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234 Cost Management Chapter 18 Sustainability Accounting LEARNING OBJECTIVES Chapter 18 addresses the following learning objectives: LO1 What are sustainability and sustainable management? LO2 What are sustainability accounting, sustainability management accounting, and sustainability reporting? LO3 What are the motivations and frameworks for external sustainability reporting? LO4 What management accounting tools are useful for sustainability management and reporting? These learning objectives (LO1 through LO4) are cross-referenced in the textbook to individual exercises and problems. © 2012 John Wiley and Sons Canada, Ltd. 235 Cost Management QUESTIONS 18.1 Sustainability can be defined as an organization’s activities and plans that create value in the long-term without causing threats to economic, environment, or social systems. Sustainable management describes managers’ abilities to create value in the long-term, but with a focus on restoring and enhancing all forms of capital including human, natural, manufactured, and financial. The managers’ actions should enhance stakeholder value and contribute to the well-being of current and future generations. Sustainability management accounting is defined as the managerial accounting activities related to sustainable management. When used for sustainability, accounting information is generated to help design and evaluate business processes, and to analyze, synthesize, and aggregate information with the aim to further sustainability efforts. 18.2 This question is highly complex; a complete answer requires students to address the values underlying adoption of sustainable management practices,consider what it means to integrate sustainable management into operations and processes, contemplatedifferences in the effects of organizations’ operating activities, and reach a well-founded conclusion that takes into account conflicting factors. Students might take many different approaches when answering this question. Below are key issues that might be addressed in their responses: • Students might argue for or against the adoption of sustainable management techniques by “every organization.” Arguments for adoption include ethical/ moral beliefs that all organizations have responsibilities for not only the financial well-being of the organization and its owners, but also for the well-being of the environment and society. Arguments for adoption also include regulatory, reputation, or other influences that encourage organizations to adopt more sustainable business practices, or a desire to reduce the free-rider problem that arises because some organizations avoid their share of environmental and social costs. Arguments against adoption could include differences in the abilities of organizations to adopt sustainable management practices. For example, some organizations might lack the necessary financial or technical resources. Organizations also differ in terms of stakeholder pressures and mission/vision/core values. • Students might believe that integrating sustainable management into operations and processesis easily achieved, which is not true. First, the organizational vision, core competencies, and strategies must be aligned with sustainable management practices. Then operations and processes can be revised to move systematically toward sustainability goals. Organizations typically need to work closely with their customers and suppliers, and improvements might be achieved slowly. • When determining whether all organizations should integrate sustainable management into operations and processes, students may wish to consider whether it is more important for certain types of organizations to make progress more quickly than others. For example, it might be more important for heavy © 2012 John Wiley and Sons Canada, Ltd. Chapter 18: Sustainability Accounting 236 polluters to work toward improved practices than for banks to build eco-friendly office buildings. Similarly, sustainability practices might be more important for large companies such as Wal-Mart than for small owner-managed retail stores. On the other hand, students might argue that the collective efforts of all organizations worldwide are needed to adequately address environmental and social problems. 18.3 Externalities are costs and benefits that are not recorded in an organization’s conventional accounting system because they affect individuals and entities outside of the organization. For example, a firm that is a heavy polluter may cause health problems for people living close to it. Externalities are the quantitative and qualitative costs of the loss of good health because of the pollution. 18.4 Some firms may experience an increase in profits if the sustainability activities result in reduced costs or increased revenues. For example, an organization using an alternative source of energy could experience a reduction in utility costs over time. However, a decrease in profits could result if the costs of sustainability management exceed the benefits, such as a firm that develops a process to reduce hazardous waste that is more expensive than disposing of the waste in an appropriate manner using government hazardous waste facilities. 