• Class Number 5219
  • Term Code 3360
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Sarah Adams
    • Dr Sarah Adams
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 24/07/2023
  • Class End Date 27/10/2023
  • Census Date 31/08/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 31/07/2023
SELT Survey Results

This course introduces students to the roles of corporations in society and their accountability, accounting and reporting issues in the context of sustainability and social justice. It examines issues in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), emphasising accountability for, and reporting of, the social and environmental effects of a corporation’s economic actions to stakeholders. This extends the corporation’s accountability beyond financial disclosures to shareholders and is predicated on the assumption that corporations have social responsibilities that are much broader than generating shareholder wealth.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. analyse the socio-economic context and roles of corporations in the context of sustainability and social justice
  2. explain the relevance of stakeholders in corporations and concepts of corporate responsibility, accountability and reporting
  3. apply developments and practices in corporate social responsibility, accountability and reporting
  4. identify regulatory and voluntary action in corporate social responsibility, accountability and reporting

Research-Led Teaching

With the exception of a small number of regulatory best-practice publications, the topics for this course are founded on research-based academic journal publications consisting of empirical, theoretical and review articles. 

Required Resources

Readings for the course are available online through the ANU Library. Links to relevant articles will be provided each week on Wattle.

Links to relevant recommended resources will be provided each week on Wattle.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Other Information


Any student identified, either during the current semester or in retrospect, as having used ghost writing services will be investigated under the University’s Academic Integrity Rule.



Email and the Wattle Course Website

Email and the Wattle course website are the preferred ways of communication.

If necessary, the lecturer and tutors for this course will contact students on their official ANU student email address. Students should use this email address when contacting staff as spam filters used by ANU may not allow other email addresses to be received. Information about your enrolment and fees from the Registrar and Student Services' office will also be sent to this email address.


Students are expected to check the Wattle site for announcements about this course, e.g. changes to timetables or notifications of cancellations.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Concepts of sustainability and responsibility
2 Stakeholders and the role of a corporation
3 Responsible investing
4 Strategic responsibility
5 Normative ethics Shareholder resolution (25%)
6 Natural Capital
7 Measuring, reporting, and accounting on sustainability
8 Key accounting frameworks of sustainability
9 Reporting on climate change
10 Greenwashing Business Report (30%)
11 Indigenous cultural issues
12 Alternative business models

Tutorial Registration

Tutorials will be held weekly on campus (starting from Week 2). Tutorial times will be made available via MyTimetable. Two weeks before the commencement of semester, please check the MyTimetable website for details of tutorial availability and release.

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities/tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

Please see Wattle for tutors’ information.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Shareholder resolution (25%) 25 % 24/08/2023 31/08/2023 1,2,3,4
Business Report (30%) 30 % 09/10/2023 23/10/2023 1,2,3,4
Tutorial Preparation (15%) 15 % 07/08/2023 18/08/2023 1,2,3,4
Reflective Essay (30%) 30 % 03/11/2023 30/11/2023 1,2,3,4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines , which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Integrity Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Course delivery: on-campus lecture (recording on Echo360) and weekly on-campus tutorials. Please check Wattle for details closer to the start of semester.

Attendance at all teaching events, while not compulsory, is expected in line with “Code of Practice for Teaching and Learning”, clause 2 paragraph (h).

Assessment Task 1

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 24/08/2023
Return of Assessment: 31/08/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Shareholder resolution (25%)

This assessment involves two items completed individually and submitted through Wattle:

(A)   Shareholder proposal (15%)

You will be required to prepare a proposal to a publicly-listed corporation of your choice, requesting that that the corporation undertake a course of action on a specific topic of your choice (e.g. climate change) at the corporation’s next annual general meeting. The proposal has two parts: (i) a short shareholder resolution outlining specifically the actions you desire the corporation to undertake; and (ii) a supporting statement clearly setting out the reasons why it should implement your proposed course of action. This will follow the format adopted by shareholder activists in Australia.

