Computer-Aided Resource Efficiency Accounting in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

  • Project no.6095
  • Duration 08/2000 - 08/2003

In the context of the project "Computer-Aided Resource Efficiency Accounting in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises - care" for the first time, the already existing economic controlling systems of three partner enterprises have been supplemented by ecological information data on material and energy consumption and previous procedures (e.g. extraction) have been systematically integrated. The used method was the "Resource Efficiency Accounting System" that was developed at the Wuppertal Institute. With the help of this method it was possible to systematically collect and interpret data on material and energy flow processes and the corresponding costs and to optimise the quality of a company's decision-making process towards a sustainable management.
The Wuppertal Institute complemented the data necessary for the ecological-economical assessment of production processes and products, for a large extend already available in the partner companies, with data on upstream production and supply chains.
The following data sources were helpful:

  • Data on cost accounting, material flows and material properties usually existing in the main system and transaction of data, based on the company's ERP system.
  • Data collection, assessment and analysis of internal material and energy flows and their costs.
  • Data on material Intensity (upstream supply chain data) which indicate the ecological impact of specific material already before its arrival and processing in the enterprise.

The adaptation of the controlling systems have been adopted as a positive approach in the partner companies. Already during the project period the changes in data processing showed new potentials and numerous improvements were realised making a considerable material, energy and cost reduction possible.