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    Investigating environmental issues involving the Polaroid Company Essay

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    We, Giang, Brailovski, & A ; Steinberg Consultants, have finalized this analytical study in order to decently analyze the environmental issues at manus affecting the Polaroid Company. This study examines Polaroid ‘s current direction of their environmental duties and costs.

    In order to decently turn to the state of affairs, our advisers have analyzed Polaroid in an environmental scene and have investigated their current patterns of TUWR and EARS. While our findings suggest that the company ‘s current plans have drastically improved their environmental cost capablenesss, we believe that they contain assorted defects and have therefore determined that accommodations should be implemented. Our house has come up with two options in order to assist Polaroid pull off their environmental duties and costs in a more productive mode. The suggested options will let for decreased pollution every bit good as lower overall costs, which will so take to greater relationships with environment and authorities organic structures. Additionally, our proposed options may in fact lead to greater gross for the company and the increased dependability of fiscal statement figures ; these consequences can be accomplished through alterations in Polaroid ‘s current cost allotment methods.

    The first option that our house suggests involves budgeting entire pollution and environmental costs and so apportioning them to single house divisions in order to supply a mark pollution cap for directors. This pollution cap will be maintained through direction marks, restricting entire environmental pollution. This alternate wholly changes the cost allotment methods presently performed by EARS.

    The 2nd alternate involves comparing the part border of the division with the waste liability generated by its operations. From this comparing, the efficiency of the waste decrease plan and the profitableness of each division can be analyzed. This analysis can take to the finding of whether to extinguish divisions that are utilizing more Class I-IV chemical wastes if the costs of cut downing waste are higher than the runing border of the division.

    Finally, presuming that the managing of costs will go on to turn and go a critical factor associating to concern sustainability, our advisers have come up with of import recommendations that will assist Polaroid to execute under a more productive environmental attack. Our recommendations provide insight into why the first option is more practical for Polaroid and we besides help to show how this option can be implemented instantly.

    We hope that the study that follows AIDSs you in doing your determinations.


    Current Situation Facing Polaroid

    It is of import to analyse the current state of affairs facing concerns sing environmental cost direction before analyzing how Polaroid is and should act in conformity. In the mid-1980s, the US started implementing a forced killing for companies who committed environmental harm and these costs would greatly impact the companies ‘ liabilities. Today, in 1993, more and more traded companies are being identified as potentially responsible parties ( PRPs ) and the figure is assumed to turn. Countries other than the US are now suggesting ordinances that allege that companies are responsible for consumer disposal of their merchandises after usage ; this is referred to as the “ take back ” rule. In add-on, ISO 9000 is a voluntary enfranchisement but is progressively being demanded in Europe. The US is besides making their portion in acquiring companies to rectify their risky waste and this duty has stemmed from the RCRA and the CERCLA. CERCLA is a US jurisprudence that is really vague as it can keep anyone responsible for the killing that can be of any size and any cost. The preceding procedures clearly indicate the turning importance of pull offing environmental costs as they can take to serious long-run liabilities if non decently accounted for.

    Polaroid has been named a PRP on several Superfund sites which will take to cleanup costs in the 10s of 1000000s of dollars per site. Besides, Polaroid is an international company hence possibly holding to follow with the return back rule in certain states. It can be assumed that the US may take on similar steps as good hence taking to Polaroid being apt to even more environmental costs. Since 1988, Polaroid has been systematically apt and has been advised by the EPA that they must assist to retrieve multiple sites. It is clear that in order for Polaroid to cut down the liabilities that may originate, proper environmental duty and cost direction are critical.

    Background of TUWR and EARS

    In the past few old ages, Polaroid has been badly criticized by different organisations due to its production of significant sums of toxic wastes. In 1987, Polaroid was targeted by Greenpeace as being the worst toxic defiler of Boston Harbor. To counter this unwanted promotion, the company took a new attack in commanding its waste: Polaroid ‘s directors began by puting the aggressive mark of a 10 % waste decrease per unit per twelvemonth to counter waste liability and delight the public sentiment. This extremist decrease was made possible by implementing the TUWR plan that was managed by the Environmental Accounting and Reporting System ( EARS ) .

