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Tellus Institute & EPA Environmental Accounting Project



Ralph,

I completely agree that many projects/initiatives are clear winners, both
enviromentally and economically, and do not required any detailed accounting
etc. to prove the case.  In such cases, one should certainly not waste
time/resources doing sophisticated accounting exercises.  And I believe that any
EMA-type program or methodology should have a tiered approach where the level of
effort exerted in the minimum necessary to get clear and resonably accurate
results.  I try to emphasize this in the training courses that I develop and
teach and the writing that I do on EMA.

Nonetheless, EMA does have a critical role in the cases where the win-win
benefits are not so obvious and in organizations/programs potentially important
data are not routinely and easily available to key decision-makers, which
unfortunately is often the case, both in industry and government.

Deborah

==========================
Ralph Cooper wrote:

> I know the value of having some dollar figure on P2 projects.  I also know
> that I have seen very worthwhile P2 projects die while people were busy
> spending months and much money getting better economic numbers to satisfy
> some guideline (like the EPA guidelines!)!
>
> My point has to do with emphasis.  If we delay good P2 that will protect the
> environment and not cost significant money, while we spend our intellectual
> effort generating better accounting numbers, then we have met the enemy and
> he is us.  (to quote Pogo).  We should have the emphasis on doing good P2
> and using accounting numbers only where necessary to get projects approved.
> I know of several corporations that have required tight accounting numbers,
> taking months to get, as a delaying tactic on doing the P2 that should be
> done but that has, by good BOE (back of envelope) at worst case a small
> incremental cost (less than 1/10 of one percent increase in product cost).
> In fact, the accounting effort cost more that the P2 project would have over
> its lifetime.
>
> This is the ultimate in foolishness.  Good numbers are OK (after all, I have
> taught graduate level statistics).  However, good numbers should not be an
> excuse for delaying or not doing worthwhile P2.
>
> RC
>
> Ralph E. Cooper, Ph.D.
> Mediator, Attorney & Counselor at Law
> 9901 IH-10 West, Suite 800
> San Antonio, TX 78230
> 210.558-0555
>

=============================

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Deborah E. Savage" <dsavage@tellus.org>
> To: "Ralph Cooper" <cooperre@flash.net>; <p2tech@great-lakes.net>
> Sent: Monday, November 05, 2001 12:17 PM
> Subject: Tellus Institute & EPA Environmental Accounting Project
>
> > Dear Ralph,
> >
> > I beg to disagree.
> >
> > There has been recent very strong surge of interest internationally on the
> topic
> > of Env. Management Accounting (EMA) because folks are realizing that EMA
> (as the
> > international community defines it) can help provide the the cost data as
> well
> > as the materials/energy flow data needed not only for P2 but for many
> other
> > environmental management initiatives such as EMS, DfE, Env. Supply Chain
> > Management, and others.  ALL of these initiatives require data, much (tho
> not
> > all) of which) EMA can help provide.
> >
> > Numerous examples from many different countries exist, as will be
> illustrated on
> > the new international EMA website that will be launched before the end of
> the
> > year.  I hope you will be willing to review the website at that time and
> perhaps
> > consider changing your opinion!
> >
> > In any case - I do share your wish that we lived in a world where
> environmental
> > outcomes were not so dependent on economic outcomes.....
> >
> > Best Regards,
> >
> > Deborah Savage
> > Senior Scientist, Tellus Institute
> > Director, EMARIC
> > dsavage@tellus.org
> >
> > ===========================
> > Ralph Cooper wrote:
> >
> > > My response is that environmental accounting is a good idea that has
> > > outlived any possible utility.  We should spend more effort on doing P2
> than
> > > on figuring out whether we are saving or making money at it.  By my
> view,
> > > fine point penciling the economics of P2 misses the whole point of P2.
> > > Reducing pollution should not be dependent on how much it saves us.
> > >
> > > Ralph E. Cooper, Ph.D.
> > > Mediator, Attorney & Counselor at Law
> > > 9901 IH-10 West, Suite 800
> > > San Antonio, TX 78230
> > > 210.558-0555
> > > ----- Original Message -----
> > > From: "Robert Pojasek" <rpojasek@sprynet.com>
> > > To: <p2tech@great-lakes.net>
> > > Sent: Monday, November 05, 2001 10:58 AM
> > > Subject: Fwd: Tellus Institute & EPA Environmental Accounting Project
> > >
> > > > Chris Pierre (EPA) issued a request for proposal to operate the EPA
> > > > Environmental Accounting Project.  I chose not to bid on the project
> > > > because it seemed to favor Tellus' strengths and they had much
> experience
> > > > with this office ever since its conception.  Tellus is also involved
> with
> > > > the German flow accounting effort that was presented at Harvard
> > > > University.  EPA has been involved in a number of other P2 efforts
> using
> > > > total cost analysis including the German project.  Tellus and EPA have
> > > also
> > > > been working closely with NEWMOA to establish an association for
> people
> > > > involved in this field.  I might still have the electronic files for
> the
> > > > RFP and the association establishment if you are interested in looking
> at
> > > them.
> > > >
> > > > BOB Pojasek
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > >Delivered-To: p2tech-outgoing@glc.org
> > > > >Delivered-To: p2tech@great-lakes.net
> > > > >From: "Donald Sutherland"
> <donaldsutherland-iso14000@worldnet.att.net>
> > > > >To: <p2tech@great-lakes.net>
> > > > >Subject: Tellus Institute & EPA Environmental Accounting Project
> > > > >Date: Mon, 5 Nov 2001 11:54:08 -0500
> > > > >X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 4.72.3110.1
> > > > >Sender: owner-p2tech@great-lakes.net
> > > > >Reply-To: "Donald Sutherland"
> > > <donaldsutherland-iso14000@worldnet.att.net>
> > > > >List-Name: p2tech
> > > > >X-Loop: p2tech
> > > > >
> > > > >11/4/2001
> > > > >
> > > > >I understand the Tellus Institute has taken over the EPA's
> Environmental
> > > > >Accounting Project.
> > > > >
> > > > >Does anyone know of any P2 endeaver coordinating with the EPA's
> > > > >Environmental Accounting Project?
> > > > >
> > > > >Also, here is my report on financial environmental accounting in
> Europe
> > > for
> > > > >your review.
> > > > >
> > > > >Please see:
> > > > >Europe Tightens Corporate Environmental Accounting Rules
> > > > >http://ens.lycos.com/ens/oct2001/2001L-10-05-01.html
> > > > >
> > > > >Thanks for your assistance.
> > > > >
> > > > >Best Wishes,
> > > > >Donald Sutherland
> > > > >Member of the Society of Environmental Journalists
> > > > >donaldsutherland-iso14000@worldnet.att.net
> > > >
> > > > Bob
> > > >
> > > > Dr. Robert B. Pojasek
> > > > Pojasek & Associates
> > > > PO Box 1333
> > > > E. Arlington, MA 02474-0071
> > > > (v) 781-641-2422
> > > > (f)  781-465-6006
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > http://www.Pojasek-Associates.com
> > > > rpojasek@sprynet.com
> > > >
> > > >
> >
> >