Competentboards - ESG & Climate Education Programs

ESG Certificate Program

ESG Certificate Program

12 Sessions

Instant Access to Materials




Gain the ESG mindset leaders of today need to adapt, transform and pivot to a new global reality

Designed by and for board members, executives, investors, and those who advise them. Demonstrate you are future-fit with a certificate from our highly reputed global ESG Certificate Program.

What you'll get from this self-guided program

Helle Bank Jorgensen

Competent Boards programs are designed and led by Helle Bank Jorgensen, a 30 year ESG veteran and author of Stewards of the Future: A Guide for Competent Boards. Helle is a member of the Nasdaq Center for Board Excellence’s Sustainability & ESG Insights Council; the World Economic Forum’s Expert Network for Corporate Governance, Leadership, and Emerging Multinationals; and HRH Prince of Wales A4S (Accounting for Sustainability) Global Expert Panel.

Helle Bank Jorgensen


Strategic Session Topics

  • Discuss how major global events, such as climate change, the war in Ukraine and ongoing pandemics, are changing stakeholders’ expectations of companies

  • Understand how business trends, such as the “Great Resignation”, the use of data and social justice are shaping the future of work

  • Look at organisational purpose and how to ensure it adds value

  • Study the tidal wave of guidelines, regulations and ESG reporting frameworks that are impacting the ability of businesses to operate

  • Examine new business models such as stakeholder capitalism, the circular economy, regenerative and net-positive businesses, and the 5th industrial revolution

  • Understand how asset managers, hedge funds, high-wealth individuals and proxy advisors are impacting boards of directors and board agendas

  • Study the fast-evolving views and understandings of fiduciary duty across regions

  • Explore the role of board committees in embedding ESG in business strategy

  • Learn how to lead and plan to ensure business continuity during major disruptions such as geopolitical upheaval, climate change, pandemics, societal changes and digital innovation

  • Identify how a board of directors can fulfil its critical strategic role and set the cultural tone from the top

  • Understand how to balance short-, medium- and long-term goals, objectives, compliance and accountability

  • Examine the board’s role in shareholder and stakeholder communications, including creating trust and integrity

  • Study how incentives can drive wanted or unwanted behaviour

  • Scrutinise oversight, accountability and the role of the board committees

  • Learn how to address shareholder expectations, letters and proposals, ratings and rankings, activist investors, and disclosure expectations

  • Learn about the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how regulatory trends and government incentives affect them in different parts of the world

  • Understand how companies and investors are embracing the SDGs and using them for innovation and investment

  • Explore the use of the SDGs as a common language to communicate with stakeholders

  • Examine how to use the SDGs framework as a strategic tool to understand your company’s biggest pain points to determine risks and new opportunities

  • Examine the link between the SDGs and ESG, as well as a company’s purpose and licence to operate and grow

  • Discover how global events and megatrends have prioritised and accelerated the implementation of SDGs by businesses and governments

  • Take a closer look at why and how climate change impacts the global economic and socio-economic outlook.

  • Learn how climate change affects businesses, supply chains, customers, employees and society

  • Assess short-, medium- and long-term transitional, regulatory, insurance and political risks

  • Discover how to seize opportunities within renewable energy, carbon markets and a just transition

  • Discuss the concept of net zero and using science-based goals around emissions, such as Scope 1, 2, 3 and 4 commitments, actions and reporting

  • Examine the growing expectations for asset managers, proxy advisors and investors around initiatives such as Climate Action 100+ and the UN Principles for Responsible Investment

  • Learn how companies, investors, insurance companies and regulators are responding to growing demands for climate action

  • Understand scenario analysis and disclosure expectations, as well as adaptation, mitigation, and transition strategies

  • Learn about the relevant regulatory bodies and non-regulatory bodies: SEC (US), European Union, International Sustainability Standards Board and Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures

  • Learn about the growing expectations for disclosure around ESG topics and how companies are best responding to those demands.

  • Look at what investors are asking for and why does that matter

  • Get under the skin of ESG in businesses to see the difference between greenwashing and successful corporate sustainability 

  • Uncover how ESG disclosure issues are leading to securities class actions and civil litigation

  • Understand ESG ratings, rankings, indices and integration frameworks, as well as materiality risk and opportunity assessments

  • Discover why financial materiality assessments are integral for companies to embed ESG in strategy and board oversight

  • Anticipate future trends and new requirements, while learning how to integrate emerging risks into enterprise risk management (ERM) frameworks

  • Scrutinise oversight, accountability and the role of the board committees

  • Learn about the impact of environmental and social disasters on supply chains, and how to identify, assess and manage important risks

  • Examine whether child labour, forced labour, modern slavery or other human-rights issues exist in your business supply chain

  • Understand the impact of your products on the natural world, such as water scarcity, air pollution and deforestation

  • Come to grips with compliance, looking at existing and emerging regulations as well as how to disclose support for major international norms and soft law initiatives

  • Understand how to create mutually beneficial long-term relationships with suppliers

  • Learn how to avoid supply shortages and reputational setbacks, plus align procurement with incentives

  • Define the expectations from investors, proxy advisors, and society to encourage diversity in the workplace

  • Learn how to foster a pipeline of diverse talent into and through your company and achieve diversity of thought

  • Understand the full spectrum and business value of diversity, as well as the regulations around it

