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Identification of environmental costs for agricultural companies – methodological questions and problems
Published July 16, 2007

It is the consensus in the economic literature that corporate leaders do not know accurately the magnitude of environmental costs in their firms, and this lack of information is often a barrier to making environmentally-friendly decisions. For this reason, an important task of environmental accounting is identification of these costs, and a mor...e realistic distribution of them among the products.
In this paper, we carried out identification of costs and expenditures for Hungarian agricultural companies. 
We have dealt with this theme previously, but without detailing the related methodological questions. Detailed discussion is necessary because of the novelty of the subject (environmental accounting for agricultural firms).
Therefore, we elaborate the following questions: scope of determination of environmental costs and expenditures; methods for quantifying specific items; technique for their accounting. We also attempt to confront different viewpoints in the literature. Differences in accounting found between companies investigated are also presented.
The importance of our investigation is related to the significant increase in the number of environmental statutes that concern agricultural companies (e.g. rules for waste treatment,  environmental taxation, introduction of charges and fees, regulation on liquid manure). Following these regulations puts an increasingly significant burden on the companies; therefore, the quantifications of environmental cost items has a growing

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Application of environmental accounting tools for agricultural companies
Published May 23, 2006

Today there is an ever stronger requirement for companies to consider the environmental aspects of their operation. The incorporation of these aspects into the economic practise of agricultural firms in our country is still in its infancy and, moreover, it usually follows from outside coercion (legal regulation) rather than voluntary behaviour....
Consequently, in the Hungarian agrar-economics – contrary to the example of Western Europe – the application of environmental accounting in agriculture is a barely researched subject; this has been so even though the environmental policy of companies can be made more conscious by adding an environmental dimension to the organizational information systems.
The aim of our investigation is two-fold. The first goal is to form a method that quantifies the environmental load of companies, is capable of comparing environmental performance of companies with different sizes, and takes into account the specific attributes of agriculture as well. The second is to apply this method in practice, to prove that estimating the environmental load of companies is possible by processing already available data (fiscal, accounting and statistical) using new concepts.
In this publication we present the joint application of three methods – each belonging to the toolset of environmental accounting – for two companies dealing with both crop and animal farming in the Pannonian region. The three methods are partly built upon each other and partly complementary. The company-level environmental balance is capable to show the relations between a given firm and its surrounding, but realistic comparison between environmental performance of different companies or periods is only possible by using specific index quantities.

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