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2014/2015  KAN-CCMVV1676U  Sustainable Management Accounting and Finance

English Title
Sustainable Management Accounting and Finance

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Course period Autumn, First Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 80
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Course coordinator
    Cristiana Parisi - Department of Operations Management (OM)
Administration: Trine Flyvbjerg - tf.om@cbs.dk
Main academic disciplines
  • Finance
  • Business Ethics, value based management and CSR
  • Financial and management accounting
Last updated on 08-08-2014
Learning objectives
This course aims to provide students with an appreciation of the broader context of corporate performance, disclosure and finance in the context of sustainability and social justice. At the end of the course, students are expected to have both a sound theoretical understanding and a practical grasp of sustainability in relation to the fields of accounting, management accounting and finance. This implies that students should:
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of corporate sustainability accounting, finance, accountability, and reporting; and the continuing debates within the literature;
  • Display thorough knowledge of the most relevant guidelines on sustainability management, reporting and sustainability assurance;
  • Be able to explain the current theoretical and practical developments in the sustainability field, especially in relation to policy, performance management, accountability and reporting;
  • Understand strategic sustainability implementation in order to be able to access information on it and the way it is embedded in organizations;
  • 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;
  • Demonstrate a broad understanding of the most relevant challenges and competitive advantages related to the Social Responsible Investing (SRI) strategies;
  • Show knowledge of the guidelines for the creation of sustainability reporting and of the relative assurance engagements methods and techniques;
  • Define the scope and limitations of sustainability in relation to the fields of accounting, management accounting and finance;
  • Be in the position to demonstrate their ability to evaluate case situations and provide clear recommendations;
  • Present their thoughts and analysis in a well-structured and clear manner.
Course prerequisites
Basic knowledge of management accounting, strategic performance measurement and finance are advantageous.
4-hour individual written exam (open book):
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Written sit-in exam
Individual or group exam Individual
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration 4 hours
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Autumn Term
Aids allowed to bring to the exam Limited aids, see the list below and the exam plan/guidelines for further information:
  • Books and compendia brought by the examinee
  • Notes brought by the examinee
  • Allowed calculators
  • Allowed dictionaries
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
If the number of registered candidates for the make-up examination/re-take examination warrants that it may most appropriately be held as an oral examination, the programme office will inform the students that the make-up examination/re-take examination will be held as an oral examination instead.
Description of the exam procedure
PC exam on CBS computers with print.
It is not allowed to bring your own PC and printer.
No access to the internet and LEARN.
Access to personal S:/drive.
Before the exam starts information can also be uploaded from a USB-key to PC, then the USB-Key should be put away during exam.
Course content and structure

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): 2013, Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. Version 4.

Institut der Wirtschaftsprüfer in Deutschland (IDW): 2005, Germany Generally Accepted Assurance Principles for Audit or Review of Sustainability Reports (ED As).
Changes in course schedule may occur
Monday 09.50-13.20, week 36-42
Monday 09.50-14.15, week 43

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 08-08-2014