(b) Video to shareholders (10%)

You are also asked to prepare a 2-3 minute video to support your written proposal. You should imagine that this video is directed at other shareholders to convince them to support your shareholder resolution. Therefore, you should try to present a summarised version of your shareholder proposal, but in a compelling and interesting visual format (try to stand out from the crowd!). Try to ensure your video has a clear central message, and that it demonstrates your oral communication and presentation skills.

There will be a word limit for this task, any portion in excess of the word limit will not be considered in marking.

The specific requirements of the assignment, including assessment criteria and marking rubric will be released in Week 1.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 09/10/2023
Return of Assessment: 23/10/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Business Report (30%)

You will choose one of Australia’s largest corporations (i.e. from the ASX50) and will undertake a critical review of their most recent Sustainability or Corporate Responsibility Report. Your inquiry will be shaped by recent developments in reporting on sustainability and will require substantial independent research to inform the conclusions of the report. You will be required to draw upon the course content, existing reporting frameworks, and your own review of the scholarly literature on corporate sustainability disclosure. You are required to present your findings in a structured business report that will be submitted on Wattle.

You have the option to complete this assessment task individually or in a group. The requirements for group submissions will be slightly different.

There will be a word limit for this task, any portion in excess of the word limit will not be considered in marking.

The specific requirements of the assignment, including assessment criteria and details of the groupwork option will be released in Week 5.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 07/08/2023
Return of Assessment: 18/08/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Tutorial Preparation (15%)

You will be required to submit your prepared answers to set tutorial questions regularly throughout the semester. The tutorials in this course are discussion based, and rely on students being prepared for the tutorial to operate properly. It is vital that you come to class ready to interact with your colleagues and be exposed to the ideas of others. You will be required to submit your prepared tutorial responses for five (5) topics between Weeks 3-12 [either week 3 or 4; week 5 or 6; week 7 or 8; week 9 or 10 and week 11 or 12]. The tutorial questions are released in advance on Wattle. You must attend the tutorial if you wish to submit tutorial preparation for a topic. Each submission will be worth 3%. Your submissions will be submitted and graded on Turnitin.

More information will be provided in Week 1 for this assessment item.

Note: there will be no late submissions permitted for this assessment item (except with extenuating circumstances with evidence - e.g. medical certificate - that have been approved in writing by the Convenor); marks will be returned at the end of week 4 (the return date indicated in the assessment summary table); 6; 8; 10 and 12.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 03/11/2023
Return of Assessment: 30/11/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Reflective Essay (30%)

This assessment task involves two written items completed individually and submitted together via Turnitin on Wattle.

(A)   A learning journal (10%)

You are required to regularly record your learning journey through the course over the semester. It is suggested that this is completed every 1-2 weeks. It is important that this journal is reflective, and not descriptive. That is, the journal should not simply record what you have learned that week (i.e. don’t summarise the course materials), but also show the development of your thoughts and ability to apply concepts and theory.

(B) A reflective essay (20%)

Students are required to prepare a reflective essay on their learning in the course over the semester, and responds to a set question. It is important that this essay is reflective, not descriptive.

There will be a word limit for this task, any portion in excess of the word limit will not be considered in marking.

As you may not be familiar with reflective assessment, there will be a range of supports made available for completing this assessment available from Week 1.

More details about the requirements of this assessment task will be provided in Week 1, including the detailed rubric that will be used to mark this assessment item.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission permitted. Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Returning Assignments

Feedback on assignments will be provided via the Turnitin system and the Wattle grade system.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

The resubmission of assignments in not permitted in this course.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Sarah Adams
(02) 6125 4857

Research Interests

Corporate social responsibility, social impact, not-for-profits, mutuals and cooperatives.

Dr Sarah Adams

Tuesday 12:00 14:00
Tuesday 12:00 14:00
Dr Sarah Adams
(02) 6125 4857

Research Interests

Corporate social responsibility, social impact, not-for-profits, mutuals and cooperatives.

Dr Sarah Adams

Tuesday 12:00 14:00
Tuesday 12:00 14:00

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions