SUSTAINABILITY ACCOUNTING | Università degli studi di Bergamo - Didattica e Rubrica


Modulo Generico
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Scheda dell'insegnamento

Per studenti immatricolati al 1° anno a.a.: 
Insegnamento (nome in italiano): 
Insegnamento (nome in inglese): 
Sustainability Accounting
Tipo di attività formativa: 
Attività formativa Caratterizzante
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Settore disciplinare: 
Anno di corso: 
Anno accademico di offerta: 
Altri docenti: 
Leonardo RINALDI

Altre informazioni sull'insegnamento

Secondo Semestre
Obbligo di frequenza: 
Ore di attività frontale: 
Ore di studio individuale: 

It is strongly recommended to successfully pass the exams of Business Ethics before attending this course.

Educational goals

Sustainability is most commonly defined as meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It is characterized by three overarching concerns: maintaining ecological and environmental health; creating economic welfare; and ensuring social justice.

This module (Sustainability Accounting) introduces students to the theory, principles, practices and accounting/control techniques of sustainability.
Long-term, effective management and control requires an understanding of human-nature relationships, and social relationships and institutions

The role of accounting and control mechanisms and techniques will be also studied and investigated with regard to the embedding of sustainability-related issues in several social domains.

In particular, the module discusses and focuses on the concepts of accounting and accountability for sustainability, its processes, techniques and factors. In particular, the focus is on examining the conceptual boundaries of sustainability accounting, its related links with the notion of corporate social accountability and how this can be discharged by organizations. Sustainability Accounting, which is conceptualized as the “universe of all possible accounting”, is envisaged as the processes of discharging information, through several accounting media, about the “social and environmental” impacts of the economic activities of the organizations.
Upon successful modules completion, students will acquire the following skills.
Knowledge and Understanding:
- Understand the role that accounting can assume for sustainability
- Enrich the knowledge of accountability tools with specific reference to sustainability reporting
- Know how to prepare and analyse a sustainability report
Intellectual Skills:
- Think critically
- Ability to evaluate different approaches in sustainability reporting

Course content

The module covers the following topics and concepts:
- introduction to the concept of accountability
- introduction to corporate social reporting and social accounting of business firms.
- the context for social and environmental accounting: integrated understandings of sustainability
- the sustainability accounting: definition & conceptualization
- the roles of accounting in embedding sustainability in strategic and operational decision-making
- social and environmental reporting: approaches & tradition
- social and environmental reporting: influencing factors motives for social and enviromental reporting: from the strategic to the ethical approach
- social accounting and reporting standards: GRI, IICR, AA1000 and GBS
- EU directives on sustainability and ESG disclosure

Teaching methods

The module draws upon traditional teaching and learning strategies in terms of lectures and seminars, coupled with self-directed study. During the lectures it will be required to students to engage in dialogue and exchanges of views on different topics. The directed study component is designed to enhance the taught and post taught input. Students could be required to engage with directed study reading before the module begins to support lectures and seminars contents.

Assessment and Evaluation

The course is assessed by means of a written exam, which will focus on the theoretical and practical aspects. In particular, the exam consists of open ended, multiple choice and/or essay-type questions. Further, details of the assessment will follow in due course.
Each answer will be graded with a score from 0 to 30 and the final grade will be the average of the four grades.
Each student needs to achieve a mark of 18/30 or above in every module to obtain a ‘pass’ grade in the assessment. Any mark below 18 will be considered as a ‘fail’ and students will be required to retake the exam.
Results will be communicated to students through the formal platform ESSE2 or other formal University tool.

Clearness, synthesis, consistency and critical judgment will be given particular merit.
During the course case study analysis and/or specific assignments could be given to students. Students can choose to be evaluated on these assignments as a part of the final grade. In this case, they will be asked to answer only part of the exam. More information will be provided during the course.

Further information

This module will be delivered in the first semester.

Students with the exam of 12 CFU need to achieve a mark of 18/30 or above in every module to obtain a ‘pass’ grade in the assessment
Midterm exams are scheduled after completions of Module – Governing Sustainability.

Course handouts and teaching materials will be available on the elearning platform (Moodle space).
We strongly suggest you to subscribe to Moodle space to receive all and updated information about the course.

In case of provisions of the competent authority on containment and management of epidemiological emergency, the teaching may be subject to changes from what is declared in the syllabus in order to make the course and examinations in line with the regulations.