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ACC3040 Sustainable Business

Semester 2, 2015 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Commerce

Contents on this page


Examiner: Christina James-Overheu
Moderator: Marie Kavanagh


Pre-requisite: ACC1101

Other requisites

Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at //


For a business to be sustainable there is a need to use both financial and non-financial indicators to assess the viability of current and future activities from a triple bottom line perspective economic, environmental and social impacts. This course uses environmental management accounting as a basis to examine sustainable business initiative, tools and techniques that can achieve improvements in the triple bottom line performance of business.


This course is based on Environmental Management Accounting (EMA) principles, to facilitate business sustainability. EMA serves as a mechanism to identify and measure the full spectrum of environmental costs relating to business activities and the financial costs and benefits of pollution prevention or cleaner processes, and to integrate these costs and benefits into day-to-day business decision-making. As such EMA has an internal company-level function and focus, rather than being a tool used for reporting and disclosing environmental costs to external stakeholders. It provides a basis upon which managers can make capital investment decisions, costing determinations, process/product design decisions, performance evaluation and many other decisions that direct future business direction. While it is not strictly bound by the AASB standards required for financial accounting and reporting, much of this internal information still needs to support a businesses' financial accounting system as it will flow through to financial reports and disclosures.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. understand and articulate the role of environmental management accounting in the sustainability of business organisations
  2. demonstrate problem-solving skills through the use of environmental management accounting skills necessary to advise and assist management in the sustainable strategy, planning, decision making and control of organisations
  3. demonstrate written communication skills by planning and writing a report
  4. demonstrate ethical research and inquiry by including an ethical dimension in problem-solving activities
  5. demonstrate academic and professional literacy through the research of current issues and debates in sustainable management accounting through the examination of techniques, theories, and research.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Understanding sustainable business and the role of environmental management accounting 5.00
2. The fundamental concepts of environmental management accounting 5.00
3. A framework for the environmental management accounting techniques 10.00
4. Material flow balance 10.00
5. Costing systems 10.00
6. Sustainable supply chains management 10.00
7. Investment appraisal 10.00
8. Performance appraisal 10.00
9. Greenhouse gas accounting and environmental management accounting 10.00
10. Software applications for environmental management accounting 5.00
11. Environmental management accounting links to environmental financial accounting 10.00
12. Emerging issues 5.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • There is no set text book for this course, but readings will be made available via the course Web site. The course is designed to be highly topical and relevant, therefore new materials may be added via the Web site. Students will be expected to access the course Web site on a regular basis.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • CPA Australia available at
  • Institute of Charted Accountants Australia available at
  • International Federation of Accountants, International Guidance Document (Environmental Management Accounting) available at
  • Students are expected to refer to relevant professional and academic journals to enhance their knowledge. For completion of the assignments, students are to refer to recommended references cited below. Some of the journals in various university libraries that would be of interest include: Journal of Cost Management; Journal of Management Accounting Research (AAA); Management Accounting Research (CIMA); Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal; The European Accounting Review; Ecological Economics; Environmental Modelling and Software; Journal of Accounting Education; Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Performance Evaluation; Accounting Forum.
  • United Nations Division for Sustainable Development, United Nations, New York, 2001 (Environmental management accounting: procedures and principles) available at

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 40.00
Directed Study 36.00
Private Study 89.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASST 1 - REPORT 100 10 14 Aug 2015
ASST 2 - CASE STUDY & REPORT 100 30 16 Oct 2015
2-HOUR EXAMINATION 100 60 End S2 (see note 1)

  1. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the official examination timetable has been released.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    External/Online: If you are an international student in Australia, you are advised to attend all classes at your campus. For all other students, there are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

    On-campus: It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    This is a restricted examination. Candidates are allowed access only to specific materials during the examination. The only materials that candidates may use in the examination for this course are:
    1. writing materials (non-electronic and free from material which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination)
    2. a calculator which cannot hold textual information (students must indicate on their examination paper the make and model of any calculator they use during the examination)
    3. an unmarked non-electronic translation dictionary (but not technical dictionary). A student whose first language is not English may take an appropriate dictionary into the examination room. A dictionary with any handwritten notes will not be permitted. Translation dictionaries will be subject to perusal and may be removed from the candidate's possession until appropriate disciplinary action is completed if found to contain material that could give the candidate an unfair advantage.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Referencing in assignments:
    Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide at //