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Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 1690; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061690

An Information Framework for Facilitating Cost Saving of Environmental Impacts in the Coal Mining Industry in South Africa

Graduate School of Business Leadership, University of South Africa, Midrand 1682, South Africa
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Received: 11 March 2018 / Revised: 10 April 2018 / Accepted: 16 April 2018 / Published: 23 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmentally Sustainable Competitive Strategies)
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Abstract

Coal-mining contributes much to the economic welfare of a country. Yet it brings along a number of challenges, notably environmental impacts which include water pollution in a water scarce country such as South Africa. This research is conducted in two phases. The first phase intends to establish environmental and other challenges brought about by the coal-mining industry through a comprehensive analysis of available literature. Combatting these challenges is costly; consequently, our work investigates how established management accounting tools and techniques such as Environmental Management Accounting (EMA), Material Flow Cost Accounting (MFCA) and Life Cycle Costing (LCC) may facilitate cost savings for the companies involved. These techniques promote increased transparency of material usage by tracing and quantifying the flows and inventories of materials within the coal-mining industry in physical and monetary terms, hence hidden costs are elicited. The researchers postulate that an Information Framework integrating these aspects may be the way forward. To this end existing frameworks in the literature are identified. A number of research questions embodying the above aspects are defined and the objective is to define a conceptual framework to facilitate cost savings for coal-mining companies. The main contribution of this work is an information framework presented towards the end of this article. The second phase of the research will involve fieldwork in the form of a survey among stakeholders in industry to validate the conceptual framework. View Full-Text
Keywords: coal-mining industry; cost saving; EMA; environmental impacts; information framework; LCC; MFCA; Monetary EMA (MEMA); Physical EMA (PEMA) coal-mining industry; cost saving; EMA; environmental impacts; information framework; LCC; MFCA; Monetary EMA (MEMA); Physical EMA (PEMA)
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Mbedzi, M.D.; Van der Poll, H.M.; Van der Poll, J.A. An Information Framework for Facilitating Cost Saving of Environmental Impacts in the Coal Mining Industry in South Africa. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1690.

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