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Material Flow Accounting - Essay Example

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We seem to be increasingly aware of the fact that the exploitation of the earth, the planet on which we are living, demands rational and honest planning(sadly) man often seems to see no other meaning in his natural environment than what serves for immediate use and consumption.
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Material Flow Accounting
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Download file to see previous pages These methods have proved popular at national levels following the new Think Green Trend which now seems to have taken over even the fiscal and monetary policy of the public and private sector and has often even been termed a system for integrated environmental and economic accounting. Browne (2005).The EIA and the EMS have proved to be very popular tools of the Environmental Impact Assessment strategies and the trend has so far not been restricted to the USA but many other jurisdictions are now changing their laws (particularly the EU) in order to be better able to reduce the stress on natural sources and the environmental impacts and increase the operating efficiency of certain firms which may otherwise be an environmental hazard. (Durrenberger, G., Hartmann, C.2002).The EIS is fast becoming a tool for An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and such a statement through the use of accounting techniques like the MFA and LCA(discussed down below will be used to give an assessment of the positive and/or negative environmental influences that a project may have on the environment. The statement will then identify and foresee the social and biological impacts ion the environment as a part of good practice and sometimes legal compulsion in many countries today to decide whether the project being undertaken is worth the damage it will have on the environment. ...
(Fehily, Timoney & Co. 1999).To facilitate such as analysis two techniques have developed in the yester decades to provide a more technical prediction of the environmental cost and benefit analysis. (Fehily, Timoney & Co. 1999)Firstly there is the Material flow analysis (MFA) which will amalgamate the material flows with in a development transaction and will also calculate indicators and develop strategies and measures for improving material flow systems.Thus academic opinion has endorsed it a credible method of assuring the sustainability of industrial ecology along with the techniques of LCA ( life cycle assessment).The MFA will be used while making decisions in the EMS and EIS by capturing the mass balances in an economy or an upcoming development transaction , where inputs (extractions + imports) equal outputs (consumptions + exports+ accumulation + wastes), and will utilize the laws of Thermodynamics. (Fehily, Timoney & Co. 1999).This method facilitates the decision making process in the Impact Assessment by recognizing that the total amount of matter and energy involved at each and every stage of the economic cycle is required for all economic activities. The pith and substance of the analysis thus becomes the query whether flow of materials is sustainable in terms of the environmental burden it creates. (Fehily, Timoney & Co. 1999). In an EIS statement the MFA will be used to minimize the flow of materials while maximizing the human welfare generated by the flow. This is because the MFA system is involved in the monitoring of wastes that are typically unaccounted for in traditional economic analyses. (Kahn, H., Brown, W., Martel, L. 1976).
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