top of page

Explore the Best ESG and Sustainability Certifications

Explore the Best ESG and Sustainability Certifications
Explore the Best ESG and Sustainability Certifications

CFA ESG Investing Certificate

Provider: CFA Institute

Enrollment Cost: $795 USD (Includes learning materials and exam)

Time to Completion: 6 months

Recommended Study Time: 100+ hours

The Certificate in ESG Investing, offered by the CFA Institute, is tailored to empower investment professionals with the essential knowledge and competencies to assess and incorporate critical Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors into their investment decision-making processes. ESG investing has gained prominence in the financial sector, with a growing demand for ethical and sustainable investment practices.

By obtaining this certificate, participants will remain relevant in a swiftly changing industry and contribute to the promotion of sustainability, ethical standards, and social responsibility within the investment field. The curriculum covers a wide array of ESG-related subjects, including the broader context of sustainability, environmental, social, and governance considerations, and their influence on business and company performance.

Course Content:

Upon completion of the certificate, participants will gain knowledge in the following areas:

1. Context for Responsible Investment: Understanding different approaches to responsible investment, with a focus on ESG factors.

2. ESG Factors: Exploring the underlying issues within environmental, social, and governance areas.

3. Broader Sustainability Context: Understanding global initiatives and the relevance of ESG in the investment landscape.

4. ESG Market: Examining the size, scope, key drivers, challenges, risks, and opportunities in the ESG market.

5. Environmental Factors: Analyzing systemic relationships, material impacts, megatrends, and approaches to environmental analysis at various levels.

6. Social Factors: Understanding systemic relationships, material impacts, and approaches to social analysis.

7. Governance Factors: Exploring key characteristics, main models, and material impacts.

8. Engagement and Stewardship: Strategies for engaging with companies on ESG issues.

9. ESG Analysis, Valuation, and Integration: Assessing how ESG factors affect industry and company performance and security valuation.

10. ESG Integrated Portfolio Construction and Management: Building and managing ESG-integrated portfolios.

11. Application of ESG Analysis: Implementing ESG analysis and integration across different asset classes.

12. Investment Mandates, Portfolio Analytics, and Client Reporting: Understanding the practical application of ESG in investment mandates and client reporting.

Who Should Enroll:

This certificate is suitable for a wide range of investment professionals, including those in front and back offices, sales and distribution, wealth management, product development, financial advice, consulting, and risk management. It is also open to individuals looking to enhance their understanding of ESG issues. While there are no specific prerequisites, prior knowledge of the investment process is recommended.

Learning Experience and Content:

The course offers various learning resources to cater to different learning preferences:

- Digital curriculum, including syllabus, self-assessment questions, and mock exams.

- Downloadable PDF versions of the curriculum, chapters, and glossary.

- Option to purchase a print version of the curriculum for an additional charge.

What to Expect From the Exam:

- Exam Scheduling: You have 6 months from enrollment to schedule and sit for the exam.

- Number of Questions: The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions.

- Testing Time: You will have 2 hours and 20 minutes to complete the exam.

- Exam Scheduling Options: You can take the exam either in-person at a test center in select markets or online via online proctoring, subject to meeting requirements.

- Exam Results: Exams are graded as either "pass" or "did not pass," with detailed performance feedback provided for candidates who do not pass.

GARP Sustainability and Climate Risk (SCR) Certificate

Provider: Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP)

Exam Fees (April 20-28, 2024):

- Non-Member:

- Early Registration (opens December 1): Exam Fee USD 650

- Standard Registration (opens February 1): Exam Fee USD 750

- Individual Member:

- Early Registration (opens December 1): Exam Fee USD 550

- Standard Registration (opens February 1): Exam Fee USD 650

- Certified FRM/ERP:

- Early Registration (opens December 1): Exam Fee USD 525

- Standard Registration (opens February 1): Exam Fee USD 625

Early Registration for the April 2024 SCR Exam Begins on December 1.

The SCR Certificate opens the door to a rapidly growing community that is shaping the future of climate risk management. From newcomers to executives, spanning various industries including banking, fintech, hospitality, fashion, and more, SCR Certificate holders are taking the lead in addressing pressing issues related to climate change and sustainability.

Professionals who successfully complete the SCR Certificate will:

1. Develop strategies to enhance climate risk mitigation efforts.

2. Learn to address both current physical and transition risks.

3. Gain real-world insights into the economic impact of climate change.

4. Lead organizations in making sustainable investments and driving substantial change.

Meeting the Rising Demand:

- An extensive GARP study found that 85% of 943 individual respondents recognize the need for additional SCR knowledge in the future.

