLean, R. EHS organizational quality: A DuPont case study. Environmental Quality Management, 14 (2): 19-27, 2004.

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan (METI). Environmental Management Accounting (Material Flow Cost Accounting: MFCA) (online). Available:, 2007.

Nabais, R. “Residue processing for a sustainable food industryâ€. Introduction- cleaner production (online). Available:, 2011.

Nakajima, M. The new management accounting field established by Material Flow Cost Accounting (MFCA).Kansai University review of business and commerce, 8: 1-22, 2006.

Pons, M., Bikfalvi, A., Llach, J., and Palcic, I. “Exploring the impact of energy efficiency technologies on manufacturing firm performanceâ€. Journal of Cleaner Production, 52:134-144 (online). Available: (Accessed 1 June 2013), 2013.

RadonjiÄ, G. and Tominc, P. “The role of environmental management system on introduction of new technologies in the metal and chemical/paper/plastics industriesâ€.Journal of Cleaner Production, 15 (15): 1482-1493, 2007.

Schaltegger, S. and Csutora, M. “Carbon accounting for sustainability and managementâ€.Status quo and challenges. Journal of Cleaner Production, 36:1-16, 2012.

Schaltegger, S., Bennett, M., Burritt, R. L., and Jasch, C. Eco-efficiency in industry and science.Environmental Management Accounting for Cleaner Production.5th edition.Springer Science and Business Media.UK.,2010.

Schaltegger, S., Viere, T. and Zvezdov, D. “Tapping environmental accounting potentials of beer brewing: Information needs for successful cleaner productionâ€. Journal of Cleaner Production, 29-30: 1-10, 2012.

Schmidt, M. Material Flow Cost Accounting in the production industry. Industrial Ecology Management, 241-255, 2012.

Schmidt, M. And Nakajima, M. Material Flow Cost Accounting as an approach to improve resource efficiency in manufacturing companies. Resources (online), 2:358-369. Available:, 2013.

Stringer, L.The Green Workplace- Sustainable strategies that benefit employees, the environment, and the bottom line.Paperback edition. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.

Sygulla, R., Bierer, A., and Gotze, U. “Material Flow Cost Accounting – Proposals for Improving the Evaluation of Monetary Effects of Resource Savings Process Designsâ€.44th Conference on Manufacturing Systems. Wisconsin, USA. Available:, 2011.

Thompson, J. and Fowler, M. Introduction: coal without carbon. The imperative for low-carbon coal, v-vi, 2009.

V`an , H. “Environmental benefits and its statement in Environmental Management Accountingâ€. Ph.D. University of Szeged, 2012.

Yin, R. K. Case Study Research Design and Methods. Sage Publications London United Kingdom. 4th Edition volume 5.Applied Social Research Methods Series, 2009.




How to Cite

Doorasamy, M. (2015). Benchmarking: A Strategy to Improve Environmental Performance by using Material Flow Cost Accounting Emprical Study Based on a Paper Manufacturing Company. Asian Journal of Business and Management, 3(1). Retrieved from