Credits: 6

Schedule: 30.10.2019 - 12.12.2019

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Assistant professor Emma-Riikka Myllymäki

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation): 

Questions about the course should be asked primarily

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

Instructors' contact information:

Teaching Period (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

2018-2019: II (Fall 2018), Töölö campus

2019-2020: II (Fall 2019), Otaniemi campus

Learning Outcomes (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The main objective of this course is to foster students understanding about the possibilities and challenges of accounting for measure outcomes, report and assure corporate sustainability practices. The lectures will explore various theories within corporate social responsibility (CSR) and accountability. Through various teaching materials and learning activities students will be encouraged to critically evaluate the links between strategy, management control and accountability process in sustainable development.

After completing the course, students will be able to apply relevant theories and management accounting tolls to real life business cases and design sustainability plans and strategies for business in terms of external reporting (e.g. Sustainability Report), strategic management accounting and performance evaluation. Student will be capable to critically analyze environmental, social and economic responsibility of an organization and understands measurement problems related to these three dimensions. After following this course students will better understand relevant concepts and sustainability reporting frameworks, such as GRI and the “Integrated Reporting.” Student will also be able to explain differences between sustainability assurance and traditional auditing, as well as critically 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.

Content (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The course covers both the theories and the practice of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the modern organization, with a focus on external reporting (e.g. Sustainability Report) as well as on the necessary link between sustainability strategy and management control systems (or management accounting). Through various teaching materials and learning activities, you will be encouraged to apply the theoretical frameworks to business practice. This course, therefore, aims to offer you 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 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

1. Lectures and exercises 60 %

2. Exam 40 %

Workload (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

- Contact teaching 24 h

- Independent studying 132 h

- Exam 4h

Study Material (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

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

Unerman, J; Bebbington, J. & O’Dwyer, B. (2013). Sustainability Accounting and Accountability. Routledge.


Selection of research articles.

Details on the course materials (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 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

22E29000 Corporate Sustainability Reporting, 22C00700 Yhteiskuntavastuuraportointi.

Course Homepage (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020):

Grading Scale (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Registration for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Via WebOodi. Please see WebOodi for the registration dates.

Further Information (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Attendance on the first lecture is mandatory.


Registration and further information