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2023/2024  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 cand.merc. and GMA (CM)
Course coordinator
  • Cristiana Parisi - Department of Accounting (AA)
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 07-09-2023

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 Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance, see also the rules about examination forms in the programme regulations.
Individual or group exam Oral group exam based on written group product
Number of people in the group 2-4
Size of written product Max. 20 pages
Definition of number of pages:

Group of
2 students 10 pages max.
3 students 15 pages max.
4 students 20 pages max.

Students who wish to have an individual exam might be able to write a term paper in the course. Please see the cand.merc. rules for term pappers for more information.
Assignment type Project
Release of assignment Subject chosen by students themselves, see guidelines if any
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
15 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Autumn
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Retake exam is to be based on the same reports as the ordinary exam:

*if a student is absent from the oral exam due ti documented illness but has handed in the written group product she/he does not have to submit a new product for the re-take.

*if a whole group fails the oral exam they must hand in a revised product for the re-take

*if one student in the group fails the oral exam the course coordinator chooses whether the student will have the oral exam on the basis of the same product or if he/she has to hand in a revised product for the re-take.
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)

• 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 professor 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
Pre-recorded lectures 33 hours
Expected literature

Examples of course required and optional readings:


Bebbington, J. and Larrinaga, C. (2014), Accounting for Sustainable Development: and Exploration. Accounting Organizations and Society, 39, pp. 395-413.

Bebbington, J. and Rubin, A. (2022). Accounting in the Anthropocene: A roadmap for stewardship. Accounting and Business Research, (52)5, 582-596.

Ben-Amar, W., Comyns, B., Martinez, I. (2022), The COVID-19 pandemic : opportunity or challenge for climate change risk disclosure?. Accounting, Auditing, & Accountability Journal, online-first.

Cho, C. H., Laine, M., Roberts, R. W., Rodrigue, M. (2015), Organized hypocrisy, organizational façades, and sustainability reporting. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 40, pp. 78-94.

Figge, F. et. al. (2002), The Sustainability Balanced Scorecard. Linking sustainability management to business strategy. Business Strategy and the Environment, (11)5, 269-284.

Hansen, E. and Schaltegger, S. (2016). The Sustainability Balanced Scorecard: A Systematic Review of Architectures. Journal of Business Ethics, (133), 193-221.

Hopwood, A.G., (2009), Accounting for the environment, Accounting, Organizations and Society, 34, pp. 433-439.

Hubbard, G. (2009), Measuring Organizational Performance: Beyond the Triple Bottom Line. Business Strategy and the Environment, (18), 117-191.

Maas, K. et al. (2016), Integrating corporate sustainability assessment, management accounting, control, and reporting. Journal of Cleaner Production, (136), 237-248.

Nicholls, A. (2009), ‘We do good things, don’t we?’: ‘Blended Value Accounting’ in social entrepreneurship. Accounting Organizations and Society, (34), 755-769.

Orsato, R.J. (2009), Sustainability Strategies. When Does It Pay to Be Green?, Houndmills UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Parisi, C. and Bekier, J. (2022), Assessing and managing the impact of COVID-19: a study of six European cities participating in a circular economy project. Accounting Auditing and Accountability Journal, (35)1, 97-107.

Simnett, R. and Huggins, A.L. (2015), Integrated reporting and assurance: where can research add value?. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, 6(1), pp. 29-53.



Last updated on 07-09-2023