Top 10 ESG Certification Programs For Professionals

by | Jul 11, 2023 | ESG

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ESG (environmental, social, and governance) has become a crucial focal point for organizations and individuals as more people become aware of corporate actions’ consequences on our environment, communities, and society. As a result, the demand for ESG and sustainability certification is increasing at an unprecedented rate. Let’s find out more about ESG Certification Programs in this comprehensive guide.

What are ESG Certifications?

A certificate in ESG investment is a demanding credential that certifies your knowledge, talents, and experience in environmental sustainability. ESG Certifications are a global mark of distinction in sustainable policies, investment, and business criteria that assist businesses in being transparent. And, given the world’s current situation, the future seems promising for individuals and enterprises that have been sustainability certified.

Many organizations worldwide use ESG as a performance indicator to track their progress toward reaching their social responsibility goals. These reporting systems are based on the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

There are other ways to use a license in ESG investing, yet they all have three fundamental components: environmental, social, and governance. Successful individuals and enterprises must understand the concepts of every entire value and their consequences for policies and practices to acquire an ESG investment certificate.

Why Get Certified?

A certificate in ESG investment has numerous advantages, the most important of which is that it allows organizations to demonstrate their dedication to sustainability. Businesses that have obtained an ESG investing accreditation are frequently viewed as leaders in the sustainable company area and can utilize the certification to attract additional consumers, investors, and workers. Type in: a socially conscious financial planner near me! A certificate in ESG investment can also assist organizations in saving money by employing sustainable practices that lessen their environmental impact. Companies might even be eligible for government subsidies or rebates in specific situations.

How to Get Certified?

The method for obtaining an ESG investing certificate will vary based on the kind of certification you seek, but there are specific broad steps you can take.

1. Research the many types of certification available and determine which one is best for your company.

2. Create a plan for meeting the requirements for the ESG investment certificate.

3. Establish the policies and practices required for ESG investment certification.

4. Have your ESG investments audited by a recognized agency to receive a certificate.

A degree in ESG investment is becoming more popular as companies seek ways to demonstrate their dedication to sustainability. And recent billion-dollar storms, pandemics, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have revealed risks and sped up the move to a more sustainable society.

ESG Certification Programs for Professionals

Here are the best online sustainability courses and ESG certification Programs for professionals looking to grow in the ESG sector:

ESG Certification Programs for Professionals

1. ICA Certified ESG Professional: Impact Leader Program

The Certified ESG Professional: Impact Leader program is intended to provide a thorough introduction to ESG, giving participants a full grasp of the field’s concepts, philosophy, applicability, and implications in the contemporary environment. The eight self-paced learning modules include an introduction to key concepts: ESG, Decoding the “E” of ESG for Environmental Protection and rejuvenation, Interpreting the “S” of ESG for Social Engagement, Governance: creating value through good governance practices, Materiality, ESG Evaluation & Reporting, ESG and Sustainable Finance- ESG Engagement & Communication, Way forward for corporation to start addressing ESG issues is offered online. 

Course Duration: 6 months

Fees: INR 2,00,000/- + applicable taxes per participant

2. GRI Professional Certification Program

Professionals in the sustainability area can enhance their knowledge, skills, and expertise to apply the GRI Standards and sustainability reporting through the GRI Professional Certification Program. The Professional Certification program offers two flexible learning options: blended and instructor-led (route B) or online self-paced via the GRI Academy (route A). This offers a unique opportunity to become an expert and gain recognition globally in sustainability reporting using the GRI Standards. There are four courses in the program:

  • Overview of sustainable reporting and the 2021 upgrade to the GRI Standards
  • Reporting using the updated GRI Standards 2021
  • Human Rights Reporting Using the Updated GRI Standards for 2021
  • Implementing the SDGs in reports on sustainability

Course Duration: 17 hours

Fees: INR 1,09,724.17/-

3. PRI Academy: Understanding ESG Course

Online courses on responsible investment and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) are offered by the PRI Academy to industry professionals and organizations. The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) offers a distinct experience, business acumen, and impartial worldwide viewpoint to present captivating classes centered around the most recent developments in responsible investing. PRI Academy can handle your training needs whether you are a large institution, small firm, or individual. They have trained over 12,000 investment professionals in over 80 countries. 

Participants in the Understanding ESG course learn the significance of ESG issues and how to incorporate ESG factors into ownership and investment decisions systematically. Participants gain the confidence to discuss ESG challenges with clients and stakeholders. Participants will receive a digital badge and a certificate of completion upon completing the online ESG course.

