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2012/2013  KAN-CM_T78  Sustainable Management Accounting and Finance

English Title
Sustainable Management Accounting and Finance

Course information

Language English
Exam ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Course period Autumn, First Quarter, Spring
Changes in course schedule may occur
Monday 13.30-15.10, week 6
Monday 13.30-17.00, week 7-13
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Max. participants 60
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Course coordinator
    Cristiana Parisi - Department of Operations Management
Administration: Mette Kirkegaard- mki.om@cbs.dk
Main Category of the Course
  • Finance
  • Business Ethics, value based management and CSR
  • Financial and management accounting
Last updated on 16-10-2012
Learning objectives
This course aims at providing students with an appreciation of the broader context of corporate performance and disclosure in the context of sustainability and social justice. After having attended the course, students are expected to have both a sound theoretical understanding and a practical grasp of sustainability and corporate social responsibility. This implies that students should
  • have an understanding of the basics of corporate sustainability accounting, finance, accountability, and reporting; and the continuing debates within the literature,
  • be capable of providing a reflected analysis of the pros and cons of the different theories, concepts, and systems discussed in the course,
  • be able to properly apply the theories and concepts discussed to case examples,
  • be capable to show their familiarity with the tools covered in the course, such as sustainability dashboards and control panels and their use in order to focus, align and report measures.
  • prove their knowledge of the guidelines for the creation of sustainability reporting and of the relative assurance engagements methods and techniques.
  • be in the position to demonstrate their ability to critically and thoroughly evaluate case situations of sustainable finance and provide clear recommendations,
  • present their thoughts and analysis in a well-structured and clear manner.
Basic knowledge of management accounting, strategic performance measurement and finance are advantageous.
4-hour individual written exam (open book)
4-hour individual written exam (open book):
Type of test Written Exam
Marking scale 7-step scale
Second examiner No second examiner
Exam period Autumn Term
Aids Please, see the detailed regulations below
Duration 4 Hours

4-hour individual written exam (open book), graded on the Danish 7-point scale. Students are allowed to bring notes and all the course material, but cannot use mobile phones or have internet access during the exam.
Course content

We live in a world of great challenges and high expectations in relation to the social and environmental footprint. Conscious attention to sustainable development in the economic, environmental and social domains benefit both the organization and its stakeholders. The advantages for the organization may include improved risk management, insight into new market opportunities, better access to capital markets, eco-efficiency and an improved reputation which will enhance trust of consumers and employees.

The focus of this course is on the role of entities (governments, non government organizations, firms and individuals) and their accountability, accounting and reporting issues in the context of sustainable development. Corporate social and environmental accountability, accounting and reporting is concerned with measuring, managing and communicating the social and environmental effects of a corporation's economic actions to particular stakeholders and to society at large.

Main Themes:

  • Sustainable Management Accounting
  • Capital Budgeting Analysis to Comply with Environmental Regulation and Emissions Permit Trading
  • Sustainable Balanced Scorecard
  • Eco-efficiency
  • Life cycle assessment (LCA)
  • Sustainability Reporting guidelines and Assurance Services
  • External Financial Reporting of Environmental Liabilities
  • External Corporate Financial Reporting of Sustainable Business Practices
  • Green House Gas Accounting and Reporting Standard and Guidance
  • Climate Exchanges-Carbon Dioxide Permit Trading
  • Sustainable finance
  • Socially responsible Investing (SRI)
  • Social Return on Investment (SROI)
  • Environmental Sustainability Indexes

The course´s development of personal competences:

This course aims to provide students with the skills and knowledge to perform high quality internal and external assurance on sustainability. It, therefore, has the following deliverables:

  • Providing insights into current theoretical and practical sustainability developments, especially in relation to policy, management and accountability and reporting;
  • Increasting knowledge of international aspects of sustainability;
  • Transferring know-how and skills for strategic sustainability policymaking in order to be able to assess information on it and the way it is embedded in the organization;
  • Increasing knowledge of international legislation and regulation on sustainability management, reporting and assurance practices;
  • Transferring practical sustainability management and reporting skills;
  • Providing an insight into the various aspects of assurance engagements on sustainability reporting and the wider context of non-financial information, including auditing methods and techniques.
Teaching methods
The teaching of this course 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.
Further Information

Suggested readings

Federation des Experts Comptables Europeens (FEE): 2002, Key Issues in Sustainability Assurance. An Overview.

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI): 2006, Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. Version 3.1.

Institut der Wirtschaftsprüfer in Deutschland (IDW): 2005, Germany Generally Accepted Assurance Principles for Audit or Review of Sustainability Reports (ED As).

Expected literature

Adams, C.A. and McNicholas, P. (2007), Making a difference Sustainability reporting, accountability and organisational change, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 20, No. 3, pp. 382-402.
Blowfield, M. and Murray, A. (2008), “Chapter 11: Socially Responsible Investing”. In Blowfield, M. and Murray, A., Corporate responsibility. A critical introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 280-303.
Crane, A., Matten, D. and Spence, L. (2008), “Chapter 10 CSR Strategy and implementation” in Corporate Social Responsibility: Readings and cases in a global context. Oxon: Routledge.
Epstein, M.J. (2004), The Identification, Measurement, and reporting of Corporate Social Impacts: Past, Present, and Future. Advances in Environmental Accounting and Management, Vol. 2, pp. 1-29.
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.
Gray, R (2007) Taking a Long View on What We Now Know About Socialand EnvironmentalAccountability and Reporting, Issues in Social & Environmental Accounting, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 169-198.
Hart, S. L. and Milstein, M. B. (2003), “Creating Sustainable Value,” Academy of Management Executive, Vol. 17, No. 2, pp. 56-67.
Johnston R. (1997), A Critique to Life Cycle Analysis: Paper Products. In Johnston R., The Industrial Green Game, Washington DC: National Academy Press, pp.225-233.
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.
Matten, D. and Moon, J. (2008), “Implicit” and “Explicit” CSR: A conceptual framework for a comparative understanding of corporate social responsibility” Academy of Management Review 33(2): 404-424.
Nierynck, E. (1999), Life-cycle assessment. In Hens, L., Nath, B., and  Compton P. A. (Eds.), Environmental Management in Practice: Instruments for Environmental Management, Volume 1, New York: Rouledge , pp. 211-239.
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. 205-229.
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.
Pinkse, 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.
Schaltegger, S.,  Burritt, R., and  Petersen H. (2003), Environmental Management Systems and Eco-control. In Schaltegger, S.,  Burritt, R., and  Petersen H., An Introduction to Corporate Environmental Management: Striving for Sustainability, Sheffield UK: Greenleaf publishing, pp. 293-337.
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.


Dharba K. (2005), The threat of global warming: a business opportunity, ICFAI Centre for Management Research ICMR, pp.1-12.
Ewart T. (2005), Mearl oil Company: Environmental Impact Targets(A-C), Richard Ivey School of Business, pp. 1-30.
Indu P. and Gupta, V. (2008), Tesco’s Steering Wheel. A tool for strategic value creation and business transformation, ICFAI Centre for Management Research ICMR, pp. 1-21.
Leonard, H.B., Epstein, M. and Wing, L. (2005), Playgrounds and Performance: Results management at KaBOOM! (A-C), Harvard Business School Cases pp. 1-23.
Moss Kanter, R. and Reisende Pinho, R. (2007), Banco Real, Banking on Sustainability, Harvard Business School cases, pp. 1-24.
Rajiv, F. (2007), BP Putting profits before safety?, ICFAI Centre for Management Research ICMR, pp.1-19.
Regani, S. (2007), ‘Ecomangination’ at work. GE’s sustainability initiative, ICFAI Centre for Management Research ICMR, pp. 1-18.
Reinhard F. (2001), Sustainable development and socially responsible investing: ABB in 2000, Harvard Business School cases, pp. 1-37.
Saigeetha C. (2008), Corporate Responsibility: Are the Corporate alone responsible?, ICFAI Centre for Management Research ICMR, pp. 1-16.
Sridevi, C. (2003), Balanced Scorecard: A performance Support System, ICFAI Centre for Management Research ICMR, pp. 1-3.

Last updated on 16-10-2012