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2012/2013  KAN-CM_SU9E  Sustainable Performance Evaluation and Reporting Systems

English Title
Sustainable Performance Evaluation and Reporting Systems

Course information

Language English
Exam ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration Summer
Course period NOTE: The course schedule is at the moment oNLY available at www.cbs.dk/summer
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Faculty - Cristiana Parisi, CBS
    Patricia Plackett - Department of Operations Management
Main Category of the Course
  • Financial and management accounting
Last updated on 23-04-2012
Learning objectives
Throughout the course students will be provided with solid and grounded foundations, including tools and techniques, for crafting an organizational strategy that takes into account sustainability issues. Participants will be tested on the following practical skills which will prepare them for their future careers:
  • The ability to map and prioritise stakeholders' interests and to design, and engage in, stakeholder dialogue;
  • The capacity to develop and manage sustainability performance through innovative business models and tools;
  • The ability to articulate and evaluate a sustainability report based on the leading international guidelines on the field;
  • The skill to describe how sustainability can be implemented in different types of organisations : e.g. belonging to the public or private sector and/or of different sizes;
  • The capacity of identifying the competitive advantages related to the implementation of sustainability strategies and managerial control systems depending on the diverse organisational and environmental variables.
Basic knowledge of managerial accounting and strategic performance measurement are advantageous.
Sustainable Performance Evaluation and Reporting Systems
Project/Home Assignment (written individually), 15 A4 pages:
Type of test Home Assignment
Marking scale 7-step scale
Second examiner No second examiner
Exam period Summer Term
Aids Please, see the detailed regulations below
Duration Please, see the detailed regulations below
Individual project 15 A4 pages

