Learning/Assessment Task 2: Information about this Individual Assignment
Description: The internal report will relate primarily to material covered in Modules 3, 4, and 5 and the reflective personal journal will relate to material covered for modules 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, while assessing learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, and 4 identified in the marking rubric on the last page.
Due Date: 11:59 pm Sunday 20 October 2019
Word Length: Maximum Total of 4,500 words for answering all requirements. The length of the answers will vary among four (4) parts of the assignment and be commensurate with each Part’s requirements and marks awarded for that Part.
Weighting: 60 %
? Electronic submission via link (button) provided on the study desk.
? The submitted assignment will be processed through ‘turnitin’ automatically
? You can submit two files: (1) a Word document for the analysis, (2) a combined PDF file as evidence about any (good or bad) sustainability occurrences reported in (a) e-news articles, (b) company announcements, (c) any commentary by finance journalists, (d) court rulings against the company, or (e) other verifiable sources (i.e., NOT social media).
? Page margin should be 2.54 cm (1 inch) all around
? The font size should be Calibri 11 and line spacing should be 1.15 spaced (at least).
? The table (if any) should be professionally formatted
? Referencing: Please ensure that any ideas or data that you provide in your answer, other than your own original thoughts are properly referenced using the Harvard referencing style. A link to the university’s Harvard referencing style page is provided here http://www.usq.edu.au/library/help/referencing/havard.htm
? To receive marks for this assignment YOU MUST include your name and student number in your assignment file in the header of each submitted document.
? You may discuss, collaboratively with your fellow students, but you must not collude with other students or commit plagiarism to complete your assignment submission. For clarification about plagiarism and academic misconduct, such as colluding and cheating in the submitted document, please refer to the course specification and on the USQ website.
Please note the following important information
The course specification (available from the course homepage) contains information about:
• Assignment late policy
• Assignment extension policy
• Plagiarism and academic misconduct (such as collusion and cheating)
• The interpretation for this course for a ‘business day’ is opening hours: 8.00am - 5.00pm (AEST). Therefore, hours after 5 pm are not within the definition ‘part-business day’ and do not attract any penalty until the start of the next business trading day; any submission time after 8am on Monday is a ‘part-business day’.
• The submission of Part 2 is your own work and plagiarism detection software will be used.
Extensions are only granted in extenuating circumstances and will not be granted after the due date – you must contact the course leader (examiner) on or before the due date to seek an extension. Crashing of computers, too busy with other assignments and such reasons are not considered extenuating circumstances. You must organise your study time around these other commitments. Extensions will only be considered where supporting documentation is provided (e.g. doctor’s certificate). You must also provide a copy of your assignment in word file (even if incomplete) to show that you have attempted the assignment to a reasonable level, prior to the extenuating circumstances. Work commitments are generally not considered to be extenuating circumstances. Requests for extensions due to work commitments normally will NOT be granted. If you have had to do extensive amounts of overtime or work-related travel you must provide a supporting letter from your employer, which provides details of such circumstances.
Please note that late submissions will be penalised. It is your responsibility to submit your assignment on time; the due time and date is the LAST time and date for submission without penalty.
LENGTH: For the internal report (Part A and Part B), there is a maximum word length of 3,500 words (i.e., 3,500 words or less) for this 1.15 spaced internal report email/memo assignment. For the Reflective personal journal (Part D) there is a maximum word length of 1,000 words.
Most students should be able to cover (using Calibri 11 point font 1.15 spaced) the internal report
(email/memo) writing in 8-10 pages (Parts A, and B as well as part C, which is embedded in Parts A and B) and their personal reflective journal writing in 3-4 pages.
Your reference list or any appendices (if you find such attachments are warranted) should not be included in this word count.
Information about report writing is provided on the USQ website at http://www.usq.edu.au/learningcentre/assignment-skills/writing-assignments/report-writing.
This information includes sections that are included in a formal external report not an internal report. The letter of transmittal, Abbreviations and Glossary, Acknowledgements, and Introduction Sections are not required in an internal report.
