Material Flow Cost Accounting: A Tool for Designing Economically and Ecologically Sustainable Production Processes

  • Ronny Sygulla
  • Uwe GötzeEmail author
  • Annett Bierer
Part of the Springer Series in Advanced Manufacturing book series (SSAM)


In the context of designing modern, competitive production processes, companies face the challenge of integrating the growing ecological demands of customers and other stakeholders as well as resource scarcity on one hand and the dominant need for economic success on the other hand. An approach to meet ecological and economical goals is the improvement of the material and energy productivity. This is strongly supported by the method of material flow cost accounting (MFCA). It aims at the identification of processes’ material and energy related inefficiencies and the (monetary) quantification of their effects on the overall process chain. This chapter firstly introduces the basic methodology of MFCA. Afterwards, refinements and enhancements concerning the modeling of loops and stocks, the integration of energy and the design of a prospective MFCA are proposed. Concluding, aspects of MFCA’s practical implementation are discussed.


Life Cycle Assessment Quantity Center Process Chain Life Cycle Cost Undesired Output 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors like to thank the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) and Germany’s Free State of Saxony for funding the Cluster of Excellence ‘Energy-Efficient Product and Process Innovation in Production Engineering’ (eniPROD®) as well as the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) for funding this work within the Collaboration Research Centre ‘SFB 692’.


