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2021/2022  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
Start time of the course 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
  • Cristiana Parisi - Department of Operations Management (OM)
  • Cristiana Parisi - Department of Operations Management (OM)
Please find contact information for Student Hub, student Guidiance Services etc. on My.cbs.dk
Main academic disciplines
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Management
  • Accounting
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 19-02-2021

Relevant links

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 and circular economy. 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, circular economy, finance, accountability, and reporting; and the continuing debates within the literature.
  • Be able to explain the current theoretical and practical developments in the sustainability field, especially in relation to policy, performance management, accountability and reporting.
  • 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.
  • 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; and be able to present their thoughts and analysis in a well-structured and clear manner.
Sustainable Management Accounting and Finance:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Written sit-in exam on CBS' computers
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration 4 hours
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Autumn
Aids Limited aids, see the list below:
The student is allowed to bring
  • Non-programmable, financial calculators: HP10bll+ or Texas BA II Plus
  • Language dictionaries in paper format
The student will have access to
  • Advanced IT application package
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.
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

We live in a world of great challenges and high expectations in relation to the social and environmental footprint. Conscious attention to circular economy and sustainable development in the economic, environmental and social domains benefits 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 (NGOs), 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


• Circular Economy

• Sustainable Management Accounting

• 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

• Sustainable finance

• Socially responsible Investing (SRI)

• Sustainable Value Added (SVA)

• Social Return on Investment (SROI)

• Environmental Sustainability Indexes


The course is based on individual readings and combines lectures with group work and plenary discussions, plus case presentations.

Description of the 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 in the field. This course will benefit from the input of existing research projects on sustainability and circular economy developed by the researchers responsible for the course. The students will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience in the implementation of circular economy practices and relative tradeoffs.
Feedback during the teaching period
Individual feedback will be provided during office hours. Collective feeback will be provided through exercises in class and at the end of each lecture in the form of a collective recap of the main themes of the lecture itself.
Student workload
Readings and other preparations 124 hours
lectures in class 33 hours
Exam, incl. preparations 16 hours
Expected literature

Examples of course required and optional readings:


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.


Last updated on 19-02-2021