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The ins and outs of honing ESG training sessions

Why and how you should customize your ESG training for each audience, including CEOs, board members, and staff.




Imagine for a moment that you are in a business meeting room. A long table made of polished glass is present. One wall is lined with windows that look out into the city. And a board member in a suit is sat in each dark leather office chair, listening as you describe the business's ability to lead the sector in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) responsibility.

Imagine yourself in a larger, more varied conference room with fewer windows along the walls. You deliver the same facts you gave the board members in a room filled with rows of chairs, each with a company employee from a different department, each with their own political and personal opinions, listening (or perhaps, let's be honest, checking their phone).

You now understand the point we're trying to make with this visualization exercise, which is that these two extremely distinct groups cannot receive the same ESG training. If you don't take the effort to customise your instruction, one of them will undoubtedly fail. At PGS Consults, we are aware that in order to do well by doing good, we must actively listen to others in order to comprehend where they are in their ESG journeys. We are aware that teams, choices, and results are interconnected and must be uniquely tailored to each client's business requirements.

The Why


Even though more businesses and nonprofits are asking for ESG training to meet the growing demands of their clients, investors, and internal stakeholders for responsible practices, training sessions can be ineffective if they fail to engage each specific audience and motivate top-level decision makers to take action. A C-suite executive will require significantly different communication techniques than a mid-level manager in human resources or a programmer on an IT team.

" Each employee must understand the benefits that DEI efforts and decreasing environmental impact have for their company, themselves, and their communities".


However, we are aware that everyone is a stakeholder in ESG and that it does not only apply to executives. For instance, we inquire about the company's ESG initiatives with employees and management while performing materiality assessments. You need to be aware of the subtleties and how ESG activities fit into each department's specific tasks, such as supply chain management, marketing, or operations. Every employee must understand the benefits that diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) efforts bring to their company, themselves, and their communities. Doing what is good for business and society is more important than taking a particular political position.

The How

Naturally, we must take into account how to customize our ESG training?

Interviews are the ideal starting point. Meeting with stakeholder groups, posing questions to them, and, most crucially, attentively absorbing their responses The objective is to learn more about the topics that are most important to them and their job, as well as to learn about their passion, if any, for the ways in which their organization's may promote the welfare of people and the environment.

This interviewing procedure ought to take place within the particular organization receiving training as well as at the industry level. Speak with supervisors and staff members from various divisions of the business, including manufacturing, R&D, and law. If the customer has a global presence, you should speak with their teams there as well because what an employee in Northern Europe could deem a relevant ESG topic may not be the same for an employee in India. Make it a priority to comprehend what corporate projects would be advantageous to them, what problems they are now facing that can be resolved by excellent ESG methods, and what they are seeking for in an ESG leader.

"Best practices in ESG training are constantly changing."


The Tools


You can further personalise your ESG training by using a few abilities or tools you already have:

Systems thinking: You must learn to see past the obvious to locate an organization's more expansive, strategic vision. Determine the success determinants for a company, nonprofit, or government, as well as how they fit into and adjust to the quick cultural and environmental changes taking place all around them.
Experience in organisational leadership: An MBA or professional experience, especially in the sustainability sector, could be used to acquire this. Focus on developing your operational leadership knowledge and abilities so you can communicate effectively with both the executive leadership and the workforce.
Storytelling: Develop the skill of communicating in a way that elicits a response from someone on a personal level and resonates with them. It is one of the most effective methods for bringing about organizational change.


Nothing will sharpen your speaking abilities and skills on the subject of ESG as much as joining a group of committed, like-minded change-makers. ESG training best practises are constantly changing. Your communication skills and all facets of your ESG knowledge can be greatly improved by networking with thought leaders involved with sustainability and systems thinking in academic or professional circles.



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