18.5 Sustainability reporting requires accountants to record, report, and analyze information about the sustainable practices used in their organization. To do this, information from financial and managerial accounting is used, as well as auditing and other kinds of assurance services. Sustainability management accounting records and develops information about activities used in sustainable management, such as developing new business practices and processes, budgeting for and monitoring sustainable innovations, among others. 18.6 Nearly every decision made by an organization would benefit from analysis of the sustainability aspects of the decision. In both manufacturing and service organizations, all operations could be analyzed and evaluated in light of potential improvements in the use of energy, human resources, and the long-term effects of the operations on human well- being. This chapter illustrated how sustainability issues might affect the evaluation of capital investment projects. Other aspects of operations could be evaluated in a similar way. 18.7 Ethical decision making requires an analysis of alternative courses of action with emphasis on those that further individual and societal well-being. Sustainable strategies and plans also emphasize individual and societal well-being, as well as consideration for environmental and economic factors. 18.8 Analyzing the flow of materials and energy in an organization can lead to greater awareness of how materials and energy are used, in turn increasing the ability of the organization to identify and implement waste reduction initiatives. Several of the internal © 2012 John Wiley and Sons Canada, Ltd. 237 Cost Management and external benefits from materials and energy waste reduction are listed below. Students may think of others. Internal benefits from identifying and reducing materials and energy waste include: • Reduced cost of materials handling and utilities • Improved throughput time • Potential reduction in labour time devoted to non-value added activities External benefits from identifying and reducing materials and energy waste include: • Reduced pollution from resources used to generate electricity • Reduced atmospheric and water emissions from landfills 18.9 Several measures that could be included in a sustainability balanced scorecard are listed below. Students might generate additional ideas from the examples in the chapter, including the GRI Core Indicators shown in Exhibit 18.5. • Number of process improvements to reduce waste • Consumption of energy and water • Wasted materials as a percent of total materials used • Wasted energy as a percent of total energy used • Number of employee injuries • Hours of employee safety training 18.10 Factors that managers consider when making decisions about implementing sustainability practices in their organizations include ethical and economic considerations, reputation, brand recognition, and improved relations with government authorities, among others. 18.11 The following benefits might result from developing a separate sustainability scorecard: • Enable sustainability teams or departments to more closely monitor the social, environmental, and financial dimensions • Generate a business case for adopting sustainable management practices • Reduce the likelihood that managers would perceive sustainability objectives and measures as an unimportant add-on • Adoption of a larger and broader set of sustainability measures 18.12 Listed below are several pros and cons for incorporating sustainability activities into the four typical perspectives of a balanced scorecard: Pros: • Increased likelihood that sustainability objectives will be monitored in conjunction with other key strategic objectives • Reinforces the integration of sustainability with business operations, especially the internal business processes and learning and growth perspectives © 2012 John Wiley and Sons Canada, Ltd. Chapter 18: Sustainability Accounting 238 Cons: • Insufficient weight may be given to the sustainability measures compared to other types of measures (especially financial measures) • Sustainability objectives may be seen as “add-ons” of less importance that other strategic objectives 18.13 Listed below are several pros and cons for adding a sustainability perspective as a fifth perspective to a balanced scorecard: Pros: • Reinforces sustainability as central to the organization’s mission and strategies (i.e., sustainability is less likely to be seen as separate from other perspectives) • If a strategy map is used, increased likelihood that strategic objectives, initiatives, and measures will be linked from the sustainability perspective to other perspectives—which might increase the likelihood of improved sustainability performance Cons: • Insufficient weight may be given to the sustainability measures compared to other types of measures (especially financial measures) • Sustainability might not be fully integrated with other perspectives 18.14 Active consultation with and consideration of diverse stakeholder groups is a key element of high-quality sustainability management. On its web site, International Organization for Standardization (ISO) explains the importance of stakeholders to organizations as follows (www.iso.org/iso/iso_catalogue/management_and_leadership_standards/social_responsib ility/sr_discovering_iso26000.htm [accessed February 2, 2011]): Organizations around the world, and their stakeholders, are becoming increasingly aware of the need for and benefits of socially