- Only 15% of respondents believe their organizations currently have effective strategies in place to mitigate climate change.

- Furthermore, 95% of respondents indicated that their firms plan to develop a strategic approach to climate risk in the future.

Benefits for Candidates:

1. Critical Knowledge: Enrollees will acquire crucial knowledge for managing sustainability and climate risk.

2. Global Recognition: The certificate is a part of GARP's distinguished certifications and educational programs, acknowledged by firms worldwide.

3. Rigorous Assessment: The certificate's quality is assured through a peer-reviewed, rigorous assessment developed and regularly updated by domain experts to maintain its currency and relevance.

4. Empowering Change: Certificate holders have the opportunity to connect with global networks, allowing them to navigate broader international perspectives, fostering collaboration, innovation, and value creation.


The SCR certificate curriculum, study materials, and examination cover the following subjects:

1. Foundations of Climate Change: Understanding Climate Change.

2. Sustainability.

3. Climate Change Risk.

4. Sustainability and Climate Policy, Culture, and Governance.

5. Green and Sustainable Finance: Markets and Instruments.

6. Climate Risk Measurement and Management.

7. Climate Models and Scenario Analysis.

8. Net Zero.


Candidates who do not pass the exam, do not schedule the exam, or schedule but do not sit for it can re-register for either of the next two available exam windows at a one-time reduced price of USD 350. Those who don't register for these windows will be required to pay all applicable fees. If the curriculum undergoes changes before the candidate retakes the exam, an updated version of the curriculum will be provided to the candidate free of charge (via eBook only).

Exam Scheduling:

Registered candidates can arrange an in-person Computer-Based Test (CBT) Exam at a Pearson VUE test center. The exam must be scheduled at least 48 hours before the desired exam start time, and appointments are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Candidates who fail to schedule their exam by the deadline will need to re-register and pay the applicable fees. Exam scheduling is limited to within the registered exam window.

Business and Climate Change: Towards Net Zero Emissions

Provider: Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

Start Date: 07 February 2024

Enrollment Deadline: 30 January 2024

Price: $2,724 USD

Course Duration: 8 weeks

Language: English

Effort: 8–10 hours per week

Learning Format: Self-paced online

Certification Duration: 8 weeks

Course Description:

In today's business landscape, addressing the challenges posed by climate change and transitioning to a net zero economy are of paramount importance. The "Business and Climate Change: Towards Net Zero Emissions" certification program offered by the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) is designed to help professionals understand and manage the risks and opportunities associated with climate change. It also equips participants with the knowledge and skills to lead the shift towards net zero emissions and restructure their business models for long-term value and resilience.

Course Content:

The course consists of eight weeks of in-depth study and exploration, providing students with a comprehensive understanding of the following key areas:

1. A Changing Climate for Business: An introduction to the evolving landscape of climate change and its implications for businesses.

2. The Vision of a Net Zero Future: Exploring the concept of a net zero economy and its significance.

3. The Need to Repurpose the Economic System: Understanding the need for reconfiguring economic systems to align with sustainability goals.

4. Collaborating and Leading a Net Zero Transition: Strategies for effective collaboration and leadership in the transition to net zero emissions.

5. Decarbonization Success Stories: Real-world examples of successful low-carbon initiatives and their impact on businesses.

6. Innovation and Design for a Net Zero 21st Century: Examining innovative approaches to building sustainable and profitable business models.

7. Leading Change and Coping with Disruption: Insights into leading sustainable change and addressing disruptions in the business environment.

8. Your Role in Leading the Transition: How individuals can play a role in leading the transition to a net zero future.

Who Should Enroll:

This course is designed for a wide range of professionals across various industries, including:

1. Climate change consultants

2. Sustainability specialists

3. Environmental managers

4. Finance professionals

5. Operations professionals

6. Senior managers

7. C-suite executives

By enrolling in this course, participants will gain transferable skills that can be applied in their current roles, while also contributing to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the broader sustainability agenda.

What You'll Gain:

Upon successful completion of the course, participants will have acquired:

1. A deep understanding of the organizational risks and strategic opportunities associated with climate change.

2. Practical insights and knowledge from real-world examples of successful low-carbon initiatives.

3. Strategies for leading collaborative efforts and aligning financial, environmental, and social goals.

4. Insights needed to reconfigure their business models for long-term resilience and profitability.

5. A net zero emission transition action plan to initiate and lead change in their organizations and personal sustainability goals.