    How does TUWR assist blow decrease?

    The Toxic Use and Waste Reduction Program is a voluntary attempt made by Polaroid to expeditiously cut down waste generated by the production installations. It is based on three premises: 1 ) cut down waste at beginning, instead than at the “ terminal of pipe ” , 2 ) set a series of marks for waste decrease, and 3 ) maintain unfastened communications with, and educate local communities and environmental groups.

    This plan is a great inducement for the company ‘s division directors to make of import ends in cut downing the pollution created by the company ‘s production. Polaroid set a chief end where the usage of waste per unit of production has to be reduced at the beginning by 10 % per twelvemonth from 1988 and stoping in 1993. It besides added a corollary end where it will stress the addition in recycling of some stuffs in the procedure of production.

    How does EARS assist blow decrease?

    The Environmental Accounting and Reporting System supports the TUWR in its map of cut downing waste, by spliting the waste usage rate between five different classs of stuffs. This coverage system can categorise up to 1,700 chemicals of which Polaroid uses about 800 at any given clip.

    This plan ‘s maps help blow decrease by accurately mensurating waste generated by the production. It measures the usage of toxics and other beginnings of waste per unit of production. Therefore, EARS is able to accurately cipher the use of waste without the informations being distorted by fluctuation of the production. As was said earlier, the EARS system was created to drastically pull off Polaroid ‘s waste. For this ground, a corporate index was created to follow the betterment or debasement of the waste direction. Polaroid uses the financial twelvemonth of 1988 as the basal twelvemonth of the index and hence all the subsequent old ages are compared to this 1. For illustration, as the index of 1988 is 1.00 all the latter betterment of the waste decrease will be seen as a per centum of this index. If in 1992, the waste was reduced to 85 lb per unit, the index for 1992 will demo 0.85 with a decrease of waste of 15 % . To find this public presentation, the system divides the sum of waste generated by the sum of production over the same period of clip. This manner, the per-unit waste generated can be easy followed and a decrease is hence more accurately controlled.

    Environmental Impacts Associated with the New Program

    The TUWR has non merely reduced toxic waste from Polaroid ‘s operations, it has enabled cost nest eggs through reduced stuff wastage, improved outputs, and decreased disbursement on conformity. Indeed, the Toxic Use and Waste Reduction Divisional Indices for 1992 show a clear betterment in the decrease of waste. Compared to the basal twelvemonth of 1988 that shows an index of 1.00 the norm of all divisions index for I-IV classs shows a 0.68 and the index for class V shows a 0.67. These averaged indexes clearly show that house waste has diminished well since TUWR and EARS have been in topographic point.

    This betterment clearly affected the environment environing Polaroid ‘s production points. In add-on, TUWR is assisting the company to find where stuffs are used and where wastes are generated, how wastes are managed within the company, and what happens to blow that leaves the company. All these actions are taking Polaroid to run into its ain outlooks and besides the new authorities policies.

    Finally, based on the Worldwide Waste Management tabular array of 1992, recycling at Polaroid improved well for Categories I-V, from 16.22 % to 20.28 % , and for Category V, from 0.82 % to 1.86 % . These recycling statistics are straight impacting the usage of new stuff and are hence assisting the environment.

    How the Waste Materials are Used and Accounted for Within Polaroid ‘s Current Management Accounting System

    Polaroid produces direction histories on a divisional footing. These histories contain the measure of stuff used and the measure of merchandises that have been produced. Furthermore, the measure of stuff used ( waste generated ) is divided by the end product to happen the EARS index mentioned above. These divisional indexes are taken together to make a more planetary index called, the Corporate Index. This index is calculated in the same manner as the Divisional index where the wastes of classs I-IV for all divisions are divided by entire end product and class V of all divisions is divided by entire end product. To guarantee that each division gets the proper portion of its waste, a leaden norm of waste used is calculated.

