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2024/2025  KAN-CCBLV1032U  Environmental Social and Governance (ESG): data, accounting and reporting

English Title
Environmental Social and Governance (ESG): data, accounting and reporting

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Min. participants 40
Max. participants 100
Study board
Study Board for BSc and MSc in Business, Language and Culture, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Course Coordinator
    Caroline Aggestam Pontoppidan - Department of Accounting (AA)
Main academic disciplines
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Management
  • Accounting
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 16-02-2024

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of voluntary and mandatory standards and regulations that govern sustainability reporting ESG reporting and disclosures (including the EU Directive on Corporate Social Reporting (CSRD), European Sustainability reporting Standards (ESRS), Task Force on Climate-as well as nature related Financial Disclosures (TFND & TCFD)
  • Undertake calculations to prepare carbon accounts and explain carbon reporting
  • Be able to explain emerging theoretical constructs relating to ESG accounting and reporting within the literature
  • Be able to apply reporting the tools (SDG indicators, double materiality matrix, carbon accounting etc.) covered in the course, to real life cases to prepare ESG reports and disclosures
  • Critically analyse environmental, social and economic responsibility of an organization and understand data, measurement, reporting challenges;
  • Be able to critically analyze environmental, social and economic responsibility of an organization and understand data, measurement, reporting challenges
  • Be able to explain differences between sustainability assurance and traditional financial auditing
Prerequisites for registering for the exam (activities during the teaching period)
Number of compulsory activities which must be approved (see section 13 of the Programme Regulations): 1
Compulsory home assignments
A 5 page case study addressing ESG accounting and/or reporting written in a group of 2-4.
Students who due to illness or other excused absence cannot participate shall instead individually hand in a five pages assignment.
Environmental Social and Governance (ESG): data, accounting and reporting:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Project
Release of assignment The Assignment is released in Digital Exam (DE) at exam start
Duration 48 hours to prepare
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

This course provides students with an understanding of ESG governance at a global, regional (EU) and local (Denmark) level. The course is focused on providing ESG data and data quality; accounting for ESG and, disclosure and finance in the context of sustainability and social justice. At the end of the course, reporting on ESG and ESG disclosures in Annual reports. The course will address the interlinkages between financial reporting and ESG reporting.


Students will gain a sound theoretical understanding in the area if ESG accounting and reporting together with technical understanding that will equip students to understand, among other things; carbon accounting, materiality matrixes and voluntary versus mandatory ESG disclosures.


During the course we work with real questions from companies and a case question taken from practice. Close alignment between learning to apply standards such as the European Sustainability Standards (ESRS) and the theoretical understanding of ESG reporting.



Description of the teaching methods
Understanding how ESG reporting is prepared is increasingly important. Understanding and analysing ESG data and assessing its quality aims to stimulate students' curiosity about ambiguities in accounting and develop a high degree of analytical and critical thinking.

An essential part of the course covers ethical and societal dilemmas and the role of business in solving such humanity challenges as environmental threats, social problems, and sustainable development. We apply an inclusive view on the role of business within the ecosystem considering the ESG impact going from local communities to the global footprint.

Description of the teaching methods
Sessions have a blended format, including (1) pre-recorded lecture videos, (2) on-campus sessions where students have the chance to work in groups to solve exercises and discuss solutions. On campus, participation is essential to strengthen students' ability to collaborate and provide each other with constructive feedback in discussions. To stimulate an interactive learning environment, we do not record on-campus sessions.

Throughout the different sessions, students acquire ESG reporting knowledge by analyzing the different standars, regulations as well as ESG disclosures of diverse companies. The course focuses on companies with different institutional backgrounds, ensuring broader economic context coverage.

The teaching sessions comprise lectures and class discussions as well as practical exercises. Various mini case problems are considered, whereby students are expected to analyse and interpret the ESG accounts or reports of a company under certain conditions. In addition to the sessions there are workshops to work through more extensive ESG reporting and carbon accounting problems and to when required review the most important points of the lectures through supplementary exercises, and thus prepare students even better for the final examination.
Feedback during the teaching period
The course is supplemented by a partial blended learning approach with the use of video materials and online multiple-choice questions.

In addition lectures and workshops will provide extensive opportunities for questions and answers. Students are also encouraged to take full advantage of staff office hours to engage in advancing comprehension of the course objectives.
Student workload
Classes 27 hours
Workshop/Exercises 9 hours
Preparation for class 170 hours
Obligatory 16 hours
Final Examination 48 hours
Further Information

To the extent possible the teaching in the course will be streamed!

Expected literature

Refer to CANVAS for the final reference list prior to course start. Tentative literature below:


European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS)

EU Coroprate Sustainability Directive (CSRD)

EU Taxonomy


Bebbington, J. et al. (2019). Accounting and accountability in the Anthropocene, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Nov., 2019.


Buhmann, K. (2017). Neglecting the Proactive Aspect of Human Rights Due Diligence? A Critical Appraisal of the EU’s Non-Financial Reporting Directive as a Pillar One Avenue for Promoting Pillar Two Action.


Epstein, M.J. and Bucharov, R.A. (2014). Making Sustainability Work: Best Practices in Managing and Measuring Corporate Social, Environmental, and Economic Impacts. Second Edition. Green leaf Publishing Limited, 2014.


United Nations (2015). Transforming our world: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development ( https:/​/​sustainabledevelopment.un.org/​content/​documents/​21252030%20Agenda%20for%20Sustainable%20Development%20web.pdf)


United Nations (2015). Global indicator framework for the Sustainable Development Goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. ( https:/​/​unstats.un.org/​sdgs/​indicators/​Global%20Indicator%20Framework%20after%202019%20refinement_Eng.pdf)


TCFD (2017). Recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (https:/​/​www.fsb-tcfd.org/​publications/​)


TNFD Task Force on Nature-related Financial Disclosures


The Greenhouse gas protocol, A corporate Accounting and reporting standard, World Business Council and World Resource Institute

Last updated on 16-02-2024