responsible behaviour. The objective of social responsibility is to contribute to sustainable development. An organization's performance in relation to the society in which it operates and to its impact on the environment has become a critical part of measuring its overall performance and its ability to continue operating effectively. This is, in part, a reflection of the growing recognition of the need to ensure healthy ecosystems, social equity and good organizational governance. In the long run, all organizations' activities depend on the health of the world's ecosystems. Organizations are subject to greater scrutiny by their various stakeholders. By requiring sustainability reports to “describe how and when stakeholder have been involved,” the proposed ISO 26000 guidelines encourage managers to involve more types of stakeholders and to engage stakeholders more actively in the organization’s sustainability efforts. © 2012 John Wiley and Sons Canada, Ltd. 239 Cost Management 18.15 Students should describe in their own words how sustainability issues might be incorporated into each of the four levers of control. They might wish to use Exhibit 18.2 from the chapter to generate ideas. Below is a sample answer to this question: Sustainability issues might be incorporated into beliefs systems by ensuring that mission, values, core competencies, or other published statements incorporate sustainability matters. Boundary systems might restrict personnel from engaging in actions that contradict sustainability objectives by disallowing certain behaviors (e.g., bribery) in codes of conduct and restricting certain types of operating decisions (e.g., requiring raw materials to include a minimum proportion of recycled material). Diagnostic control systems might include monitoring sustainability performance measures and rewarding managers for achieving or exceeding sustainability goals. Interactive control systems might engage managers in discussions about business trends, customer expectations, and new opportunities for improved sustainability management. © 2012 John Wiley and Sons Canada, Ltd. Chapter 18: Sustainability Accounting 240 MULTIPLE CHOICE 18.16 Which of the following terms is not used whendiscussing sustainability in a business context? a) Corporate social responsibility b) Social accounting c) Triple bottom line d) Throughput accounting Ans: D 18.17 Interactive control systems are integral for which ofthe following? a) Engaging in organizational learning by investigating the strategic opportunities and threats revealed by differences between planned and actual sustainability performance. b) Assigning responsibility and reward employees for achieving sustainability goals. c) Establishing codes of conduct for financial, environmental, and social practices. d) Communicating organizational vision for sustainable management. Ans: A 18.18 Which of the following describes the GlobalReporting Initiative (GRI)? a) A network organization that has developed a freely available framework for disclosure on economic, environmental, and social performance. b) A United Nations agency that promotes decent working conditions around the world. c) The world’s largest developer of international standards. d) A magazine that publishes an annual list of sustainable corporations. Ans: A 18.19 The five levels of costs for sustainability managementaccounting practices include which of the following? a) Conventional costs, hidden costs, contingent costs, internalities, externalities b) Variable costs, controllable costs, sustaining costs, internalities, externalities c) Conventional costs, hidden costs, contingent costs, image and relationship costs, externalities d) Unit costs, conventional costs, hidden costs, contingent costs, image and relationship costs Ans: C 18.20 What are externalities? a) Costs that an entity imposes on others as a result of its operations but which the entity itself typically ignores. © 2012 John Wiley and Sons Canada, Ltd. 241 Cost Management b) Exert influence on the value of some intangible assets such as goodwill, brand names, and so forth. c) Defined in probabilistic terms and include fines for breaching environmental or social requirements, clean-up costs, and lawsuits. d) Up-front environmental and social costs, such as search costs relating to finding sustainability preferable products, regulatory costs that are often obscured in overhead costs, and future decommissioning or remediation costs. Ans: A © 2012 John Wiley and Sons Canada, Ltd. Chapter 18: Sustainability Accounting 242 EXERCISES 18.21 Sustainability Values, Strategies, Operating Plans Many possible answers exist, depending on the companies students choose and the specific web pages they access. The answers shown below are based on information obtained from the web site of Johnson & Johnson (J&J). A. J&J’s credo includes the following statements (downloaded from www.jnj.com/connect/about-jnj/jnj-credo/ [accessed February 2, 2011]): We believe our first responsibility is to the doctors, nurses and patients, to mothers and fathers and all others who use our products and services… We are responsible to our employees, the men and women who work with us throughout the world… We are responsible to the communities in which we live and work and to the world community as well… Our final responsibility is to our stockholders. J&J’s 2009 sustainability