Certificate in Green and Sustainable Finance Exam

The Certificate in Green and Sustainable Finance is designed to equip learners with essential knowledge, understanding, and practical skills in the field of green and sustainable finance. This certification is aimed at a wide range of financial services professionals and offers comprehensive coverage of key principles and core practices in the industry.

Cost: The Certificate costs £625 per candidate, including all learning materials and the first sitting of the exam. Exam resits cost £145 per module. Membership in the Institute is required to study for the Certificate, with an annual subscription fee of £33.00.

Program Structure:

  • Guided self-study with interactive e-learning units and knowledge checks.

  • 12-unit program that can be completed in as little as 12 weeks.

  • Registration is valid for one year, allowing learners to study at their own pace.

  • Incorporates the latest assessment of climate science from the IPCC (AR6).

  • Assessment is conducted through a 90-minute, multiple-choice examination with immediate results.

  • Examinations are available at various centers in the UK and internationally, with the option for remote invigilation.

  • Learning materials are provided via email and the Learning Management System (LMS).

  • Digital certificates are awarded upon successful completion and are usually delivered via email within 5 days of qualification.

Designation Upon Completion: Upon successfully completing the Certificate, learners are entitled to use the designation GSFP (Green and Sustainable Finance Professional).

Syllabus Overview: The Green and Sustainable Finance syllabus includes the following key topics:

  1. What is meant by 'green' and 'sustainable' finance, and how the finance sector can support a low-carbon economy.

  2. The role of key players, policy, and regulatory frameworks in aligning finance with the Paris Agreement and UN Sustainable Development Goals.

  3. Monitoring, measuring, and reporting impacts, outcomes, alignment, and flows of finance.

  4. Managing climate, environmental, and emerging sustainability risks.

  5. How financial services strategies, activities, products, and services support green and sustainable finance.

  6. The role of financial technology in supporting the growth of green and sustainable finance.

  7. Steps for regulators, policymakers, institutions, organizations, and finance professionals to mainstream green and sustainable finance.

Eligibility: There are no specific entry requirements for the Certificate in Green and Sustainable Finance, and no prior knowledge of the sector is assumed. This certification is suitable for a broad range of financial services professionals, including bankers, insurers, investment managers, central bankers, regulators, risk managers, analysts, and consultants.

Learning Resources:

  • An online Study Guide – Principles and Practice of Green and Sustainable Finance (2023) for core reading and learning activities.

  • Interactive eLearning modules with audio and visual resources, online quizzes, and knowledge checks to reinforce key concepts.

Learning Approach: The program is divided into twelve units, and the learning approach encompasses reading and self-study, learning activities, case studies, eLearning, knowledge checks, personal reflection, and application of principles.

Flexible Learning: While the enrollment is valid for one year, learners can potentially complete the program in just 9 weeks if they study one unit per week.

The Certified Climate Change Professional (CC-P) Certification

The Certified Climate Change Professional® (CC-P) certification is a prestigious credential designed for mid-level and senior practitioners who are deeply committed to professional growth and have mastered the fundamental skills required for climate change expertise. The CC-P program is specifically tailored to professionals working in a diverse range of sectors, including corporations, government agencies, universities, non-profit organizations, and professional service firms, who hold roles with significant responsibilities related to climate change, sustainability, resilience, and adaptation.

To attain the CC-P credential, candidates must demonstrate their professional expertise in various core competencies and fields of practice. This includes understanding essential concepts and adopting a holistic approach to address the operational, mission, marketplace, value chain, and financial implications of climate change. The certification underscores proficiency in the following areas:

1. Evaluating an organization's vulnerability, assets, operations, and dependencies concerning climate change impacts and transition risks.

2. Reducing an organization's greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint and risks related to resources.

3. Analyzing legal and policy activities and formulating corresponding strategies.

4. Initiating organizational change and engaging stakeholders to drive climate change capacity and action.

5. Managing climate change risks and presenting a compelling business case for response strategies.

By becoming a Certified Climate Change Professional (CC-P), individuals can significantly enhance their career prospects, gain recognition within their organizations, access new opportunities, and leverage their skills and systemic thinking to advance climate change initiatives in a variety of sectors. CC-P holders become part of a growing community of professionals, gaining access to the collective wisdom and resources of their peers.

Why Pursue the Certified Climate Change Professional (CC-P) Credential? (Paraphrased):

Earning the CC-P® certification empowers individuals to make a meaningful impact across a wide range of industries and professional roles. They become highly valuable assets who can support their organizations in climate change preparedness, solutions, and emissions reduction in an ever-evolving global environment. The program offers a unique opportunity to drive climate change initiatives and thrive as part of a growing network of CC-P® professionals.

