Environmental Indicators and Accounting

Environmental indicators and environmental accounting are the basic relevant tools for IE studies. Although there are a great many past studies on environmental indicators for the application to environmental policies in Japan, this topic is not reviewed here. Environmental indicators attract more up-to-date and urgent concerns from another user, namely, industries. Environmental performance indicators (EPI) are actively studied as a part of environment management tools.

Monetary environmental accounting at the microeconomic level, that is, corporate environmental accounting, has become widely used since the former Environment Agency of Japan published guidelines in 1999. Many leading companies disclosed their trial of environmental accounts around this period. In many cases, physical accounts were not included, but some companies published overviews of physical material flows around their activities as a part of environmental reporting.

Environmental accounting for the macroeconomy has been studied during international discussions of the Integrated System of Environmental and Economic Accounting (SEEA). Worldwide experts in this field gathered for a meeting in Tokyo in 1996 (Uno and Bartelmus 1998), which stimulated the international exchange of experiences. The former Economic Planning Agency of Japan published its preliminary calculation of environmentally adjusted net domestic product (EDP). Though this monetary accounting study and the physical material flow accounting study led by the author have been undertaken within the same research project, they have not yet been fully integrated.

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