  1. Bierer A, Götze U (2012) Energy cost accounting: conventional and flow-oriented approach accounting. J Compet 4(2):128–144. doi: 10.7441/joc.2012.02.09 Google Scholar
  2. Bowen F, Wittneben B (2011) Carbon accounting: negotiating accuracy, consistency and certainty across organisational fields. Acc Audit Acc J 24(8):1022–1036. doi: 10.1108/09513571111184742 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bundesumweltministerium (BUM), Umweltbundesamt (UBA) (eds) (2003) Leitfaden Betriebliches Umweltkostenmanagement, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  4. Götze U, Helmberg C, Rünger G, Schubert A, Goller S, Krellner B, Lau A, Sygulla R (2010) Integrating energy flows in modeling manufacturing processes and process chains of powertrain components. In: Neugebauer R (ed) Proceedings of the 1st international colloquium of the cluster of excellence eniPROD. Wissenschaftliche Scripten, Auerbach, pp 409–437Google Scholar
  5. Götze U, Northcott D, Schuster P (2008) Investment appraisal, methods and models. Springer, Berlin. doi:  10.1007/978-3-540-39969-8
  6. Götze U, Schubert A, Bierer A, Goller S, Sygulla R (2012) Material und Energieflussanalyse—Methodik zur Optimierung von Prozessen und Prozessketten. In: Neugebauer R (ed) Proceedings of the ICMC 2012/2nd international colloquium of the cluster of excellence eniPROD. Wissenschaftliche Scripten, Auerbach, pp 99–128Google Scholar
  7. Horngren CT, Datar SM, Rajan MV (2012) Cost accounting: a managerial emphasis, 14th edn. Prentice Hall, BostonGoogle Scholar
  8. Hyršlová J, Bednaříkova M, Hájek M (2008) Material flow cost accounting, only a tool of environmental management or a tool for the optimization of corporate production processes? Sci Pap Univ Pardubice Ser A 14:131–145Google Scholar
  9. ISO (2006) ISO 14040 Environmental management—life cycle assessment—principles and frameworkGoogle Scholar
  10. ISO (2010) Draft International Standard ISO/DIS 14051 Environmental management—material flow cost accounting—general frameworkGoogle Scholar
  11. ISO (2011) ISO 14051 Environmental management—material flow cost accounting—general frameworkGoogle Scholar
  12. Jasch C (2009) Environmental and material flow cost accounting, principles and procedures. Springer, Dordrecht. doi:  10.1007/978-1-4020-9028-8
  13. Kokubu K, Campos MKS, Furukawa Y, Tachikawa H (2009) Material flow cost accounting with ISO 14051. ISO Manag Sys 5(2):15–18Google Scholar
  14. Kokubu K, Kitada H (2010) Conflicts and solutions between material flow cost accounting and conventional management thinking. In: Proceedings of the 6th APIRA. Accessed Nov 12 2012
  15. Loew T (2003) Environmental cost accounting, classifying and comparing selected approaches. In: Bennett M, Rikhardsson P, Schaltegger S (eds) Environmental management accounting—purpose and progress, Kluwer, Dordrecht pp 41–56Google Scholar
  16. Möller A (2010) Material and energy flow-based cost accounting. Chem Eng Technol 33(4):567–572. doi: 10.1002/ceat.200900491 Google Scholar
  17. Nakajima M (2006) The New Management Accounting Field Established by Material Flow Cost Accounting (MFCA). Kansai Univ Rev Bus Commer 8:1–22Google Scholar
  18. Nakajima M (2008) The new development of material flow cost accounting (MFCA): MFCA analysis in power company and comparison between MFCA and TPM (Total Productive Maintenance). Kansai Univ Rev Bus Commer 10:57–86Google Scholar
  19. Nakajima M (2009) Evolution of material flow cost accounting (MFCA): characteristics on development of MFCA companies and significance of relevance of MFCA. Kansai Univ Rev Bus Commer 11:27–46Google Scholar
  20. Nakajima M (2010) Environmental management accounting for sustainable manufacturing, establishing management system of material flow cost accounting (MFCA). Kansai Univ Rev Bus Commer 12:41–58Google Scholar
  21. Nakajima M (2011) Environmental management accounting for cleaner production: systemization of material flow cost accounting (MFCA) into corporate management system. Kansai Univ Rev Bus Commer 13:17–39Google Scholar
  22. Prammer HK (2009) Integriertes Umweltkostenmanagement Bezugsrahmen und Konzeption für eine ökologisch nachhaltige Unternehmensführung. Habilitation University of Linz, LinzGoogle Scholar
  23. Schmid U (2001) Schwachstelle Datenqualität: Flusskostenrechnung in der Praxis bei Sortimo International. Ökol Wirtsch 2001(6):16–17Google Scholar
  24. Schmidt M (2012) Material flow cost accounting in der produzierenden Industrie. In: von Hauff M, Isenmann R, Müller-Christ G (eds) Industrial ecology management. Gabler, Wiesbaden, pp 241–255. doi: 10.1007/978-3-8349-6638-4_15
  25. Schubert A, Goller S, Sonntag D, Nestler A (2011) Implementation of energy-related aspects into model-based design of processes and process chains. In: Proceedings of the 2011 international symposium on assembly and manufacturing. doi: 10.1109/ISAM.2011.5942344
  26. Schweitzer M, Küpper H-U (2011) Systeme der Kosten- und Erlösrechnung, 10th edn. Vahlen, MunichGoogle Scholar
  27. Statistisches Bundesamt (ed) (2011) Statistical yearbook 2011 for the Federal Republic of Germany including “International tables”, WiesbadenGoogle Scholar
  28. Strobel M, Redmann C (2002) Flow cost accounting, an accounting approach based on the actual flows of materials. In: Bennett M, Bouma JJ, Wolters T (eds) Environmental management accounting: informational and institutional developments. Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp 67–82Google Scholar
  29. Strobel M, Wagner F (1999) Flußkostenrechnung als Instrument des Materialflußmanagements. uwf 7(4):26–28Google Scholar
  30. Sygulla R, Bierer A, Götze U (2011) Material flow cost accounting, proposals for improving the evaluation of monetary effects of resource saving process designs. In: Proceedings of the 44th CIRP conference on manufacturing systems. Accessed 12 Nov 2012
  31. Viehmann S (2012) Winterkorn will VW grüner machen. zeit online. Accessed 12 Nov 2012
  32. Viere T, Prox M, Möller A, Schmidt M et al (2011) Implications of material flow cost accounting for life cycle engineering. In: Hesselbach J, Herrmann C (eds) Globalized solutions for sustainability in manufacturing. Proceedings of the 18th CIRP international conference on life cycle engineering. Springer, Berlin pp 652–656. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-19692-8_113
  33. Wagner B, Nakajima M, Prox M (2010) Materialflusskostenrechnung—die internationale Karriere einer Methode zu Identifikation von Ineffizienzen in Produktionssystemen. uwf 18:197–202. doi: 10.1007/s00550-010-0189-1

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chair of Management Accounting and ControlChemnitz University of TechnologyChemnitzGermany

Personalised recommendations