report further states, “Our Credo putspatients and customers first,followed by our employees,our communities and our shareholders” (Johnson & Johnson, Our Responsibility: 20098 Sustainability Report, p. 4, downloaded from www.investor.jnj.com/2009sustainabilityreport/index.html [accessed February 2, 2011]). This information suggests that financial values are less important than social and environmental values. It is unclear which set of values—social or environmental—is considered more important. (Andthe actual importance of company values may differ from information publicly disclosed on J&J’s web site.) B. J&J’s 2009 sustainability report provides numerous examples of strategies and operating plans related to environmental and social values. Examples from the report section titled “Success and Challenges” (p. 3) are listed below: Environmental: • Reduced CO e2issions from facilities and increased proportion of energy from renewable energy sources • Sought and achieved LEED Gold certification for a new laboratory facility • Established a policy mandating LEED certification for all new construction projects • Encouraged suppliers to join the Carbon Disclosure Project’s Supply Chain program • Assessed external manufacturers against J&J standards for responsible external manufacturing Social: • Continued development of a new tuberculosis medicine to be provided royalty- free in developing countries © 2012 John Wiley and Sons Canada, Ltd. 243 Cost Management • Provided medicines through the Johnson & Johnson Patient Assistance Foundation • Contributed cash and products toward philanthropic programs in numerous countries • Became founding sponsor of a program to provide health information and resources via text messages to expectant women and new mothers • Announced plan to begin voluntary disclosure of payments to physicians 18.22 Continuous Improvement of Sustainable Management, Feedback - Ben & Jerry’s Students may answer these questions in a variety of ways. The following answers are only one possibility. A. Changes that Ben & Jerry’s made after 1987 in its sustainability practices(other than those described in the chapter)include the following: • In 1988, Ben & Jerry’s introduced the company’s three-part mission statement, whichaddressed its product mission, social mission, and economic mission.The new focus on the environment led to measurement of the company’s volume of garbage, which in turn led to the recycling of all plastic ingredients buckets. (Source: Ben & Jerry’s,Environmental Action, 1988, available fromhttp://www.benjerry.com/company/history/ [accessed February 27, 2012]) • In1989, the first Ben & Jerry’s Green Team was created “to foster environmental awareness, education, and action throughout the company.” (Source: Ben & Jerry’s, Environmental Action, 1989, available from http://www.benjerry.com/company/history/[accessed February 27, 2012]) • Environmental action information is available on the http://www.benjerry.com/company/history/[accessed February 27, 2012] webpage for 1978, 1985, 1987 through 2007. There is no history information posted after 2007. Social & Environmental Assessment Reports are available from 1999 through 2010 at http://www.benjerry.com/company/sear/[accessed February 27, 2012]) B. The purpose of this question is to encourage students to recognize that sustainability efforts are an ongoing process that requires continuous rethinking and improvement, as represented by the feedback loop in Exhibit 18.1. • A new focus on the environment might have been generated from the ideas of individuals within the company, pronouncements and actions of governmental and non-governmental agencies, and/or information obtained from customers and other companies. Regardless of the original motivation for the environmental focus, the new mission statement seems to have encouraged employees begin to actively look for ways in which the company’s strategies and operating plans (e.g., recycling of plastic buckets) could support the new mission. The employees © 2012 John Wiley and Sons Canada, Ltd. Chapter 18: Sustainability Accounting 244 also developed a measurement process that could facilitate comparison of plans with actual results, leading to further evaluation. • The company did not appear to modify the vision or values aspect of sustainable management during 1989, but instead reconsidered ways to make progress. The owner/managers and employees apparently reconsidered their operating activities and decided that development of a Green Team might accelerate new ideas and effort. As more employees become more aware of, educated in, and involved in environmental activities, even more new environmental initiatives might be proposed in future years. 