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Press Release

Environmental Accounting Guidelines 2005

February 15, 2005

The Ministry of the Environment (MoE) published Environmental Accounting Guidelines 2005. The current revision was made to improve usability and convenience for users of environmental accounting information by incorporating study and research results obtained in Japan and abroad and latest practice trends in environmental accounting after publishing Environmental Accounting Guidelines 2000. The deliberation was made by an Environmental Accounting Guideline Review Committee established by the MoE taking into account public comments which were made on the draft of the Environmental Accounting Guidelines 2005 published in November 2004.

The purpose of the Guidelines is to support business entities to introduce and implement the environmental accounting system. The Guidelines shall be revised based on the progress in its application and implementation by business entities. If business entities assemble the environmental accounting information based on the Guidelines, the effectiveness of the environmental accounting methods is expected to further improve, since their data collection complying with the purpose of environmental management promote not only their public disclosure but also their internal management.

MoE has been supporting efforts of enterprises in implementing environmental accounting by publication of Developing an Environmental Accounting System (Year 2000 Report) in May 2000, and Environmental Accounting Guideline (2002Version) in March 2002 which is a revision of 2000 edition. By the survey in FY 2003 by the MoE, 661 business entities out of entities surveyed (effective response: 2,795 entities) already introduced environmental accounting. For listed enterprises, 393 introduced environmental accounting system (31.8 % out of 1,234 effective responses). As for non-listed enterprises, 268 did so (17.2 % out of 1,561 effective responses).

<Major points of the Revision>

1.Introducing new category based on features of environmental conservation cost

Regarding identification of environmental conservation cost, this revision adds new classification depending on fields of environmental conservation activities (e.g., global warming countermeasures) to the existing category according to types of business activities, in order to improve convenience of environmental accounting information.

[cf.    Guidelines 2005    3.2 Environmental Conservation Cost Categories]

2.Revising environmental conservation benefit

To express environmental conservation benefit, the existing guidelines employed categories as "emission to the atmosphere" and such. In this revision, new guidelines illustrate more practical environmental performance indicators such as "volume of greenhouse gases emissions", drawing upon the Guideline for Environmental Performance Indicator for Businesses - FY 2002Edition published by the MoE in April 2003.

[cf.    4.1 Categories of Environmental Conservation Benefit"]

3.Reorganizing concept of economic benefit associated with environmental conservation activities

The concept of economic benefits associated with environmental conservation activities was reorganized taking the practical application into consideration. In addition to substantial benefits (economic benefits calculated based on concrete evidences), significance and approaches for estimated benefits (economic bnefits calculated based on estimates) and economic evaluation of environmental conservation activities are added.

[cf.    5.1 Economic Benefits Associated with Environmental Conservation Activities and 5.3 Method for Evaluating Economic Value of Environmental Conservation Benefit]

4.Systematization of environmental accounting disclosure format for environmental accounting

In order to promote disclosure of easy-to-understand information, items to be covered for disclosure were revised by listing "process and results of environmental conservation activities" and "critical fundamentals for environmental accounting." To facilitate better understanding of information, disclosure formats are further systematized and schedules of environmental statements are now added.

[cf.    10.1 Disclosure Format for External Publication]

5.Reorganizing and revising internal management tables

For internal utilization of environmental accounting information within business entities, it is effective to aggregate and manage elaborated environmental accounting information according to management units (departments, business sites, related companies, etc.) . In this respect, integration of environmental accounting into environmental management activities and enhancement of various internal management tables were suggested.

[cf.    10.2 Management Tables for Internal Use]


For consolidated environmental accounting, the revised guideline indicates scope of consolidation and a certain attitude for aggregating methods. It also indicates significance and types of indices to be used for numerical analysis of environmental accounting.

[cf.    6. Treatment of Consolidated Environmental Accounting and 9. Indicators for Analysis Using Environmental Accounting Data]

Environmental Accounting Guideline 2005 can be downloaded from MoE web page. A brochure is also available at office of Environment and Economy Division, Environmental Policy Bureau, MoE.

Mailing address: Environment and Economy Division, Environmental Policy Bureau
Ministry of the Environment
1-2-2 Kasumigaseki, Chiyodaku, Tokyo 100-8975, Japan


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