Accounting and the Triple Bottom Line
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Accounting and the Triple Bottom Line

Understand how to account for externalities, social and environmental assets and how to create integrated reporting
3.5 (2 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
7 students enrolled
Created by Kevin Wilhelm
Last updated 7/2015
Current price: $10 Original price: $30 Discount: 67% off
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  • 33 mins on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Understand how sustainable investments are outperforming the Dow Jones Industrial Average by reviewing examples of social responsible investments vs. the DJIA
  • Compare changing accounting standards and their relationship with how businesses may need to change what they track and measure
  • Understand how to show accurate company social and environmental performance
View Curriculum
  • no extra software needed
  • basic understanding of accounting and business finance

By measuring the financial, social and environmental performance of an organization and looking at it holistically instead of just looking at the financial bottom line will illuminate the impacts and opportunities a company may have, not only from a traditional business sense but from a social and environmental perspective. In this module you will learn how to measure the financial, social and environmental performance and see examples of companies that have integrated this Triple Bottom Line approach into their reporting with great success.

You will leave the course being able to calculate the business benefits of sustainability and understand the best methods for tracking social and environmental impacts and metrics for an organization.

Who is the target audience?
  • students should have a basic understanding of accounting and/or business reporting to gain full understanding of triple bottom line accounting and integrated reporting
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Curriculum For This Course
Accounting and the Triple Bottom Line: An Introduction
4 Lectures 09:02

In this lecture, you will learn how new, triple bottom line accounting principles differ from traditional principles, namely in the area of assigning a value to social and environmental “externalities.”

Preview 01:54

This lecture provides an introduction to the concept of the triple bottom line, which incorporates social, environmental and financial measures into business decision making. Over time, companies that follow triple bottom line principles have outperformed traditional businesses.

Preview 01:28

Businesses are increasingly integrating sustainability metrics with traditional financial metrics. Learn about new markets with which companies are interacting to improve social and environmental performance in a way that benefits the bottom line.

Preview 01:42

See how policy and governments are approaching monetizing externalities such as cap and trade and constitutional rights.

Preview 03:58

test your understanding for Section 1 of Accounting and the Triple Bottom Line

Quiz 1: Introduction - Accounting and the Triple Bottom Line
2 questions
Valuing Intangible Assets
8 Lectures 12:52

This lecture provides an introduction to the idea of how to assign a value to intangible assets within a company. As more and more accountants, auditing firms and investors are asking about the triple bottom line (social, environmental financial), annual reports are increasingly finding ways to incorporate these intangible assets into reporting.

Preview 02:06

What are the benefits of triple bottom line accounting over traditional methods? Hear about how managing social and environmental impacts can safeguard companies against a variety of risks and open them up to new business opportunities.

Accounting for Intangibles

This lecture breaks down the acronyms in the space of integrated reporting, a more holistic way to report on company value creation. Learn about two big players in this area: the International Integrated Reporting Committee (IIRC) and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB).

Integrated Reporting

Learn how National Australia Bank incorporates its sustainability strategy into its financial report.

Integrated Report Case Study - Australia Bank

Learn how Marks & Spencer integrated their financial and environmental considerations into their annual report.

Integrated Report Case Study - Marks & Spencer

Delve into how the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) helps organizations prioritize sustainability issues and introduces their Materiality Map for specific industries.

Determining Materiality & the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)

Learn how Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) enable decision makers to better understand, forecast and communicate their performance. Real world examples of how Bloomberg, Reuters and Trucost are utilizing financial information to project what a company's social and environmental performance will be within specific KPIs.

Creating Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

See an example of how a company created relevant KPIs that aligned with their internal initiatives and external reporting requirements.

Example Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Quiz 2: Valuing Intangible Assets
4 questions
Reporting and Triple Bottom Line Metrics
7 Lectures 11:12

This lecture introduces which global reporting agencies are asking social, governance and environmental questions and how their questions compare. Organizations discussed include the CDP, International Finance Corporation, Global Reporting Initiative among others.

Reporting Agencies Asking Social, Governance and Environmental Questions

Learn how two organizations took different approaches to integrating social and environmental criteria and questions with their financial information. Organizations discussed include Puma and Duke Forests.

Triple Bottom Line Accounting Case Studies

Learn how Puma incorporated sustainability into their traditional Profit & Loss statements. Specific areas of focus included water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Triple Bottom Line Accounting Case Study

Learn how Duke Forests assigns an economic value to an ecosystem and its services, taking into consideration the benefits of the wetlands surrounding the forest.

Ecosystem Valuation Comparison Case Study - Duke Forests

Learn how Seattle vetted restoring the Duwamish wetlands versus building a waste water treatment plant and how valuing the ecosystem resulted in their decision and helped the City save money and enrich its local environment.

Ecosystem Valuation Comparison Case Study - Duwamish

Explore how global organizations are asking social and environmental questions in addition to traditional financial metrics to better evaluate a company and understand their true impacts.

Integrating Triple Bottom Line Metrics

Wrap up of Accounting and Triple Bottom Line key takeaways from this class.


This quiz will test your understanding on section three of Accounting and the Tripble Bottom Line

Quiz 3: Reporting and Triple Bottom Line Metrics
2 questions
About the Instructor
Kevin Wilhelm
3.8 Average rating
7 Reviews
38 Students
5 Courses
Acclaimed Author. Inspiring Speaker. Sustainability Expert.

Kevin Wilhelm is the world’s pre-eminent consultant in the field of business sustainability and climate change. He is the CEO of Sustainable Business Consulting & Education, a Seattle-based company focused on delivering business value through the integration of sustainable business practices. He is also an acclaimed author, speaker and teacher and has developed a series of online courses and modules around sustainability for both the corporate and academic markets.


Kevin brings over 19 years of experience working with 95+ businesses ranging across 23 different industries from Fortune 50 multinationals to medium-sized businesses. Some of his firm’s clients include Nordstrom, Amazon. com, REI, Alaska Airlines, The North Face, Redbox/Outerwall, Expeditors, Real Networks, Drugstore. com and Brooks.


He is the author of two acclaimed books in the field of sustainability: “Making Sustainability Stick: The Blueprint for Successful Sustainability Implementation”and “Return on Sustainability: How Business Can Increase Profitability & Address Climate Change in an Uncertain Economy.”

Kevin has written over 20 published articles on sustainability for organizations such as Sustainable Industries, Triple Pundit and Environmental Leader and was a contributing writer to three additional books:

    §“Green Jobs: a Guide to Eco-Friendly Employment,”

    §“Advancing Sustainability in Higher Education” and

    §“Go Green Rating Scale for Early Childhood Settings.”


Kevin has created course content and taught over 10 different graduate level courses on sustainable business at three different universities. His courses include:

  • Foundations of Sustainability
  • Intro to Sustainable Business
  • Triple Bottom Line Accounting
  • Sustainability as Strategy
  • Sustainability and Economics
  • Stakeholders and the Bottom Line (Finance)

    §Sustainable Marketing

    §Sustainable Finance

    §Sustainable Operations

    §Management for Sustainability

    §Advanced Business Modeling