18.23 Internal and External Impacts - All Bamboo Definitions: Internal impacts are costs and benefits inside the organization that are recognized in the entity’s conventional accounting system. External impacts are costs and benefits that are not generally accounted for in an entity’s conventional accounting system. A. Internal (I), external (E), or both (B) 1. B Although employee health and safety is primarily an external impact, it might have at least some internal impact if the company pays for employee health and safety costs, or if employee health and safety affects costs such as paid sick time or overtime paid to other employees 2. E 3. E 4. B 5. E Recall that All Bamboo does not perform its own fabric manufacturing 6. E 7. B 8. E 9. B 10 B 11. B 12. I B. There is no one correct answer to this question; the goal is for students to consider how important different impacts are, realize that companies need to prioritize which impacts to address, and recognize that sustainable management necessarily involves trade-offs. © 2012 John Wiley and Sons Canada, Ltd. 245 Cost Management 18.24 Cumulative Exercise (Chapter 12): Equipment Replacement, Environmental Improvement - Axel Corporation [Note: This exercise requires application of knowledge from Chapter 12.] A. Based only on NPV, Axel should not purchase the machine because the NPV is negative: Manual Calculation (using factor from Chapter 12 Table 12B.2): $(150,000) + $30,000 * PVFA (10 years, 16%) = $(150,000) + $30,000 * 4.8332 = $(5,004) CalculationUsing Excel: PV of annuity $ 144,997 Initial investment (150,000) NPV $(5,003) B. Internal rate of return: Manual Calculation (using factor from Chapter 12 Table 12B.2): $(150,000) + [$30,000 * PVFA (10 years, IRR%)] PVFA (10 years, IRR%) = $150,000/$30,000 = 5 PVFA for 10 years closest to 5 is 5.0188, at rate 15% Calculation Using Excel: IRR 15.1% C. Payback period: $150,000 investment /$30,000 per year = 5 years D. Qualitative factors, including strategic risks, might include the following items. Students may think of other relevant factors. • Water costs might increase, generating greater savings from the investment. • Future technological changes could cause the machine to become obsolete earlier than 10 years. • The filtering and recycling process might produce inferior-quality water, causing problems in the manufacturing process. • The company could publicize the project to improve its reputation as a “green” company. • The company might experience negative reputation effects if the project is viewed as inadequate by environmental activists. © 2012 John Wiley and Sons Canada, Ltd. Chapter 18: Sustainability Accounting 246 18.25 GRI Core Indicators, Measurement Bias - Large State University A. Considering only the subset of GRI Core Indicators shown in Exhibit 18.5, the university’s required report addressesLA14: LA14 – Ratio of basic Employee categories based on organizations’ human resources systems, such salary of men to women as board members, senior management, middle management, administrative, by employee category production, etc. Basic salary is the fixed, minimum amount paid to an employee, excluding additional pay based on years of service, overtime work, bonuses, benefit payments, allowances, etc. B. According to the language of LA14, supplemental compensation is not included. C. The measure is likely misleading because the gender and diversity of new hires will weigh more heavily in the averages and skew them so they do not reflect the overall differences in salary by gender and diversity. 18.26 Sustainability Cost Classification This exercise requires students to apply the following definitions from exhibit 18.8. A. Level 1 Cleanup costs from a chemical accident (see Note below) B. Level 4 Costs of a community relations program C. Level 1 Fees to obtain licensing permits for a new production process (This cost would be classified as Level 2 if the new production process addresses environmental and/or social issues) D. Level 1 Dismantle and dispose of equipment to close a facility E. Level 1 Disposal of production waste F. Level 4 Design of environmental product labeling G. Level 2 Feasibility studies regarding a new process that will reduce hazardous waste H. Level 2 Future compliance costs related to new government regulations I. Level 2 Habitat and wetland protection (This classification assumes that the cost is an up-front environmental cost; it might alternatively be classified as Level 3 if protection efforts are based on a probabilistic model regarding damages, or Level 4 if the costs are incurred primarily for reputation effects) J. Level 1 Landscaping around factory site K. Level 1 New manufacturing equipment costs L. Level 1 Employee injury medical costs (see Note below) M. Level 1 Raw materials for manufacturing N. Level 1 Clean up long-term environmental damage at a mining location (This cost would be classified as Level 2 if it is an accrual for anticipated future cleanup costs, or as Level 3 if the environmental damage was not planned and the costs have not yet been incurred) O. Level 2 Site studies to develop more rigorous pollution control © 2012 John Wiley and Sons Canada, Ltd. 247 Cost Management P. Level 1 Legal expenses for a lawsuit claiming workplace gender bias (see Note below) Q. Level 4 Development of sustainability reports (This cost might be classified as Level 1 if the development of the report is seen primarily as part of the ongoing management of operations, or it might be Level 2 if it is motivated by regulation) Note: Depending on the assumptions used, other classifications would be correct. For example, several of the costs in this exercise would be classified differently if the costs were not yet incurred. Cleanup costs from a chemical accident (item A), employee injury medical costs (item L), and legal expenses for a lawsuit claiming workplace gender bias (item T) would often be accrued as contingent costs (Level 4). 