Sustainability Accounting, Accountability and Management

The details
Essex Business School
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 13 December 2024
01 March 2024


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

This module aims to contribute to the students' understanding of sustainability accounting, accountability, and management (SAAM) practices that recently emerged, or are being developed, to address this unfolding global crisis, primarily from an organisational perspective.

The module introduces a range of existing and emerging SAAM practices, such as climate accounting (budgeting and investment), United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), sustainability reporting, climate finance, circular economy, sustainability-related regulations, and other reporting requirements. The module will also draw on practitioner expertise from guest lecturers.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To provide students with wider understanding of the role of accounting and accountability in SDGs and sustainability within a changing global environment.

  • To enhance student’s understanding of academic research on climate change and socio-economic inequality in the field of accounting, finance and management and how it pertains to the real-life context.

  • To support and encourage education and learning on UN SDGs, circular economy, accountability and stakeholder engagement.

  • To make students aware of contemporary developments in sustainability-related rules, regulations, frameworks and reporting practices.

  • To facilitate critical, analytical thinking as a foundation for students’ personal and professional development.

  • To contribute to students’ understanding of social and policy implications of climate change, social impact, crisis of inequality and management thereof.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Explain the role and importance of sustainability accounting, accountability and management practices

  2. Demonstrate an understanding of contemporary developments in climate change related rules, regulations, frameworks and sustainability reporting.

  3. Explain and analyse the relevance of UN SDGs, circular economy, social responsibility and accountability and stakeholder engagement.

  4. Evaluate the different applications of climate budgeting and investment in both public and private sector organisations.

  5. Evaluate contemporary perspectives on SAAM research, practice and policy (globally) (as provided by two guest lectures).

  6. Develop research skills and methods to conduct research on SAAM practices.

Module information


  • Sustainability and the role of SAAAM practice.

  • Corporate social and environmental accounting.

  • Public sector climate accountability (budgeting and investment).

  • Sustainability reporting frameworks (CSR/Sustainability reporting - GRE, IR, ESG).

  • UN SDGs (SDG Accounting).

  • Guest lecture one.

  • Climate finance and stakeholder engagement.

  • Circular economy, responsible supply chain and social impacts.

  • Addressing social inequalities (labour rights, modern slavery) - accountability and management.

  • Guest lecture two

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • One 2-hour lecture per week

Further details of the learning and teaching methods will be provided on Moodle (Module Outline and Reading list).



Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Reflection    10% 
Coursework   Essay    40% 
Coursework   Report/Case Study    50% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Bedanand Upadhaya, email:
Dr Bedanand Upadhaya, Dr Chaminda Wijethilake & Prof Pawan Adhikari



External examiner

Mr Ian Dewing
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information
Essex Business School

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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