    Suggested Changes to the Management Accounting System

    The Limitations of EARS and TUWR

    Despite of the benefits that TUWR and EARS bring to Polaroid, they besides have their restrictions. For illustration, these plans measure the degree of toxic waste per unit of production, and purpose to cut down pollution by cut downing waste per unit. However, as Polaroid ‘s unit gross revenues addition, the overall degree of toxic waste may still increase in malice of a lessening in per unit degree of toxic waste. A higher overall degree of toxic waste leads to higher overall environmental costs incurred by Polaroid on cleaning up costs, at the same time taking to a bad repute amongst environment and authorities organic structures. It besides leads to a bad repute amongst consumers, impacting the possible profitableness of Polaroid. Furthermore, utilizing TUWR does non let a proper cost-allocation technique to environmental costs ; taking to over-reliance on minimum cost appraisal techniques. This gives an estimated but unnecessarily accurate step of overall environmental costs for the house ‘s ain direction accounting uses every bit good as for fiscal coverage intents. This leads to inefficiency in Polaroid ‘s cost accounting steps, and inaccurately represented informations on the house ‘s fiscal statements. This does non carry through the IFRS and US GAAP standards of holding collateral value. This issue will be further addressed below, under Alternate 1: Budgeting and Allocation of Pollution and its Costss.

    Additionally, we think that another step could be taken in order to guarantee the profitableness of the company ‘s single divisions. By comparing the part border of the division and the waste liability generated by its operations, we can analyse the efficiency of the waste decrease plan and the profitableness of each division. This option will be besides presented subsequently, under Alternate 2: Addition to the Current System.

    Alternate 1: Budgeting and Allocation of Pollution and its Costss

    To make more effectual methods of cost accounting and to keep low environmental costs and pollution, Polaroid could budget entire units of production per division for each period ( year/quarter ) , entire per centum of environmental cost allotment per division, and budgeted entire pollution end product from the house. From at that place, it can apportion degrees of pollution and environmental costs per unit of good, while restricting overall pollution and environmental costs.

    By budgeting entire pollution end product by the house, Polaroid can maintain a cap on its overall pollution per clip period, restricting entire environmental pollution. Then, utilizing historical informations and experience ( in cleaning up ) , it can apportion overall environmental costs for the company based on its pollution degrees. These environmental costs and entire pollution degrees can so be allocated to single divisions based on per centum allotment method, whereby the divisions ‘ allocated costs are based on entire per centum of house ‘s waste produced by the division. The single divisions can so cipher the divisional pollution index and environmental costs per unit end product of the division. From here, the divisions have a mark pollution degree per unit, every bit good as an overall mark pollution and environmental costs level. Directors can so supervise these mark pollution degrees by utilizing the TUWR to track pollution degrees per unit, keeping them at desirable degrees. Finally, accommodations can later be made to over/under allocated costs, leting just representation on fiscal statements and for direction.

    This option is good to Polaroid because budgeting overall pollution end product and environmental costs keep both overall pollution and cost exposure to the company low. This allows Polaroid to keep good relationships with the environmental and authorities organic structures, and making low overall costs will besides let it to cut down environmental costs in a thick of progressively rigorous statute laws. Furthermore, apportioning divisional pollution indexes and environmental cost budgets to divisional directors gives them a mark to work towards in maintaining pollution degrees low. This provides them with more motive and freedom to believe about bring forthing higher grosss. As a consequence, the house productiveness would be higher. Additionally, Polaroid ‘s soon contradictory recognition system of honoring high credits for both pollution decrease and net income coevals could be eliminated, as directors are now given mark pollution degrees, and can more easy concentrate on gross coevals. This presents benefits to both Polaroid and its employees.

