Sustainability & ESG Certificate Program

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

Open for Board Members and Business Leaders

Program Details

12 Sessions

online learning



Live monthly q&a forum

USD $3,595

Who should take this course

This program is designed for business leaders, investors, board directors, and those who advise them

For all program inquiries please contact Because registration for the program enables instant access to all course content, Competent Boards does not allow cancellations or provide refunds. If an extension is required to complete the program, please contact us at

Who should take this course

This program is designed for business leaders, investors, board directors, and those who advise them

For all program inquiries please contact Because registration for the program enables instant access to all course content, Competent Boards does not allow cancellations or provide refunds. If an extension is required to complete the program, please contact us at

Program Details

12 Sessions

Online learning



live monthly q/a forum

USD $3,595

Learn to navigate the increasingly complex business landscape of corporate Sustainability & ESG governance

Demonstrate that you are future-fit

What you will earn
from this program

  • A Certificate
  • A Credly™ digital credential
Eligible for up to 47 CLE Credits and 13.6 CPE Credits in most states. Contact for more information.

Meet a range of world-renowned sustainability and ESG experts through enlightening recorded sessions. Our contributing experts include:

Meet a range of world-renowned sustainability and ESG experts through enlightening recorded sessions. Our contributing experts include:

Session Topics

1. Understanding New Geopolitical Risks and Expectations for Companies
  • 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
2. Dealing with Dilemmas: Turning Business Risks into Opportunities
  • 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
3. How to Use the UN Sustainable Development Goals Strategically
  • 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
4. Impacts of Climate Change and Biodiversity: A Board’s Accountability
  • Explore how climate change and biodiversity loss shape the global economic, socio-economic landscapes, and corporate strategic planning.

  • Uncover the intricate connections between climate change, biodiversity conservation, business operations, and their impacts on supply chains, customers, employees, and society.

  • Evaluate the short-, medium-, and long-term transitional, regulatory, insurance, and political risks, with the added dimension of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation.

  • Discover opportunities within the evolving landscape, including renewable energy, carbon markets, nature-positive business models, sustainable supply chains, and the application of circular economy principles.

  • Discuss the evolving understanding of carbon neutrality, natural capital accounting, and biodiversity conservation goals, exploring different science-based commitments, actions, and reporting levels.

  • Examine the rising expectations from asset managers, advisors, and investors around climate initiatives, sustainable investment principles, and biodiversity conservation.

  • Learn how companies, investors, insurance companies, and regulators are responding to growing demands for climate action, biodiversity conservation, and nature-positive strategies.

  • Understand scenario analysis, adaptation, mitigation, and transition strategies within the context of climate change and nature loss.

  • Familiarize with key global regulatory and non-regulatory bodies and frameworks shaping the climate-related and biodiversity-focused disclosure and reporting landscape.

5. How to Build ESG Oversight and Foresight
  • 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
6. Understanding Human Rights and Environmental Issues in Supply Chains
  • 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
7. Elevating Oversight of Human Capital Management (HCM) and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB)
  • 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
8. Gaining Trust: Anti-Corruption, Integrity and Transparency Best Practices
  • 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
9. Understanding Responsible Use of Data, Cybersecurity, AI and Digitalization
  • 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)
10. Addressing Tax, Investment & Pay in an ESG-Focused World
  • 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
11. Maximizing Shareholder and Stakeholder Engagement Around Disclosures
  • 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
12. Becoming a Steward of the Future: Best Practices in Corporate Governance
  • 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

Bonus live sessions: You can also take part in a monthly live online Q&A Forum with other self-guided participants hosted by Helle Bank Jorgensen, our Founder and CEO

Prefer a live learning experience?

Check out the live interactive version – same high-quality course materials, and a safe space for discussions with peers and global thought leaders.

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.

Keep current with us.

Stay in the know with the latest sustainability, ESG and climate insights, plus be the first to learn about program updates and events.