A comprehensive review of full cost accounting methods and their applicability to the automotive industry

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Full cost accounting has been applied in many industrial settings that include the oil and gas, energy, chemical and waste management industries. Presently, it is not known how it can be applied in an automotive industry context. Therefore, the objective of this paper is to review existing full cost accounting methods and identify an appropriate approach for the automotive sector. This literature review of 4381 papers extracted ten full cost accounting methods with a diverse level of development and consistency in application. Based on a careful examination and critical analysis of each approach and existing automotive sustainability measures, the Sustainability Assessment Model developed by British Petroleum and Aberdeen University has been proposed as a well-developed and potentially practical tool for automotive applications. The Sustainability Assessment Model can be used by both academics and practitioners to translate a range of conflicting sustainability information into a monetary unit score. This is an effective way of communicating trade-offs and outcomes for complex and multi-disciplinary sustainable decisions in the automotive sector. It measures a broad range of economic, environmental, resource and social effects (internal and external), which is currently lacking in existing automotive systems. Its other strengths are the ability to provide both monetary and physical metrics for sustainability assessment, its flexibility and the ability to combine multiple sustainability dimensions. Furthermore, this paper provides helpful clues for researchers interested in exploring full cost accounting in the future by reviewing, analysing and synthesising the broad range of relevant sources from diverse fields in this topic area.




Jasinski, D., Meredith, J., & Kirwan, K. (2015, December 1). A comprehensive review of full cost accounting methods and their applicability to the automotive industry. Journal of Cleaner Production. Elsevier Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.06.040

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