The GRI Guidelines and GRI standards are available for free download from the GRI website: https://www.globalreporting.org/reporting/reporting-framework- overview/Pages/default.aspx Focus on core disclosures plus additional ones that may be relevant for this type of business. http://policy.usq.edu.au/documents.php?id=13703PL
The required format is different to a formal report example available at the link (i.e., do not use the format below because it is a formal external report not an internal informal report) http://www.usq.edu.au/learningcentre/assignment-skills/writing-assignments/report-writing The Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI): An analysis of ASX200 disclosure - Featuring climate-related risk, July 2017 https://acsi.org.au/images/stories/ACSIDocuments/generalresearchpublic/2017-Sustainability-
How to write an internal report
PART A of the body of your internal report
You have been assigned by your General Manager, Helen Ready, to assess SandFire Resources NL as a potential investment for your employer Ethical Investments Superannuation Management Fund (EISMF). SandFire Resources NL is a dynamic mid-tier Australian mining and exploration company which was listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in March 2004. The registered office, and headquarter, is located in Perth, Western Australia. The independent assurance statement was issued by Jeremy Leu, General Manager – Certification, Sustainability, Building & Infrastructure, Bureau Veritas Australia Pty Ltd. SandFire Resources NL’s operations are predominantly in Australian copper mining but it has mining interest in Canada, as well as solar electricity generation projects in Australia. The following information is an extract from the company’s website under the “about” button https://www.sandfire.com.au/site/About/our-vision-mission-and-values.
OUR VISION, MISSION & VALUES (please see summary below)
Sandfire’s vision is to build a sustainable, mid-tier mining company operating in the upper quartile of global performance benchmarks.
Sandfire is in the business of producing (mining, sic) base and precious metals safely and profitably from its operations for the benefit of its shareholders and stakeholders. Its focus is on three business elements:
• managing, safely, the productivity of our operations by optimising production and rigorously controlling expenditure at all times
• investing in exploration to increase the resource base of the Company by discovering new deposits
• securing assets that meet our investment criteria through business development initiatives and developing assets in accordance with a set of strict economic and technical criteria.
Sandfire’s values are designed to guide all who work for us (them, sic) in their day-to-day dealings with each other, competitors, customers and the community:
• safety - act safely and with care for the environment
• people - attract the best people and reward performance
• teamwork - encourage teamwork, respect and integrity
• communities - work with communities for mutual benefit
• improvement - strive for continuous improvement, technical excellences and innovation
• profitability - optimise profitability through effective operating practices and cost consciousness.
The sustainability reports for 2017 and 2018 and associated information are accessible through the links below Sustainability Reports:
2017 report: https://www.sandfire.com.au/site/PDF/2199_0/2017_sustainability_report 2018 report: https://www.sandfire.com.au/sustainabilityreport/2018/2/ Sandfire’s 2018 GRI Index in Appendix 1 of the Sustainability Report pp. 58-64:
https://www.sandfire.com.au/sustainabilityreport/2018/3/ Sandfire’s 2018 Data Tables: https://www.sandfire.com.au/site/PDF/2341_0/datatables2018 Sandfire’s 2017 Data Tables
Requirement for Part A (45 marks)
Provide an internal report to Helen so she can combine it with your internal report about other companies (see Part B) that she will present to the board of directors.
1. In your internal report (under a section named “SandFire Comparison”) you must:
1. Assess and compare the 2017 sustainability report to the 2018 sustainability report in relation to the G4 GRI Guidelines (or possibly the new GRI standards if used).
2. Provide your interpretation about which phase Sandfire is positioned within the six phases of sustainability based on the information in their “OUR VISION, MISSION & VALUES” provided (on page 1 of this document) and the information in the sustainability report for 2018. The six phases are identified by Suzanne Benn, Dexter Dunphy, and Andrew Griffiths (2014) Organizational Change for Corporate
Sustainability, 3rd ed., Routledge: UK and Mowen, M., Hansen, D., Heitger, D., Sands, J.,
Winata, L. & S. Su. (2019) Managerial Accounting: 2nd Asia-Pacific Custom Edition,
Cengage: Australia; chapter 5 in ACC8802 Textbook (see study schedule for Module 4-
Topic 2). 4 marks
3. Express you perceptions about the quality assurance provided by non-auditor and why you have formed that perception 3 marks
2. You should note in your comments using the following four questions:
1. What is the level of comprehensive reporting for areas of improved sustainability performance for the three aspects; economics, environmental and social (also considering the four (4) sub-categories of the social aspect) between the 2017 and the 2018 report?