  • Learn how to address employee misconduct and workplace culture issues

  • Identify the many forms of diversity — including culture, race, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender, disability, socioeconomic background and lived experiences — and the value they bring

  • Address the power of data, the barriers to progress and best practices for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace

  • Understand the importance of mental health and wellness at work

  • Examine the relevant laws and regulations for DEI in a business, looking at board composition and structure, oversight, accountability and the role of the board nomination committee

  • Learn performance evaluation methods, incentives, and accountability

  • Learn the changing risks and expectations associated with anti-corruption, integrity, ethical practices and transparency

  • Understand the steps companies can take to reduce fraud and corruption at work, including facilitation payments

  • Examine public and self-disclosure, including the importance of company reputation matter in decision-making

  • Understand how to manage and oversee investigations 

  • Learn how to anticipate new forms of corruption, such as cybercrime and dark money, as well as the misuse of private and public goods

  • See how to build public trust, relations and reputation

  • Navigate the political involvement of companies and businesses

  • Develop questions to ask management to test the robustness and effectiveness of its anti-corruption approach

  • Learn the business impact of the digital revolution, including the hybrid workplace, big data and AI-generated opportunities

  • Examine the ethical use of data, including collection, stakeholder privacy concerns and managing confidential information as part of a company’s cybersecurity strategy

  • Consider the balance between increased organisational and personal data protection against using data for good 

  • Understand how cyber risks can affect whether stakeholders view a company as acting responsibly

  • Learn about business continuity through disaster containment and recovery in the face of cyber-attacks

  • Examine antitrust laws and stakeholder expectations, including how to manage online propaganda and “fake news”

  • Understand how cybersecurity ties into the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

  • Learn the latest global trends in taxation, investments and pay policies that will help drive ESG best practices at your business

  • Uncover when tax optimization is no longer carried out in a responsible manner

  • Understand the cost of ownership in a volatile world, looking at the dilemmas you face when making long-term investments

  • Learn what information you need to make well-informed capital investment and capital expenditure (CapEx) decisions

  • Uncover how to incentivize leadership for ESG in the short, medium and long term

  • Examine the ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on tax, investment and pay strategies, including income inequality

  • Look to the future changes in global tax policies that will drive ESG investments

  • Learn and manage the material issues that you need to communicate to your shareholders and stakeholders.

  • Uncover how to deal with the rise of shareholder activism, including best practices in engagement strategies before and after the proxy season 

  • Examine common standards and frameworks, such as the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) and Task Force for Climate-related Disclosures (TCFD)

  • Study regulations and requirements, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Dodd-Frank Act, human capital accounting and stock exchange requirements

  • Look at future trends in reporting

  • Learn what good governance means now, and how that will evolve in the future

  • Recap the previous 11 modules and see how that knowledge impacts the future of governance at your company

  • Get ready for the evolving role of the board, executives, shareholders and other stakeholders

  • Learn what it means to be a steward of the future — including having good judgement, courage and asking meaningful questions

Session Information

Session Materials

Requirements to Complete

Endorsed by the Good Governance Academy

Pricing of ESG Certificate Program

Canadian sales tax only applies if you reside in Canada.

Full Certificate Program


Individual Sessions


Compare ESG Programs

What you get Designation Program Certificate Program ESG Lite
Live, interactive discussion and Q&A with global experts and fellow cohort members
No. of modules/sessions
Designation (GCB.D)
Certificate of Completion
Credly™ digital credential
Current, real-life case study analysis and discussion with fellow cohorts and speakers
World-class faculty
Program duration
24 weeks (12 sessions bi-weekly)
Up to six months
4 weeks (1 session per week)
Monthly live Q&A session with Helle Bank Jorgensen and other program members
In-depth leader insight videos with renowned global experts
Questions to ask management and tools for providing effective oversight
Course materials available 24/7
Access to global network of peers
Final exam
Access to Alumni LinkedIn Group post-graduation
Price (US$)


Pia Laub

Board Member, ALM. Brand A/S, The Danish National Center for Grief and the New Carlsberg Glyptotek

I had high expectations before joining the program, and I got even more out of it. It gave me a tremendous amount of inspiration and new insights. I feel the program has contributed significantly to my personal development and strengthened the competencies and skills that I bring to use in my board positions. I see it as an extremely relevant and high-quality program for board members and business leaders, both with regards to content and to learning process.

Shailesh Haribhakti

Chairman, Blue Star LTD, Larsen&Toubro Financial Holdings LTD, NSDL E-Governance Infrastructure Co of India LTD, and Independent Director of Lafarge Holcim Subsidiaries, ACCLTD and Ambuja Cements LTD.

The permanent value I have derived is so immense, that anyone acceding to my recommendation to take this course is likely to be grateful!

Henning Stein

Global Head of Thought Leadership, Invesco (Switzerland)

I would not just recommend it – I would insist upon it! This has been by far one of the most worthwhile initiatives I have taken part in during my continuing professional development. The program is superbly constructed, supremely relevant and highly effective.

Another great reason for participating is the opportunity to meet so many amazing people. The whole experience has been extremely rewarding on every level.

Welcome, which course are you interested in:

Primarily discuss the topics through the lens of serving on the board. You must be serving on at least one board with fiduciary responsibility to enter this stream.

Discuss the topics through a wide range of business perspectives (including the board) and comprise senior executives, investors, and board advisors.

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