Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


The main objective of this course is to foster students understanding about the possibilities and challenges of accounting for corporate sustainability practices in terms of reporting, assuring, and measuring outcomes.

After completing the course, students will be able to

- understand the role of accounting for corporate sustainability, and the relevant concepts within corporate sustainability from the accounting perspective

- understand and apply relevant sustainability reporting frameworks, such as GRI, SASB, and Integrated Reporting

- critically analyze environmental, social and economic sustainability reporting and initiatives of an organization 

- understand the role of sustainability reporting assurance

- understand the assumptions guiding corporate greenhouse gas accounting and respective indicators of carbon footprint.

- identify SASB financially material issues and respective performance indicators

- evaluate responsible investments and ESG ratings 

Implicit to its leaning objectives, this course also aims to improve students skills related to communicate ideas clearly, concisely, logically and effectively both verbally and in writing.

Credits: 6

Schedule: 30.10.2019 - 12.12.2019

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): Emma-Riikka Myllymäki

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Emma-Riikka Myllymäki, Eduardo Schiehll

Contact information for the course (valid 10.10.2019-21.12.2112):

Questions about the course should be asked primarily

  • during the lectures
  • in the course website (in MyCourses) --> General discussion

Instructors' contact information:

CEFR level (applies in this implementation):

Language of instruction and studies (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022):

Teaching language: English

Languages of study attainment: English


  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    The course covers both the key concepts and the practice of corporate sustainability in the modern organization, with a focus on external reporting (e.g. sustainability reporting) and performance assessment (e.g. ESG ratings). Through various teaching materials and learning activities, students will be encouraged to apply sustainability frameworks to business practice, and to critically evaluate the processes of reporting and accountability in organization's sustainable development. This course, therefore, aims to offer a holistic and comprehensive approach to study accounting for sustainability. Intensive participation on lectures is necessary in order to succeed the course.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Grounds for evaluation: examination, team assignments, and individual assignments

    Weight of the exam on the course is max 40%.

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Total 160 h, including

    - Contact teaching

    - Independent studying

    - Exam (3h)


Study Material
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Readings will be announced in the syllabus.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    Readings (Myllymäki)

    Standards (Link to GRI:

    KPMG Survey
    of Corporate Responsibility Reporting 2017

    Corporate Responsibility Barometer 2018

    Huang, X.,
    and L. Watson. 2015. Corporate social responsibility research in accounting.
    Journal of Accounting Literature 34: 1-16.

    Chen, J.C., and R.W. Roberts (2010). Toward a more
    coherent understanding of the organization–society relationship: A theoretical consideration
    for social and environmental accounting research. Journal of Business Ethics 97:651–665.

    Readings (Schiehll)


    A., Serafeim, G. (2018), Why and How Investors Use ESG Information: Evidence
    from a Global Survey, Financial
    Analysts Journal
    vol. 74 (3), pp. 87-103

    J. J., CLARK C. E. (2016). The business case for integrated reporting: Insights
    from leading practitioners, regulators, and academics.Business Horizons, 59(3), 273.

    R. G., Perkins, K. M., & Serafeim, G. (2012). How to become a sustainable
    company.MIT Sloan Management Review,
    (4), 43-50

    M., Serafeim, G., & Yoon, A. (2016). Corporate sustainability: First
    evidence on materiality.The
    Accounting Review
    , 91
    (6), 1697-1724.

    Scholtens, B. & Sievänen, R. (2013). Drivers of
    Socially Responsible Investing: A Case Study of Four Nordic Countries. Journal
    of Business Ethics
    , 115: 605–616.

    Epstein, M. J. and
    Roy, M-J. (2001). “Sustainability in Action: Identifying and Measuring the Key
    Performance Drivers.” Long Range Planning, 34(3): 585-604.

    Peloza, J. (2009).
    The challenge of measuring financial impacts from investments in corporate
    social performance.
    Journal of Management, 35(6), 1518-1541.

    Figge, Frank (2002). «
    The Sustainability Balanced Scorecard - linking sustainability management to
    business strategy », Business
    Strategy and the Environment
    , 11(5):269-284.


    From Transparency to Performance: Industry-based Sustainability reporting
    on Key-Issues.
    The Hauser Center for Nonprofit
    Organizations & Initiative for Responsible Investment


    Corporate Greenhouse Gas Accounting: Carbon Footprint Analysis

    UV2027 – Darden Business Publishing

    Frito-Lay North America: The Making of Net Zero Snack Chip

    - Darden Business Publishing

    Potentially also other material as defined by the instructors


    • List of readings
    • Lecture slides
    • Assignments
    • Discussions during the lectures

Substitutes for Courses
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    22E29000 Corporate Sustainability Reporting, 22C00700 Yhteiskuntavastuuraportointi.

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Introduction to Accounting (22A00110) or comparable course at another university.

SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    8 Decent Work and Economic Growth

    12 Responsible Production and Consumption

    13 Climate Action