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ESG Designation Program

PROGRAM

ESG Designation Program

12 Sessions

1.5 hours per session

CERTIFICATE

bi-weekly

US$5,495

Prepare for the next decade of decision-making

Get the insights that you need to provide oversight and foresight on environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks and opportunities. Our program will equip you with the tools and confidence that all board members, investors and executives require to make effective decisions.

Our best-in-class program closely examines a wide range of ESG topics. Over the 12 sessions these will include climate change, human rights, and supply chain; diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI); cybersecurity, disclosures, taxation, executive pay, anti corruption and stakeholder engagement.

Our more than two dozen global faculty leaders are experts in their fields. You will engage with them on real-life scenarios in live interactive discussions that bring a global viewpoint to your education. 

By the end of our program, you will have the leading-edge knowledge that investors, nomination committees and recruiters are seeking, with a robust and invaluable network of new peers.

Our many session leaders include:

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
CEO & FOUNDER, COMPETENT BOARDS

Program streams

Cohorts are divided into two streams, board members and Business leaders.

Though the content in both program streams is identical, occasionally speakers may change.

Board member

Board Members – this stream is for you if you are a non-executive director, an independent director, or an executive director of a company with 100+ employees.

Business leaders

Business leaders/Investors – this stream is for you if you’re a senior executive, investor, or board advisor.

Not sure which stream is best for you?

 Schedules & Speakers

Please select your stream below with your desired start date to view the speakers for your chosen cohort.

What you'll get from this program

What you'll get from this program

Sold Out! September – March

6:30AM PDT (UTC-7) | 9:30AM EDT (UTC-4) | 15:30H CEST (UTC+2) | 19:00H IST (UTC+5:30) | 20:30H ICT (UTC+7)

Sold Out! October – March

6:30AM PDT (UTC-7) | 9:30AM EDT (UTC-4) | 15:30H CEST (UTC+2) | 19:00H IST (UTC+5:30) | 20:30H ICT (UTC+7)

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

• 12 sessions at 90 minutes each, plus approximately 90-120 minutes of preparation time/materials per session (videos, case studies, targeted discussion questions and recommended reading lists).

• Each session will require a total investment of approximately 180 minutes.

• Program registration is capped at 36 participants to ensure a rich opportunity for dialogue.

  • A toolbox of 12 comprehensive modules containing dozens of in-depth fireside chats and interview videos with renowned global subject matter experts and board members on the most current and pressing issues executives face today.

  • Sets of questions to evaluate whether your current approaches appropriately consider changing risks and opportunities.

  • A curated list of recommended readings, reports, tools, and frameworks.

• Discussion of preparation material provided.

• Discussion of the session topic with global faculty members.

• Brief presentation of the session case study.

• Breakout session with approx. 6 people per group (groups change bi-weekly).

• Question and discussion period.

• All sessions are held under Chatham House Rule.

  • Completion of the 12 modules over a 6-month period or less

  • Successful completion of final exam

How much does it cost?

US sales tax may apply depending on where you reside. Tax will be automatically calculated at check out.

One time Payment
of Full Program

US$5,495

Six-month installment plan

US$962

Compare our 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
12
12
4
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$)
US$5,495
US$3,495
US$1,595

Testimonials

Catherine Reynolds

Catherine Reynolds

Independent Chair and Non-Executive Director, MI Global Partners

I can’t applaud Competent Boards’ approach to governance enough. Helle and her extraordinary cohort of guest speakers, global ESG experts and proven organisational innovators are rapidly educating board directors and executives to actively transition to net zero. Educate yourself and be prepared to rethink everything you thought you knew.

Eric Wetlaufer

Member, Board of Directors, TMX Group & Investment Management Corporation of Ontario (IMCO)

The Competent Boards Program is hands down the best director education out there. Global in its scope, deep in its content, extraordinary speakers and excellent interactivity, I am so glad I found it (or it found me!)

Pamela Strifler

Vice President of Global Stakeholder Strategy and Affairs, Bayer Crop Science

I would highly recommend the Competent Boards Program as you will hear from Global leaders, engage in real-time issues and dive into the complexities that Boards must consider in decision making, including ESG which affects the long-term reputation and viability of the company. This program is for current executives, management teams presenting to Boards or prospective Board members.

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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