2. Have the most relevant guidelines (standards) for this business been identified?
3. Does the report contain targets? 2 marks
4. How detailed (specified) are these targets? 2 marks
3. Comment on how “user-friendly” you found the report using the following three questions:
1. Was it easy to find the parts of the report relevant to a particular guideline? 2 marks
2. Was the report well referenced? 2 marks
3. Did it give a balanced view (negative as well as positive aspects)? 2 marks
4. Use the GRI index provided by the company in Appendix 1 as a starting point – but be critical using the following two questions:
1. What have they not covered? 2 marks
2. Have they appropriately identified issues as material? 2 marks
You will also need to download the G4 guidelines (from the study desk links
(http://www.globalreporting.org). and other material you believe are helpful. Please note: GRI G4 guidelines were replaced by individual GRI standards [GRI100 universal standards series and the topic specific standards series: GRI200, GRI300, and GRI400 series] https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/. You therefore may have to refer to the G4 GRI for the 2017 year and it is possible the specific GRI standard for the 2018 report as these standards took effect from 1 July 2018.
The body of your review and analysis does not need to cover all aspects of disclosure, but should be a general assessment with reference to the GRI Reporting Principles and Standard Disclosures. You should use the GRI Guidelines themselves (or possibly the new GRI standards). The Guidelines give examples of tests for assessment (e.g., ability to compare year to year, use of benchmarks, etc.). Also, comment on the material issues assessment and disclosure of Sandfire.
The key is to cover the main points (for this type of business) and to present it in a professional manner (a full report format is not required BUT the presentation should be business-like and neat and references are required). However, this is a general overview rather than a complete detailed review of all possible aspects.
PART B of the body of your internal report comparison of the quality of sustainability reporting (25 marks) BACKGROUND INFORMATON
You are asked to include in your internal report a comparison of the quality of in the 2018 sustainability reporting by two companies operating in the real estate industry group. Westfield Corporation at https://westfield2018sustainability.onyxinteract.com/ and Cromwell Property Group https://www.cromwellpropertygroup.com/__data/assets/pdf_file/0014/27122/2018_Sustaina bility_Report.pdf. Comparison should be between the latest on-line sustainability reports for the two companies. The purpose for this internal report is to establish EISMF’s best potential green investment opportunities. There is a significant difference in the reporting index scores in Table 6: Companies rated ‘Leading’ for the last four years between Cromwell Property Group and Westfield Corporation in their quality of the reporting found by the Australian Council of
Superannuation Investors, Corporate Sustainability Reporting in Australia https://www.acsi.org.au/images/stories/ACSIDocuments/generalresearchpublic/2018Sustainability-Report-FINAL-June-2018.pdf.
Compare changes in the quality of these two companies’ sustainability reports mentioned in the previous paragraph (in the four year, 2018, since the release of the 3rd edition of the ASX Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations in 2014), which encourages (for the first time).publicly listed companies to disclose exposure to economic, environmental and social sustainability risks.
ASX Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations 3rd edition link:
Please note that you should use the 3rd edition because the ASX Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations 4th edition was released in February 2019 and therefore companies would not yet be using it in their reports.
Requirement for Part B
Provide in your internal report the following information under a separate section named; “Cromwell Property Group and Westfield Corporation Comparison”.
1. What differences have you identified in the quality of the reporting about the four Aspects? Complete a comparison between these two companies? 8 marks
2. Has either company improved in its quality of sustainability reporting ranking compared to the quality reported the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors, Corporate Sustainability Reporting in Australia)? Discuss differences in the Aspects you have identified 8 marks
3. Assess, compare, and comment on the level of information contained and disclosed in each company’s latest sustainability reports to the G4 GRI Guidelines. 9 marks
PART C Professional Writing style, Conclusions, and Recommendations (10 marks)
You are required to develop separate conclusions based solely on your analysis under (1) Part A for SandFire and (2) Part B for Cromwell Property Group and Westfield Corporation.
Your recommendations for EISMF’s potential green investment opportunities must then be based on your conclusions (that is, no new discussion or analysis can be introduced into either your conclusions or your recommendations).Your report writing, sentence structure, and grammar must be prepared in a highly professional manner and format.
1. Communication: Be able to justify and communicate sustainability reporting accounting advice to accountants and non-accountants (should be free of 3 marks accounting-based jargon)
2. Presentation: Write a professional-style report, with appropriate headings, font, format, title page, table of contents, appropriate word choice, grammar, 3 marks spelling, and length and use of figures/tables/charts.