Course Duration: 3 hours

Fees: INR 30,182.10/-

4. CDP Workshops & Webinars

The CDP Annual Disclosure Workshop of 1-3 weeks and webinars of 1-2 days occur annually in April, May, and June. These workshops cover the most recent changes in the environmental disclosure market and regulations, emphasizing reliable transition strategies. Looking ahead to 2024, a critical year for the sustainability field, how will you balance new developments like the SEC’s environmental disclosure, significant UN summits on biodiversity and water security, changing reporting standards and taxonomies, and much more, with building momentum towards a net-zero future. Professionals may learn about the significance of environmental disclosure and nature-based approaches to combating climate change by participating in their webinars.

5. CFA Institute Certificate in ESG Investing

For professionals working in the investing business, taking environmental, social, and governance (ESG) aspects into account when making investment decisions is becoming increasingly crucial. One can help satisfy this increasing demand by taking the CFA Institute Certificate in ESG Investing. Acquiring the necessary knowledge and abilities to integrate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into investment decision-making can enhance your ability to meet client demands and contribute significantly to advancing sustainability, ethical standards, and social responsibility.

Course Duration: 6 months

Fees: INR 66,148.37/-

6. GRI Certified Sustainability Reporting Training Course on GRI 2021 Standards offered by KPMG in India

KPMG India has been recognized as a Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) training partner. The most extensively used standard for sustainability reporting is GRI. The two-day GRI-certified training program is based on the most recent GRI 2021 sustainability reporting criteria. Participants in the course will be better able to coordinate the reporting procedures and comprehend the updated standards. The training program is created using international approaches and modified for Indian requirements.

Course Duration: 2 Days

Fees: INR 30,000/- + applicable taxes.

7. Sustainable Business Strategy Course of Harvard Business School

The course covers recognizing and evaluating the business models that propel transformation. Sharing the competitive benefits of being a purpose-driven leader with leadership, management, and other important stakeholders. Examine the benefits of teamwork and how business may spur systemic change in response to major global concerns like income inequality and climate change. Analyze the larger political, social, and environmental context in which you operate, considering the roles played by the government, investors, and clients.

Course Duration: 3 Weeks

Fees: INR 1,45,605.60/-

8. Global ESG Professional Course by Udemy

Udemy provides many advanced courses on ESG. An overview of an ESG framework and how it helps with a company’s overall risk management is given in the global ESG professional course. It looks closely at each element and explains how it affects a business and its stakeholders. The impact of stakeholder expectations and corporate demands on risk identification and company success is also covered in this course. 

Course Duration: 1 hr 17 minutes

Fees: INR 449/-

9. ESG Reporting for Businesses Course by Udemy

The course will go beyond the basics of corporate ESG and go into further detail on six ESG-related topics, such as global landscape, frameworks and standards, reasons and benefits of ESG reporting, elements and content of effective ESG reports, the present challenges with ESG reporting, and trends in the future.

Course Duration: 2 hr 37 minutes

Fees: INR 449/-

10. Certificate in ESG & Sustainability by Centre of Excellence Occupational Health, Safety, Fire & Environment, GD Goenka University

The Environmental Social Governance (ESG) framework facilitates stakeholders’ comprehension of an organization’s risk and opportunity management of sustainability problems. Other historical movements that addressed corporate philanthropy, environmental reduction, and health and safety issues gave rise to ESG.  This six-month certificate program in ESG and sustainability aims to teach students about the benefits of implementing ESG and sustainability into modern business practices and how to understand ESG and sustainability challenges.

Course Duration: 6 months

Fees: INR 29,000/-

What are the Advantages of Being ESG Certified?

Professionals may benefit from ESG certification in numerous ways:

  • Enhanced Career Opportunities: ESG certification can make you more attractive to employers in various industries, especially those with a strong focus on sustainability and ethical business practices. Many organizations value individuals with ESG expertise as they seek to integrate these principles into their operations.
  • Competitive Edge: ESG certification sets you apart from other candidates in a competitive job market. It demonstrates your commitment to ESG principles and your ability to contribute to an organization’s sustainability and social responsibility goals.
  • Professional Credibility: ESG certification enhances your professional credibility. It signifies that you have undergone formal training and assessment in ESG principles, which can be important for building trust with employers, clients, and colleagues.
  • Expanded Network: ESG certification programs often include opportunities to connect with professionals and experts. This can help you expand your network, learn from others, and access valuable resources.
  • Broadened Skill Set: ESG certification equips you with knowledge and skills related to environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and ethical governance. These skills can be applied in various roles and industries, making you a more versatile professional.
  • Alignment with Values: If you are passionate about sustainability and ethical business, ESG certification allows you to align your career with your values. It provides the tools and knowledge to effect positive change in your chosen field.
  • Investor and Stakeholder Trust: ESG certification can help build trust with investors and stakeholders if you work in finance or investment. It demonstrates your ability to analyze and integrate ESG factors into investment decisions, which is becoming increasingly important in the financial industry.
  • Impactful Leadership: ESG certification positions you as a leader in sustainability and responsible business practices. This can lead to opportunities to influence and shape ESG strategies within organizations and industries.
  • Global Relevance: ESG principles are globally relevant. ESG certification can open doors to opportunities and collaborations on a global scale, as geographic boundaries do not limit sustainability and ethical considerations.
  • Adaptability: ESG certification equips you with the knowledge and skills to adapt to evolving business and societal expectations. As ESG considerations become increasingly important, your certification ensures you stay relevant and adaptable.

