Development of Corporate Environmental Accounting in Korea: Case Studies & Policy Implications
Byung-Wook Lee, Seung-Tae Jung and Jeong-Heui Kim, LG Environmental Strategy Institute (LGESI), South Korea
Since the 1990's, environmental accounting has been widely introduced and utilized as an effective tool for environmental management. Global leading companies, especially in Europe, North America and Japan, have applied environmental accounting to enhance their eco-efficiency and resource productivity. Moreover, increasing external pressure from stakeholders like financial institutions and social responsible investors, government, and local communities have forced companies to show an active interest in environmental accounting.

Compared to advanced companies in developed countries, however, most companies in developing countries are still far behind in understanding, applying environmental accounting. Since the mid-1990s in Korea, as a wide range of stakeholders have shown their interests in corporate environmental performance and its disclosure, some Korean leading companies have started to introduce environmental accounting. From late-1990s, Korean government have also made efforts to disseminate environmental accounting into industrial sector for sustainable development in Korea. The Korean Ministry of Environment (KMOE) published “Environmental Accounting Guidelines” for inducing corporate disclosure of environmental accounting information . And LGESI has been carrying out an EMA (Environmental Management Accounting) project to develop corporate EMA cases. The project is funded by Korean Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy (KMOCIE).

Based on the outcome of these projects, we first introduce Korean environmental accounting guideline, corporate cases in Korea, and environmental accounting software. The case studies and software are parts of the outcome from EMA project carried out by LGESI . Secondly this paper considers some key issues to successfully adopt environmental accounting into company in Korea as well as developing countries. Through the experience in Korea, this paper proposes some implications for the introduction and promotion of environmental accounting in developing countries.

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