Towards environmental management accounting for trade-offs

Katherine Leanne Christ, Roger Burritt, Mohsen Varsei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Environmental Management Accounting (EMA) information has become synonymous with win-win decision settings, but this paper aims to consider how EMA support can be extended to company managers who face the dynamics of win-wins and trade-offs. Design/methodology/approach: Based on extant literature, the paper suggests an important extension of the use of EMA in support of management decision-making. The need for extended consideration and use of EMA to help overcome trade-offs is illustrated using the case of a wine bottling plant location decision by an Australian company in a global supply chain transporting wine from Australia to North America and Europe. Findings: Results confirm the need to add to the broader use of EMA to assist managers attempting to solve real world trade-off problems between economic performance, carbon equivalent emissions reduction and water risk reduction. Research limitations/implications: Generalisation of the single wine company case illustration to other companies and similar industry settings remains to be investigated. Practical implications: Trade-offs are considered between economic benefit and two environmental performance matters of concern to the company, carbon equivalent emissions reduction and water risk reduction. Originality/value: The paper introduces the notion of extending the use of EMA as a pragmatic way for managers to assess trade-off situations with environmental alternatives where no optimal solution is available. Value is added through the real case study of an Australian wine company.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)428-448
Number of pages21
JournalSustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Carbon emissions
  • Environmental management accounting
  • Sustainability
  • Trade-offs
  • Water risk
  • Win-wins


Dive into the research topics of 'Towards environmental management accounting for trade-offs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this