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: 26.10.2020 - 07.12.2020

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 21.09.2020-21.12.2112):


Questions about the course should be asked primarily

  • during the class
  • in the course website in MyCourses: Chat 'General discussion'


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)

    • GRI
      Standards (Link to GRI:
    • Guide
      to corporate sustainability. United Nations Global Compact. (
    • SDG
      Compass. The guide for business action on the SDGs. (
    • International
      Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC). The international <IR> framework. (



    • Ballou, B., R. J.
      Casey, J. H. Grenier & D. L. Heitger (2012). Exploring the strategic
      integration of sustainability initiatives: Opportunities for accounting
      research. Accounting Horizons 26:2, 265-288.
    • Chen,
      J.C., & 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.
    • Brooks,
      C., & I. Oikonomou (2018). The effects of environmental, social and
      governance disclosures and performance on firm value: A review of the
      literature in accounting and finance. The British Accounting Review 50:1, 1-15.
    • Edgley,
      C., M.J. Jones, & J. Atkins (2015). The adoption of the materiality concept
      in social and environmental reporting assurance: A field study approach. The
      British Accounting Review 47, 1-18
    • Diouf,
      D., & O. Boiral. (2017). The quality of sustainability reports and
      impression management. A stakeholder perspective. Accounting, Auditing &
      Accountability Journal. 30: 643-667.
    • Safari,
      M., & A. Areeb (2020). A qualitative analysis of GRI principles for
      defining sustainability report quality: an Australian case from the preparers’
      perspective. Accounting Forum 44:4, 1-32.
    • Cohen,
      J.R., and R. Simnett (2015). CSR and assurance services: a research agenda.
      Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory 34: 59-74.
    • Maroun,
      W. (2018). A conceptual model for understanding corporate social responsibility
      assurance practice. Journal of Business Ethics 1-23.



    Articles and reports:

    • Amel-Zadeh,
      A., & Serafeim, G. (2018).
      Why and How Investors Use ESG Information: Evidence from a Global Survey. Financial
      Analysts Journal
      , 74(3): 87-103.
    • From
      Transparency to Performance: Industry-based Sustainability reporting on
      The Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations & Initiative for Responsible Investment
    • JetBlue
      Sustainability Report

    Case Studies:

    • Corporate
      Greenhouse Gas Accounting: Carbon Footprint Analysis.
      UV2027 – Darden Business
    • Frito-Lay
      North America: The Making of Net Zero Snack Chip. UV2025 - Darden Business

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.

Registration for Courses
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Via Sisu. Please see Sisu for the registration dates.

    If more students have enrolled by the enrolment deadline than can be accepted on the course, priority will be given to students based on their study right: 1. Master's degree students in Accounting and Creative Sustainability 2. Exchange students, CEMS students 3. Bachelor's students in Accounting who have completed more than 150 cr 4. Master's students in other majors 5. Bachelor's students in other majors who have completed more than 150 cr

  • Applies in this implementation:



    • mandatory pre-assignment that needs to be completed before the first lecture (see 'Assignments' --> 'Pre-Assignment, DL 25.10. 23:59' for more information)
    • classes will be organized in Zoom
    • exam will be also conducted online through MyCourses
    • Attendance on the
      first lecture is mandatory.
    • Some of the lectures
      will be held as shorter (30 minutes) tutorial sessions for smaller groups of
      students. Active participation in these tutorial sessions affects grading.


SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    8 Decent Work and Economic Growth

    12 Responsible Production and Consumption

    13 Climate Action