18.27 Material Flow Accounting, Sustainable Management - Green Springs Bottled Water Definitions: Positive Product: Materials and energy used to produce the final product transferred out. Negative Product: Waste of materials (including all scrap and defective units) and energy emissions. Note: Green Springs’ customers are most likely distributors or retailers—not the final customers who will consume the bottled water. A. 1 and 2. Below are examples of input materials and their classification as positive or negative product. Students are likely to identify different examples. 1. Filtering the water: • water is an input that is positive product because it is part of the product transferred to customers • organic or other matter removed from the water and any water wasted in the filtering process is negative product • filtering materials (such as charcoal) are inputs that are negative product because they do not become part of the product delivered to customers 2. Making pre-forms: • plastic pellets are inputs thatare positive product because theybecome the plastic bottles in which water will be delivered to customers • any wasted plastic pellets are negative product 3. Producing bottles by inserting the pre-forms into molds and filling them with hot air: • energy to create hot air is an input that would be a positive product because the hot air turns plastic pellets into the plastic bottles in which water will be delivered to customers © 2012 John Wiley and Sons Canada, Ltd. Chapter 18: Sustainability Accounting 248 • any energy used for wasted hot air or wasted pellets would be classified as negative product 4. Filling the bottles with filtered water: • both plastic and water are inputs that are positive products as explained above 5. Installing bottle caps: • bottle caps are inputsand are positive product because they are part of the product transferred to customers • any wasted bottle caps would be negative product 6. Labeling the bottles: • labels are inputs that are positive product because they are part of the product transferred to customers • any wasted labels would be negative product 7. Testing the product: • chemicals used for testing would be negative product because the chemicals do not become part of the product sold to customers 8. Assembling cardboard boxes: • cardboard is an input which is a positive product assuming it is part of the packaged product sold to customers • any wasted cardboard or cardboard removed before delivery to customers would be negative product 9. Placing bottles on the cardboard and wrapping them with plastic film: • plastic film is an input that is a positive product assuming it is part of the packaged product sold to customers • any wasted plastic film or plastic film removed before delivery to customers would be negative product 10. Putting the packaged bottles on pallets: • pallets are an input that would be negative product if the pallets are not delivered with the packaged water to customers; • it would be classified as positive product if the pallets are delivered to customers 11. Delivering pallets on trucks to retail stores: • gasoline is an input that would be negative product because it is not part of the product delivered to customers 12. Cleaning the plant and equipment: © 2012 John Wiley and Sons Canada, Ltd. 249 Cost Management • water used for cleaning is an input that is negative product because it is not part of the product delivered to customers 13. Maintaining and repairing the production equipment: • lubricants are inputs that would be negative product because they are not part of the product delivered to customers 14. Putting plastic waste materials in a bin: • the bin is an input that would be a negative product because it is not part of the product delivered to customers 15. Voluntarily collecting used bottles from retail stores: • containers to collect used bottles might be an input, which would be negative product because it is not part of the product delivered to customers 16. Delivering waste materials and used bottles to a plastic recycling company: • gasoline might be an input, which would be negative product because it is not part of the product delivered to customers 17. Performing the administrative functions: • office supplies are an input, which are negative product because they are not part of the product delivered to customers B. Collecting used bottle from retail stores will reduce the number of bottles that wind up in landfills, increase recycling and as such may contribute to the well-being of future generations. © 2012 John Wiley and Sons Canada, Ltd. Chapter 18: Sustainability Accounting 250 18.28 Cumulative Exercise (Chapter 6): Material Flow FIFO Cost Report, Spoilage, Scrap - Victoria’s Closet [Note: This exercise requires application of knowledge from Chapter 6.] Beginning Cost Summary WIP Current Cost TotalCost Direct materials $220,000 $1,480,000 $1,700,000 Conversioncosts 30,000 942,000 972,000 Totalcosts $250,000 $2,422,000 $2,672,000 Physical Unit Summary Units Equivalent Units DM Equivalent Units CC 11,000 Beginning WIP 11,000 (100%) 2,750 (25%) This period's work and costs: Complete beginningWIP 11,000 0 (0%) 8,250 (75%) Good units started and completed 50,000 50,000 (100%) 50,000 (100%) EndingWIP 16,000 16,000 (100%) 12,000 (75%) Spoiled units: Normalspoilage 6,600 6,600 (100%) 6,600 (100%) Abnormalspoilage 1,400 1,400 (100%) 1,400 (100%) Totalunits 85,000 74,000 78,250 Less:spoilage
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