ACCT2190 Understanding Global Accounting Practices through an International Study Tour

| August 19, 2015

ACCT2190 Understanding Global Accounting Practices through an International Study Tour – Postgraduate (July 2015)
Major Assignment
Sustainability Reporting in the United States
Marks: 40%
Format: Word document, 1.5 line spacing, 11 point font, minimum 2 cm margins
Referencing: Fully referenced (in-text) plus reference list, both using the Harvard referencing style
Submission: Electronically via course Blackboard site (includes automatic submission to Turnitin)
Overview of assignment requirements: You are required to write an essay that addresses the questions listed for one of the following two question options. These questions are linked to specific organisations that we are visiting on the tour. This major assignment is due after we have returned from the tour, but will require you to consider asking organisational representatives relevant questions whilst you are on the tour. Therefore, you should consider which option you will be answering before we undertake our host visits.
Option 1: Visit to Pepsico
1. As a result of reading Pepsico’s most recent Sustainability Report and GRI Report (both available at http://www.pepsico.com/ > What We Believe > Sustainability Reporting), and having had the opportunity to talk with senior managers from the company, you are required to answer the following questions relating to Pepsico’s sustainability practices and reporting:
(a) Discuss the factors that appear to be motivating Pepsico to produce detailed sustainability performance reports, given there are very limited mandatory requirements for them to produce this information (which is in contrast to financial performance reporting which is heavily regulated);
(b) Discuss what aspects of its social and environmental performance Pepsico seems to be particularly focused on improving;
(c) Suggest which stakeholders are perceived by Pepsico to be particularly interested in its social and environmental performance and in contrast, which stakeholders they perceive to be relatively disinterested;
(d) Discuss whether Pepsico perceives that shareholders are, on average, prepared to sacrifice financial returns for improved corporate social and environmental performance;
(e) Looking to the future, explain any perceived threats and opportunities that Pepsico has identified with respect to its social and environmental performance.
2. Pepsico is a member of the IIRC business network and was a participant in the IIRC Pilot Programme underpinning the development of Integrated Reporting globally. You are required to:
(a) Explain what Integrated Reporting is, and how it differs from Sustainability Reporting;
(b) Discuss the structure and function of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), and explain the purpose of the IIRC Pilot Programme (now concluded);
(c) Suggest reasons for Pepsico’s involvement in the IIRC Pilot Programme and possible benefits to Pepsico.
or
Option 2: Visit to Mastercard Global
1. As a technology company operating in the global payments industry, Mastercard Global goes to great lengths to demonstrate corporate social responsibility. Having had the opportunity to talk with senior managers from the company, and using the resources provided at http://www.mastercard.com/corporate/ourcompany/ > Corporate Responsibility, you are required to discuss the following questions:
(a) How have Mastercard Global’s managers’ perceptions of community expectations changed across time (for example, in relation to such issues as environmental protection, human rights, supplier diversity, and social and financial inclusion) and how have these changing perceptions influenced the operating and accountability practices of Mastercard Global?
(b) What aspect of Mastercard Global’s activities might be considered to contribute most heavily to environmental pollution/degradation? What steps are being taken by Mastercard Global to reduce their impact on the environment, and how and where are the policies and results of these steps being reported to the public?
(c) Does Mastercard Global monitor the social, economic and environmental responsibility practices of organisations within its supply chain, and how and where do they report the results of such monitoring?
(d) Comment on Mastercard Global’s Corporate Philanthropy philosophy and practices, and discuss how and why these are reported.
(e) Do you think that Mastercard Global’s management perceives that shareholders are, on average, prepared to sacrifice financial returns for improved corporate responsibility performance?
2. Having had the opportunity to talk with senior managers from the company, and using the resources provided at http://www.mastercard.com/corporate/ourcompany/ > Investor Relations > Corporate Governance, you are required to answer the following questions:
(a) How have the governance policies of Mastercard Global (for example, reporting practices, management remuneration plans, etc.) changed as a result of changing community expectations, and how and where are these governance policies publicly disclosed?
(b) Does Mastercard Global provide any indication that it follows published corporate governance guidelines (for example, OECD Principles of Corporate Governance, NYSE Corporate Governance rules, etc.), and do you believe this would be valued by stakeholders?

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