    Simultaneously, by apportioning costs utilizing budgeted environmental costs, Polaroid has a clearer model in accounting for costs. These costs are budgeted based on historical informations and experience, and could be adjusted for over/under allotment. This allows for good cost accounting steps, supplying a more accurate degree of environmental costs accounted for. Subsequently, this allows Polaroid ‘s direction to non merely pull off its costs suitably, but besides to hold dependable financial/statistical informations to back up its statements with environmental bureaus and other PRPs when apportioning overall cleaning up costs of contaminated evidences. This serves to take down Polaroid ‘s costs over the foreseeable hereafter. Not to bury, it besides allows for more precise fiscal coverage criterions ; supplying an accurate liability coverage on the fiscal statements, and maintaining with IFRS and US GAAP ‘s rule of supplying verifiable and collateral values.

    Alternate 2: Additions to the Current System

    For Polaroid to cut down its overall negative environmental impact, it could besides implement an alternate technique: the company can extinguish divisions that are utilizing more Class I-IV chemical wastes if the costs of cut downing waste are higher than the runing border of the division. In this instance, the TUWR is still used to cipher pollution costs per unit of end product, which will so be used to obtain overall environmental costs per division. The principle for such a method is that the sum of toxic waste and the costs needed to take it are straight related to each other. Hence, if the costs of cut downing waste are significantly higher than the runing border of the division, this represents significantly high degrees of toxic waste. Using runing border as a benchmark can therefore function as a guideline to toxic waste direction. In add-on to keeping low degrees of pollution/toxic waste, it besides raises long-run profitableness of Polaroid. Therefore, this alternate allows Polaroid to keep low environmental costs, make a potentially good resonance with environmental and authorities organic structures, and increase company profitableness.

    On the other side, in larger divisions, the cost of cut downing waste may be smaller than operating net income. However, its overall toxic waste degrees and costs of cut downing may still be significant. This leads to high degrees of environmental pollution caused by Polaroid, at the same time doing high environmental costs for the house. In add-on, extinguishing these corporate divisions may take to removal of potentially profitable divisions of the house that may give high net incomes if environmental costs are better managed by other agencies. It besides does non make accurate methods of accounting for environmental costs.

    This add-on has to be analyzed in deepness by the comptrollers of the company before any execution actions are taken.


    While our findings suggest that Polaroid ‘s current plans of TUWR and EARS have drastically improved their environmental cost capablenesss, we believe that they contain assorted restrictions and have therefore determined that accommodations should be implemented. While the TUWR plan is turn outing to be really successful and encompasses the new environmental values of the company, EARS has some issues refering its allotment of the waste liability per merchandise.

    Consequently, in order to better cut down overall pollution degrees and guarantee good accounting patterns and steadfast profitableness, two options should be considered. First, entire pollution and environmental costs can be budgeted, and so allocated to single house divisions to supply a mark pollution cap for directors. Alternatively, divisions with higher costs of cut downing waste than the runing border of the division could be eliminated. In Polaroid ‘s instance, the best solution is to use the first option of budgeting pollution and environmental costs, so apportioning it to the divisions. This is because this method is optimum in pull offing the houses ‘ environmental costs ; take downing overall pollution and entire costs incurred to the house. It besides allows for best cost accounting and fiscal coverage steps, and establishes a good repute for the house. Additionally, it is a extremely executable, low cost method, which ensures low environmental costs for Polaroid despite altering statute laws.

    In order implement this new system instantly, Polaroid should foremost prosecute in arrested development and discrepancy analysis on its merchandise demand to calculate steadfast end product. The company should so budget a bound on entire pollution waste for the approaching old ages and so apportion pollution degrees and costs utilizing a mark divisional pollution index for single divisions. Finally, it can so inform employees of the alteration in system, foregrounding the alteration in the function of TUWR in tracking pollution degrees. Implementing this step right is important, and will supply Polaroid with unprecedented benefits.

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