Measuring Sustainability in Accounting and Finance

ENE432 Measuring Sustainability in Accounting and Finance

Autumn 2018

  • Topics

    Organizations are required to report how sustainable their operations are, i.e. how the environmental and social resources that future generations should inherit are affected by the operations. Recent regulation in both EU and Norway has made it mandatory to report a company's sustainability impact. Despite the regulation, expertise in how to measure sustainability performance is still rare. Consequently, the set of knowledge and skills taught in this course is both much needed and valued by employers.

     

    In this course, we analyze different ways of measuring sustainability with common accounting and finance techniques. Which are the methods, techniques and standards for measuring and evaluating sustainability? What can these measurements tell us? What are their limits? How can they be used in a meaningful way?

  • Learning outcome

    Upon completion of the course the students should be able to:

    Knowledge:

    • account for important sustainability accounting and finance concepts and initiatives with reference to academic literature
    • discuss the strength of but also limits to accounting and finance methods for measuring sustainability

    Skills:

    • propose suitable sustainability accounting and finance methods
    • master common sustainability accounting and finance methods and handle their limits

     

    General competence:

    • analyse sustainability measurement from an academic perspective
    • analyse sustainability measurement from a professional perspective
    • communicate appropriately and succinctly, in written and oral presentations, to both academic and professional audiences

  • Teaching

    In class, we discuss the most important sustainability accounting and finance concepts and initiatives as decribed in the course literature. We discuss the strength of but also limits to the accounting and finance methods by examining real life cases, for example how Statkraft measures the sustainability of their hydropower projects. To be able to participate in these discussions, students are expected to read the course literature and watch related videos on Itslearning before class.

     

    At the end of the course, students should be able to propose suitable sustainability accounting and finance methods and master them on a basic level. To acquire these skills, we work with a case throughout the course. We work with the course case in groups and each group presents and receives feedback on their work at different stages. The final report and presentation is a course requirement.

  • Requirements for course approval

    Group presentation of course case. Graded approved/not-approved

  • Assessment

    Course case group work (in groups of three or four students), written hand-in, accounts for half of the course grade

    Individual 4 hours home exam, accounts for half of the course grade

  • Grading Scale

    A-F

  • Computer tools

    Students are encouraged to bring laptops or tablets to class so that they have the Canvas documents available during sessions.

  • Literature

    The literature consists of academic articles and book chapters and is available on Canvas

Overview

ECTS Credits
7.5
Teaching language
 English
Semester

Autumn. Offered Autumn 2018

Course responsible

 Adjunct Associate Professor, Sabina Du Rietz, Department of accounting, auditing and law