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


Credits: 6

Schedule: 01.11.2021 - 13.12.2021

Teacher in charge (valid for whole curriculum period):

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

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


Questions about the course should be asked primarily

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


CEFR level (valid for whole curriculum period):

Language of instruction and studies (applies in this implementation):

Teaching language: English. Languages of study attainment: English


  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    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.

  • applies in this implementation

    The major topics covered in the course include:

    • The link between corporate sustainability and accounting
    • The potential reasons for and consequences of sustainability reporting
    • Sustainability reporting landscape
    • The quality of sustainability reporting
    • Sustainability reporting assurance
    • ESG performance
    • ESG financial materiality
    • Principles of corporate GHG emissions calculations

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

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

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

  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Total 160 h, including

    - Contact teaching

    - Independent studying

    - Exam (3h)


Study Material
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Readings will be announced in the syllabus.

  • applies in this implementation

    READINGS (Myllymäki)

    GRI Standards (Link to GRI: 

    International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC). The international <IR> framework. (

    Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

    • Final report: Recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (
    • Alignment with other frameworks.

    Sustainable Development Goals disclosure

    • Business reporting on the SDGs: Integrating the SDGs into corporate reporting: A practical guide. GRI. UNGC.
    • Linking the SDGs and the GRI Standards.

    EU sustainability reporting

    A4S. Navigating the reporting landscape.


    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.

    Christensen, H.B., L. Hail, & C. Leuz. 2021. Mandatory CSR and sustainability reporting: economic analysis and literature review. Review of Accounting Studies 26: 1176–1248.

    Diouf, D., & O. Boiral. (2017). The quality of sustainability reports and impression management. A stakeholder perspective. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal 30: 643-667.

    Hahn, R. & M. Kühnen (2013). Determinants of sustainability reporting: a review of results, trends, theory, and opportunities in an expanding field of research. Journal of Cleaner Production 59, 5-21.

    Maroun, W. (2018). A conceptual model for understanding corporate social responsibility assurance practice. Journal of Business Ethics 1-23.

    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.


    Accounting for Sustainability: Practical Insights (2010) Edited by Hopwood A., Unerman. J. and Fries, J.


    READINGS (Schiehll)

    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 Key-Issues.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 Publishing

    Frito-Lay North America: The Making of Net Zero Snack Chip. UV2025 - Darden Business Publishing

Substitutes for Courses
SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    8 Decent Work and Economic Growth

    12 Responsible Production and Consumption

    13 Climate Action


Further Information
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Teaching Period:

    2020-2021 Autumn II

    2021-2022 Autumn II

    Course Homepage:

    Registration for Courses: In the academic year 2021-2022, registration for courses will take place on Sisu ( instead of WebOodi.

    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 session (see 'Assignments' --> 'Pre-Assignment, DL 1.11.' for more information)
    • approximately 40 % of the classes will be organized as hybrid (both in the classroom and in Zoom), and the rest of the classes will be organized online (in Zoom)
    • exam will be also conducted online through MyCourses
    • attendance on the first session is strongly recommended, since important information about the course arrangements will be provided
    • Part of the contact teaching will be held as tutorial sessions for smaller groups of students. Active participation in these tutorial sessions affects grading.