Course content
This elective looks at the corporate responsibilities of organisations and the ways in which an increasing number of successful companies are attempting to express forms of social and environmental responsibility in their business practice. It identifies the key issues, looks at sustainability, business ethics, risks and advantages, corporate governance and legal compliance. It examines topical case studies, looks at the interaction with crises and helps participants plan for a more active and robust CSR policy, and to manage sustainability as a strategic business issue.
Main themes
  • Analyse Corporate Social Responsibility in the international and European policy agenda;
  • External Financial Reporting of sustainability;
  • Sustainability Reporting based of the most important international Guidelines (e.g. GRI);
  • Explore the relationships between reporting, changes in company management practices and governance, and the role of assurance;
  • Study how companies identify, select and cover stakeholder issues in their reports;
  • Identify internal and external factors that are likely to affect reporting contents, coverage and format in the future;
  • Most diffuse sustainable internal reporting models (e.g. Sustainability Balanced Scorecard and EFQM);
  • The impact of sustainability on firm’s cost structure and eco-efficiency (Life Cycle Assessment);
  • Sustainable finance and Socially Responsible Investing (SRI);
  • Study of the most relevant international standards providing guidelines for social and environmental responsibility (e.g. ISO 26000).
The course’s development of personal competences:
Participants will be provided with the ability to develop a critical perspective on business strategy and sustainable development. Students will also obtain the following practical skills which will prepare them for social and environmental stewardship in their careers:
  • The ability to map and prioritise stakeholders' interests and to design, and engage in, stakeholder dialogue;
  • The capacity to develop and manage social and environmental performance including innovative business models and social and environmental management tools;
  • The knowledge of social, ethical and environmental assurance practices;
  • The ability to articulate the scope and boundaries of a company's social and environmental responsibilities to a variety of audiences and within a variety of contexts.
Teaching methods
The teaching of this elective will be based on a variety of methods. There will be formal lectures, group discussions, case studies and debates. Moreover experts will be invited to contribute with their personal experience on the field.
Expected literature
Adams, C.A. and McNicholas, P. (2007), “Making a difference Sustainability reporting, accountability and organisationalchange”, Accounting, Auditing &  Accountability Journal, Vol. 20, No. 3, pp. 382-402.
Anthony, R.N. and Govindarajan, V. (2006), Management Control Systems, New York, Irwin McGraw-Hill, pp. 459-475.              
Dey, C. (2007), “Developing silent and shadow accounting” in Unerman, J., Babbington, J. And O'Dwyer, B., Sustainability Accounting and Accountability, New York, Routledge, pp.307-326.
Epstein, M.J. and Roy, M.J. (2007), “Implementing a Corporate Environmental Strategy: Establishing Coordination and Control within Multinational Companies” Business Strategy and the Environment, Vol. 16, pp. 389–403.
Figge, F. et. al. (2002) “The Sustainability Balanced Scorecard. Linking sustainability management to business strategy” Business Strategy and the Environment, Vol. 11, No. 5, pp.269-284.     
Garrison, R.H. and Noreen, E.W. (2009), Managerial Accounting, New York, Irwin McGraw Hill, pp. 422-479.
Hart, S. L. and Milstein, M. B.  (1999)  “Global Sustainability and the Creative Destruction of Industries” MIT Sloan Management Review, Vol. 41, No. 1, pp. 23-33.          
Hart, S. L. and Milstein, M. B.  (2003),  “Creating Sustainable Value” Academy of Management Executive, Vol. 17, No.2, pp. 56-67.                 
Kaplan R.S. and Norton D.P. (2004), Strategy Maps, Boston, Harvard Business School Press, pp. 163-195.
Lingane, A. and Olsen, S. (2004), “Guidelines for Social Return on Investment”, California management review, Vol. 46, N. 3, pp. 135-66.          
McKeiver, C. and Gadenne, D. (2005),  “Environmental Management Systems in Small and Medium Businesses”, International Small Business Journal, Vol. 23, No. 5, pp. 513–537.  
O'Dweyer, B. and Owen, D.L. (2005), “Assurance statement practice in environmental, social and sustainability reporting: A critical evaluation” British Accounting Review, Vol. 37, No. 2, pp. 205-29.
Owen, D.L., (2007), “Assurance practice in sustainability reporting”, in Unerman, J., Babbington, J. and O'Dwyer, B., Sustainability Accounting and Accountability, New York, Routledge, pp.168-183.
Parisi, C. and Hockerts, K.N. (2008) “Managerial mindsets and performance measurement systems of CSR-related intangibles” Measuring Business  Excellence, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp. 51-67.
Pedersen, E.R. (2006) “Making Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Operable: How Companies Translate Stakeholder Dialogue into Practice”, Business and Society Review, Vol. 111, No. 2, pp. 137-163.                 
Pinkese, J. and Kolk, A. (2007), “Multinational corporations and Emissions Trading: Strategic Responses to New Institutional Constraints”,  European Management Journal, Vol. 25, No. 6, pp. 441–452.
Porter, B., Simon, J. and Hatherly, D. (2008) Principles of External Auditing, John Wiley and Sons, pp. 723-761.
Porter, M.E. and van der Linde, C. (1995) “Green and Competitive: Ending the stalemate” Harvard Business Review, Vol. 72, No. 3, pp. 46-52.
Russo, M.V. and Schultz, F.C. (2003), “Top managers and institutional stakeholders: a test of two models of adaptation and performance” in Andriof, J. et. al., Unfolding Stakeholder Thinking, Sheffield, Greenleaf Publishing Limited, pp. 219-243.
Shropshire, C. and Hillman, A.J. (2007), “A Longitudinal Study of Significant Change in Stakeholder Management”, Business and Society, pp. 63-87.
Weishaar, S. (2007) “CO2 emission allowance allocation mechanisms, allocative efficiency and the environment: a static and dynamic perspective”, European Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 24, pp.29–70.                      
Zang, J., Fraser, I. and Ying Hill W. (2003), “A comparative study of stakeholder-oriented social audit models and reports”, in Andriof, J. et. al., Unfolding Stakeholder Thinking, Sheffield, Greenleaf Publishing Limited, pp. 244-66.
(pages: 486 from A and B Journals and Textbooks)
Suggested readings
Federation des Experts Comptables Europeens (FEE): 2006, Key Issues in Sustainability Assurance. An Overview.
Global Reporting Initiative (GRI): 2006, Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. Version 3.0.
Hecth, J.E., “Environmental Accounting Where We Are Now, Where We Are Heading”, available at http://users.dickinson.edu/~skrabis/Env_Accounting/RFF-Resources-135-enviroaccount.pdf
Institut der Wirtschaftsprüfer in Deutschland (IDW): 2005, Germany Generally Accepted Assurance Principles for Audit or Review of Sustainability Reports (ED As).
Institute of Social and Ethical Accountability (ISEA): 1999, ‘AA1000 Framework’, Institute of Social and Ethical Engagement, UK.
Institute of Social and Ethical Accountability (ISEA): 2003, ‘AA1000 Assurance Standard’, London.
International Auditing and Assurance Standard Board (IAASB): 2004, ‘International Standard on Assurance Engagement 3000. Assurance Engagement Other than Audits or Reviews of Historical Information’, International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board, New York, NY.
International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB): 2006, Assurance Aspects of G3 – The Global Reporting Initiative’s 2006 Draft Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.
International Federation of Accountants (IFAC): 2002, ‘The Determination and Communication of Levels of Assurance Other than High’, New York.
Knoepfel, I (2001), “Dow Jones Sustainability Group Index: A Global Benchmark for Corporate Sustainability”, Corporate Environmental Strategy, Vol. 8, No. 1 pp. 6-15.
Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut van Registeraccountants (NIVRA): 2005, The Netherlands: Practitioners Working with Subject Matter Experts from other Disciplines on Non-Financial Assurance Engagements (ED 3010) and Assurance Engagements Relating to Sustainability Reports (ED 3410).
KPMG-Amsterdam Graduate Business School: 2005, KPMG International Survey of Corporate Responsibility Reporting (University of Amsterdam Publisher).
O'Neill, P.K. and Reinhardt, F.L. (2000), “What Every Executive Needs to Know About Global Warming”, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 78, No. 4, pp.129-135.
Rugman, A.M. and Verbeke A. (1998), “Corporate Strategy and International Environmental Policy”, Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 29, No. 4, pp.819-834.
Standards Australia, Standard AS/NZS 5911 (Int): 2005, General Guidelines on the Verification, Validation and Assurance of Environmental and Sustainability Reports.
Walley, N. and Whitehead, B. (1994) “It’s not easy being green”, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 72, No. 3 pp.46-52.
Woods, M. and Colson, R. H. (2003), “The Global Reporting Initiative”, CPA Journal, Vol. 73, No. 6, pp.60-66.
Last updated on 23-04-2012