New leadership course aims to close sustainability skills gap

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According to the IoD findings, 29% of business leaders surveyed said ESG will become the most important issue for their board over the next two years.

The pressing need for business leaders with in-depth knowledge of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues has led the Irish Institute of Directors to introduce a course on sustainability for executives.

The course’s announcement follows the latest quarterly research report from the Institute of Directors (IoD) Director Sentiment Monitor, which found that nearly a third – 29% – of business leaders believe ESG would become the most sought-after skill for board members over the next two years. years.

Of the 226 IoD members and business leaders surveyed, 72% said ESG issues had been added as a standing item on their board’s agenda. When asked about their own skills, only 10% referred to the ESG experience when asked what they thought was the main expertise they brought to their board.

To fill the skills gap, IoD introduced its new course “Leading Sustainability: What Directors Need to Know and Do” for Executives, which will take place over four in-depth sessions in October and November.

It will be chaired by Professor Simon Haslam, Chartered Director, and John Henry Looney, Sustainability Management Consultant.

Commenting on the launch of the course, IoD CEO Maura Quinn said, “This course will provide administrators with a hands-on approach to a critical issue, with an emphasis on immediate takeaways. It will include an opportunity to apply the learnings to the participant’s own organization. It will also provide a means to assess the unique opportunities that the ESG agenda presents for the organizations and sectors of the participants.

Quinn referred to the course schedule in terms of the recent IPCC report on the climate crisis as well as the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow in November.

“In the context of the recent alarming report on climate change from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the course will also offer an overview of the circular economy, key issues and solutions regarding environmental challenges”, a- she declared.

“Sustainability does not require us to sacrifice profit, but requires us to broaden our assessment of capital and its value, while exploring how to optimize our people and other assets for future global benefit. “


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