CC-P Program Overview:


CC-P applicants must meet specific education and professional experience requirements, including having a master's or post-graduate degree with at least 2 years of professional experience in climate change-related projects or initiatives. Alternatively, a four-year degree with 4+ years of relevant experience, or a secondary (high school) degree with 7+ years of experience in climate change-related work can also qualify.

CC-P Exams

The CC-P certification comprises four exams, each requiring a minimum score of 70% for success. These exams cover key areas like Climate Science & Vulnerability Assessment, GHG, Energy & Water Management, Governance, Law & Policy, and Risk Management, Materiality & Economics.

Elective Requirements

Applicants must complete 14 hours of elective training related to executive or professional development. These requirements include three sets of 3.5 hours each, covering the applicant's sector, geographic region or region type, and occupation or professional responsibilities.

Maintenance Requirements & Renewal

The CC-P credential remains valid for six years and involves ongoing continuing education and usage requirements, including 8 hours of continuing education and 40 hours of continuing usage related to advancing the field of climate change practice.

EFFAS Certified ESG Analyst (CESGA) Certification:

The EFFAS Certified ESG Analyst® (CESGA) Common Exam, conducted in English, is administered by EFFAS and its National Member Societies. When you purchase the exam right for CESGA®, it is only valid for the specific exam date and venue or online format you select at the time of purchase. The exact exam time is communicated three weeks before the exam date.


  • Online training course (6 months' access to the online learning platform): €1,250 (excluding VAT)

  • Certification exam: €250* (excluding VAT)

Students must purchase the training and certification together and select their exam venue. The CESGA program consists of 9 modules, with the first eight focusing on theoretical discussions. Module nine involves two case studies that require applying knowledge from the previous modules. Module 10 covers additional content on the APAC region.


  1. Recent Developments in ESG Integration

  2. Regulatory Environment

  3. ESG Strategies

  4. Responsible Investing Across Asset Classes

  5. ESG Reporting (European Focus)

  6. ESG Integration in Research

  7. ESG Integration in Valuation

  8. Investment Decision Process

  9. Case Study - ESG Integration in the Investment Decision

  10. ESG Regional Developments (Asia Pacific, Latin America, North America)

The objective of the program is to emphasize the significance of ESG issues in investment processes. Upon completion, students should be able to:

  • Understand ESG impacts on risk and return.

  • Systematize various ESG investment approaches and strategies.

  • Recognize market drivers for increased ESG integration.

  • Integrate ESG factors across the entire investment process chain.

  • Incorporate ESG factors into valuation models.

  • Practice responsible investing across different asset classes.

  • Systematically assess various ESG reporting standards.

The CESGA program primarily targets financial analysts and portfolio managers seeking to integrate ESG data into their capital allocation processes. However, it is also relevant for all investment professionals interested in ESG issues, including corporate sustainability officers, investor relations professionals, auditors, and consultants. The program is ideal for asset owners, asset managers, corporate consultants, financial planners, and family offices aiming to embrace ESG integration holistically.

Certification Process:

Step 1: Enroll in the CESGA Program Enroll in the EFFAS Certified ESG Analyst® (CESGA) Program offered by an accredited EFFAS National Member Society (NMS). If your location does not have an NMS, visit the EFFAS Academy website for registration. Prerequisites: None, although some knowledge or experience in finance is beneficial.

Step 2: Pass the CESGA Exam Successfully complete the EFFAS Certified ESG Analyst® (CESGA) exam organized by EFFAS and its accredited National Member Societies. The exam comprises a complete examination syllabus and lasts for 150 minutes. It has a two-part structure:

  • 20 Multiple Choice Questions covering modules 1 to 8 (50%)

  • 1 Practical Case Study with 9 open questions covering module 9 (50%)

To pass, students must demonstrate their knowledge by scoring more than 50% of the 120 examination points, with more than 30% correct answers in each part.

The results provided by EFFAS will be either "SUITABLE" or "NOT SUITABLE," and these results cannot be appealed. EFFAS, as the awarding body, does not entertain requests for reviewing examination papers or disclose detailed information on scores or percentage of correct answers/failures to candidates.

The Environmental & Social Risk Analysis (ESRA) Online Course

The Environmental & Social Risk Analysis (ESRA) online course offers in-depth and customized training. Expert tutors actively engage with participants through daily interactions, guiding discussions and providing support. As a course participant, you will engage in a diverse range of activities, including simulating the implementation of environmental and social policies, analyzing real-world case studies, and undertaking exercises related to the environmental and social impacts of your own clients.