How ESG-Certified Professionals Help Businesses?

Professionals with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) certifications are essential in assisting companies in incorporating sustainable practices and ethical business practices into their operations. These experts have the skills and information necessary to evaluate, put into practice, and keep an eye on ESG strategies. The following are some ways that ESG-certified experts can help companies:

  • Guidance on ESG Integration: ESG-certified professionals can provide expertise and guidance on effectively integrating ESG principles into a company’s operations and decision-making processes. They help organizations understand the relevance of ESG factors to their business and industry.
  • Risk Mitigation: ESG-certified professionals assist in identifying and mitigating ESG-related risks. By conducting risk assessments and providing recommendations for risk management, they help businesses avoid potential financial and reputational issues.
  • Compliance and Reporting: ESG-certified professionals ensure businesses adhere to ESG reporting requirements and standards. They help companies collect, analyze, and disclose relevant ESG data to meet regulatory and stakeholder expectations.
  • Enhanced Reputation: ESG-certified professionals contribute to building and maintaining a positive corporate image. They help businesses implement sustainable practices, ethical governance, and social responsibility initiatives, which can enhance the company’s reputation and brand value.
  • Competitive Advantage: By leveraging ESG expertise, businesses can gain a competitive advantage. ESG-certified professionals can help organizations differentiate themselves in the marketplace, attract customers who prioritize sustainability, and access new market opportunities.
  • Stakeholder Engagement: ESG-certified professionals facilitate effective stakeholder engagement. They help businesses engage with investors, customers, employees, and the community to address ESG concerns and build trust among these key stakeholders.
  • Cost Savings: ESG professionals can identify opportunities for cost savings through sustainability initiatives. This may involve reducing energy consumption, minimizing waste, and optimizing supply chain processes, which can lead to financial benefits.
  • Access to Sustainable Financing: ESG-certified professionals can assist businesses in accessing sustainable financing options, including green bonds and ESG-linked loans. These financial instruments can help fund sustainability projects and growth initiatives.
  • Innovation and Product Development: ESG experts can encourage and guide businesses to innovate and develop products and services with sustainability in mind. This meets the growing consumer demand for eco-friendly products and can open new revenue streams.
  • Long-Term Value Creation: ESG-certified professionals help businesses focus on long-term value creation. By considering the broader impacts of their actions on society and the environment, companies can position themselves for sustained success.
  • Alignment with Investor Expectations: ESG-certified professionals help businesses align with the expectations of ESG-focused investors. This can attract investment and ensure the company’s financial stability.
  • Crisis Management: In times of ESG-related crises, such as environmental incidents or social controversies, ESG-certified professionals can play a vital role in managing and mitigating the impact of such crises, helping the company recover more effectively.

Bottom Line

The ESG certification programs offer various ESG-related knowledge and skill sets. From sustainability reporting and data collection to responsible investments and ESG assessments, experts can demonstrate their dedication to the subject and gain an advantage over others when competing in this rapidly growing field by completing one of these courses. ESG and sustainable development is a broad field of study, so set aside time to browse the ESG accreditation offers to choose which courses are relevant to your work demands.


Q1. What does ESG mean for people?

ESG stands for environmental, social, and governance factors for those who aren’t already aware. ESG elements consider how a company’s operations affect the environment and society.

Q2. Is an ESG certification worthwhile?

The CFA ESG certificate can be advantageous since it can open up new employment options in investment management firms, ESG research firms, and other roles in sustainable finance. It can also boost credibility when interacting with clients who favor long-term investment.

Q3. Is ESG an ideal career path?

The ESG field is a rapidly growing industry with numerous work prospects for those who want to impact the planet positively. As more businesses recognize the value of sustainable business practices, the need for ESG specialists is increasing.

Also Read: ESG Reporting: All You Need To Know



  • Farhan Khan

    Farhan is an accomplished Sustainability Consultant with 6-7 years of experience, He specializes in the design and execution of innovative sustainability strategies that not only mitigate environmental impact but also foster social responsibility, thereby enhancing overall business performance. With hands-on experience in ESG and BRSR reporting, as well as a wide array of assessments including gap, baseline, midline, impact, and value chain across various regions in India, Farhan brings a strategic and comprehensive approach to sustainability initiatives.


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