Home / Executive Short Courses / Science / Fenner School of Environment and Society

The Fenner School of Environment & Society is a world-leading centre for cross-disciplinary environmental and sustainability research, education and policy-relevant advice.

Through cutting-edge research and insightful analysis, our academic experts create social, economic and environmental impact and deliver real-world solutions to address complex environmental challenges.

Introduction to Environmental Accounting

2024 Details

  • Dates: 2 – 6 December 2024
  • Times: 9am – 5pm
  • Enrolment Fee: $4900
  • Delivery Mode: Face-to-face

Environmental accounting is increasingly being used to support the development and analysis of government policy. Environmental accounting shows how different sectors of the economy affect the environment and vice versa. As the understanding of environment-economy interactions increases, the appropriate policy and business responses should become clearer. This professional development short course is designed to support those in government, business or NGOs interested in developing, implementing or using environmental accounts.

The course draws on expertise from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Australian National University and other institutions. It covers the theoretical and practical fundamentals of environmental and ecosystem accounting and places this into the public policy framework and other decision-making processes. Examples are drawn from around the world, and information resources are discussed and explored in practical workshops. Participants will have the opportunity to share experiences and are invited to use their own data for shaping into accounts.

Requisite Knowledge

No specific prior knowledge is assumed but it is expected that participants have worked professionally in disciplines related to environmental or ecosystem accounting, including environmental science, ecological economics, natural resource management, national accounting or statistics.

Teaching Staff

  • Michael Vardon, Fenner School of Environment and Society
  • Peter Burnett, ANU Law School
  • Steve May, Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • Carl Obst, Institute for Development of Environmental-Economic Accounting. Former head of ABS national accounts. SEEA Editor.
  • Dr Heather Keith,Griffith University

There will also be a range of guest lecturers.

Learning Outcomes

On successfully completing of the course participants will be able to:

  • explain the key features of environmental and ecosystem accounting
  • understand the range of information sources needed to compile accounts
  • identify issues to which environmental or ecosystem accounts could be applied
  • populate basic accounting tables with existing information
  • know where to find help and additional information on the concepts, data sources and methods.

In addition to knowledge of the accounts and their uses, course participants will develop the skills needed to manage a team with diverse knowledge and experience that is needed to produce and use environmental accounts.


All learning outcomes are addressed by each assessment task. Assessment takes four forms:

  • on-going assessment of class activities
  • field exercise
  • 90-minute written test
  • individual group assignment


  • In-person contact – 24 hours
  • Private study – 4 hours
  • Assessment – 4 hours

Course Fee

The course fee is $4900 and includes lunch and tea/coffee.

Do you get ANU credit from doing the course?

Completion of this professional short course does not provide ANU course credit or an ANU transcript.