Course Details:

  • Duration: Three weeks

  • Daily Time Commitment: Approximately two hours per day, from Monday to Friday

  • Timetable: Flexible, allowing participants to set their own study times

  • Languages: Offered in English and Spanish

Course Contents:

I. Introduction to sustainable finance.

II. Identification of environmental and social risks.

III. Risk classification.

IV. Assessment of environmental and social risks.

V. Environmental and social risk management.

Costs and Participant Profile:

  • Representatives of medium-sized and large financial institutions (non-UNEPFI-Members): $1150 USD

  • Representatives of small financial institutions (non-UNEPFI-Members): $980 USD

  • Representatives of UNEP FI members (including from headquarters and subsidiaries paying the annual UNEP FI Membership fee): $740 USD

ESRA Training Programme Background: Developed in collaboration with UNEP FI and its partners, the ESRA Training Programme aims to equip lending practitioners worldwide with a comprehensive set of training resources to establish and implement effective environmental and social risk management systems in their banking institutions.

The training program encompasses:

  • Online Course

  • Introductory Workshop

  • Advanced Workshop

  • Lab Workshop

In a global economy increasingly sensitive to environmental and social concerns and a financial sector adapting to post-crisis challenges and heightened regulatory requirements, managing non-traditional risks such as environmental and social issues has become an integral part of the business landscape.

The ESRA Training Programme stands as one of the most esteemed training resources on this subject available to practitioners globally. Since its inception in 2005, it has provided consistent and progressively diverse support to risk managers, credit analysts, and relationship managers. The program is offered in multiple languages, including English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Japanese.

Developed in direct response to practitioner needs, all training sessions within the program are action-oriented, emphasizing methodology and tools that institutions can adapt and derive inspiration from. These training sessions are delivered by highly qualified independent experts from around the world and seasoned practitioners from UNEP FI member institutions, culminating in the award of a certificate upon successful completion.

In an independent evaluation of the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), the ESRA Training Programme was recognized as one of the major achievements of UNEP FI since its establishment in 1992.

The FSA (Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting) Credential

The FSA (Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting) Credential is tailored for professionals who seek a deep understanding of the intricate connection between sustainability and financial performance.

FSA Credential Purpose: The FSA Credential is designed to provide professionals with the knowledge and competencies required to comprehend how sustainability impacts a company's ability to enhance financial performance.

Credential Structure: The FSA Credential consists of two levels of exams that assess professional proficiency in sustainability information's materiality for corporate performance and investment analysis. Upon successfully passing Level I, candidates are recognized as "FSA Credential Level II Candidates." Subsequently, by passing Level II, candidates attain the status of "FSA Credential Holders."

Level I Exam - Principles:

  • 110 multiple-choice questions

  • Gain a common language to effectively communicate financially significant sustainability information to professionals within capital markets.

  • Acquire insights into how material sustainability information, specific to industries, can inform corporate strategies and influence investor decision-making.

  • Understand the sustainability disclosure landscape, encompassing the role of standard setters, regulators, data providers, and other stakeholders.

Level II Exam - Application:

  • 55 multiple-choice questions linked to 13 real-world cases

  • Identify sustainability issues relevant to a company's financial performance.

  • Analyze company performance using qualitative and quantitative sustainability data.

  • Establish the connection between sustainability metrics and a company's revenues, expenses, assets, liabilities, and cost of capital.

Exam Administration: Candidates have the option to take the exams either in-person at various test centers worldwide or online with a remote proctor. The exams are administered by our test partner, Pearson VUE.

Testing Periods: Three testing periods are typically available throughout the year: January-February, May-June, and September-October. In 2023, Level I testing has been extended through December 31st, with multiple time slots offered on each testing day.

Exam Preparation: Registered candidates receive access to a study guide, which covers the material to be tested. On average, candidates invest 30-50 hours in preparation for each exam. Those seeking additional exam preparation support can enroll in a course offered by one of our Approved Education Providers.

Rescheduling and Cancellation: Candidates have the flexibility to cancel their exams and receive a refund within 14 days of initial registration. Additionally, they can reschedule their exams up to 48 hours before the exam date without incurring an additional fee.

Pricing (Non-members / Alliance members):

  • Level I Exam: $450 / $400

  • Level II Exam: $650 / $500


  • None, with the requirement of passing Level I for Level II eligibility.


bottom of page