3. Consistent referencing style should be used throughout the report. The
2 marks reference list should include only references used in the report body.
4. Conclusions developed solely on your analysis under Part A and Part B 1.5 marks
5. Recommendations formulated and based on conclusions 1.5 marks
PART D Reflective journal of personal development (20 marks)
Your reflective personal journal should be completed separately to the internal report BUT in the same Word document under the heading “PART D Reflective journal of personal development”. Your writing should reflect on how your personal development has been aided by your completion of the two assessment tasks. An example of a reflective journal will be provided on the ACC8801 study desk. When completing your reflection journal on personal development, you should consider what you have learned by completing the various topics of the five (5) modules.
1. A reflective (not descriptive) discussion about what (prior to studying this course) you knew, or believed, about the nature and significance of the topic corporate governance, ethical and moral obligations, and social responsibility concepts and essential principles, AND the
topic’s relevance to your knowledge in your career as an accountant or manager.);
2. A reflective (not descriptive) discussion demonstrating how you have developed knowledge about the nature and significance of the particular topics about the impact on board and committee functions and structures and company officers’ training, induction, and behaviour to protect the interests of diverse stakeholders AND the topic’s relevance to your knowledge in your career as an accountant or manager. 4 marks
3. A reflective (not descriptive) discussion about what (prior to studying this course) you knew, or believed, about how to use the ASX principles of good corporate governance and corporate disclosure requirements; AND the topic’s relevance to your knowledge in your
career as an accountant or manager. 4 marks
4. A reflective (not descriptive) discussion demonstrating how you have developed knowledge about how using main theories and elements of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the topic’s relevance to your knowledge in your career as an accountant or manager.
5. A reflective (not descriptive) discussion demonstrating how completion of the assessment task required the use of sustainability accounting and integrated reporting of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles and the topic’s relevance to your
knowledge in your career as an accountant or manager. 4 marks
ACC8801 Assignment 2 TOTAL MARKS 60 (marked out of 100)
Due Date 11:59 pm Sunday 20 October 2019
Rubric - Assessment Criteria:
Learning Outcome Excellent (85=100%) Very Good (75-84%) Good (74-65%) Satisfactory (64-50%) Unsatisfactory ( 50%)
Part A & B
Apply and integrate the sustainability accounting reporting principles and practices (including the Global Reporting Initiative) into the development of sustainability
reporting /out of 70 marks • All assessing and reporting Aspects and comparison analysis without errors and at a very experienced management level. • Not without some errors in assessing Aspects and comparison analysis
but at a very experienced management level. • A number of errors in assessing Aspects and comparison analysis but at an experienced management level • Many errors in assessing Aspects and comparison analysis but at a lower experienced management level • Extensive errors in assessing Aspects and comparison analysis and at a low experienced management level.
Part C (related to the internal report in Parts A and B) Preparing an analytical report that identifies conclusions and ranks the relevant information required to make an investment judgement for a company.
/ out of 10 marks • Based on all key issues and made very clear and correct
• Easy to follow interpretations well linked. • Based on almost all of the key issues and made reasonably clear and mostly correct.
• Easy to follow interpretations well linked. • Based on over half of the key issues and made less clear and some correctness.
• Not as easy to follow interpretations well linked. • Not a strong interpretation of around half of the key issues (some missing).
• Weak argument.
• Some problems with interpretations. • Very poor interpretation of less than half of the key issues.
• Lacks explanation or justification.
• Seriously major problems with interpretations.
Provide personal reflections answering the five
/ out of 20 marks • Identifying, evaluating, and discussing the wellconstructed personal reflective thinking of five prompts with examples for each prompt
• Explanations easy to follow • Well-structured reflective thinking but not to the same indepth of identifying, evaluating, and discussing for all five prompts but with less explicit examples for each prompt
• Explanations easy to follow • Mostly well-structured reflective thinking but to a lower level identifying, evaluating, and discussing for all five prompts with less explicit examples and some description not reflection
• Explanations not as easy to follow • Some solidly structured reflective thinking but an even lower level identifying, evaluating, and discussing for all five prompts (e.g., less explicit examples and more description not reflection
• Explanations less easy to follow • Some sound structured reflective thinking but not identifying, evaluating, and discussing to an acceptable level all five prompts (e.g., no explicit examples and too many description not reflection
• Explanations not easy to follow
Total Possible marks / 100 Marks
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