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Traditional financial reporting is often criticized for ignoring some of a company's most important economic assets and liabilities. On the assets side, mainstream accounting often ignores brands, human resources, intellectual property, supplier/customer relationships, and (more generally) the goodwill that accrues to a business through its involvement in the wider community. On the liabilities side, despite numerous attempts, accountants have been unable to develop a coherent framework for reporting on the risks, or contingent liabilities, posed by deleterious environmental and social policies.
This course introduces students to sustainability reporting, a system of analysis and reporting that attempts to bridge these gaps and provide a more expansive view of an organization's social and environmental performance, sometimes called the triple bottom line. Through lectures, cases, and a research project, we will examine markets for sustainability reporting and metrics that have been developed to supply information to these markets. The class will address a number of important topics, such as socially responsible investing, the Global Reporting Initiative, carbon disclosure, tracking and controlling product and labor standards in the supply chain, accounting for legal and environmental liabilities, and the role of intangible assets in long-run performance.
This is a future enrollment course. This course cannot be untagged.