Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO)
In this 5-day course you learn to integrate sustainability into your organization's strategy and operations. After the course you have a broad, in-depth and up-to-date knowledge of current laws and regulations, challenges, and sustainability risks!
Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) – modes of study
Option 1: 5-day course (classroom and live online)
Option 2: In-company course, tailored to your organization
35% of large firms in the EU have already appointed a Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO)!
A Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) is increasingly being appointed in companies to strategically define and embed/implement sustainability in the organisation. In Europe, 35% of all corporates have already appointed a CSO. As Chief Sustainability Officer, you are responsible for integrating sustainability into your organization's strategy and operations. For this you need a broad, in-depth and up-to-date knowledge to interweave sustainability in your company's strategy and translate your strategy into working action plans.
A sustainable organization is not only a choice but also a must
An overwhelming amount of laws and regulations and an enormous social pressure make integrating sustainability into your overall strategy and business operations both desirable and inevitable. For example, investors will increasingly want to do business with sustainable companies. How do you ensure that - in addition to profit - people and planet are also embedded in your company?
Climate change is recognized as one of the greatest business risks worldwide. What are the effects of circular thinking on the supply chain, the production process, marketing and your customers? The energy transition is also an important development that your organization can't ignore. Are there opportunities as well for your company?
The launch of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) by the European Commission is of great importance and leads to regulations that align sustainability reporting with financial reporting. Financial and non-financial reports are therefore given equal value. From the financial year 2025, large companies must - among other things - measure and report their climate impact and from 2027 the EU will also make this mandatory for large SMEs. If you fail to do so, you risk that your annual report will not be approved. However, ESG reporting is still in full development. A (future) vision when drawing up and/or checking ESG reports (Environment, Social, Governance) is therefore very important!
Sustainable finance means sustainable investment in or sustainable financing of companies. What does this mean for raising capital? For example, issuing 'green bonds' can be financially (and in terms of reputation) good for your organization.
To adequately embed sustainability risks in your organization's risk management, you must have a system for data collection. After all, consistent and reliable data is crucial, also for reporting purposes. In short, how do you develop a data-driven ESG management for your company?
Sustainability is not just about the environment. The S (Social) of ESG, such as social inequality, diversity, safe working conditions, etc., is also an important issue within sustainability. How do you deal with the social responsibility/impact of your company?
Most European economies must be fully circular by 2050 (Green Deal). There is still a lot to do to realize the transformation to a circular economy. Which standards should you take into account on your way to a circular economy and how do you translate these to your stakeholders? Technological innovation (recycling, hydrogen, etc.), but also legislation, cause changes in cost prices and therefore market dynamics. What are the consequences for your current business models?
Developments in the field of sustainability are moving at lightning speed. The changing and future standards and guidelines will always lead to a reconsideration of your strategy. During the course, ample attention is paid to relevant international standards, guidelines, (emerging) legislation and current trends.
After this course, you will have up-to-date knowledge about how you can turn sustainability challenges into opportunities for your organization and how you can manage the risks in this area.
What will you learn as a (future) Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO)?
As a (future) Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) you are confronted with numerous dilemmas, but also with opportunities. For example, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) provide clear frameworks for transforming into a sustainable organisation. You are also required to include non-financial information in your reporting. During the course, therefore, ample attention is paid to sustainability reporting, compliance and audit with an extensive explanation of, among other things, the EU Taxonomy, SDFR, CSRD, TCFD and the Climate Agreement, the consequences for setting up the chain and setting up the formal structures. For an overview of all topics that are covered, please have a look at the curriculum.
After this course you can make informed choices to use sustainability as a building block for your strategy and to translate your strategy into actions.
For whom is this Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) course relevant?
The Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) course is of strategic and practical importance for all professionals involved in drawing up, implementing and reporting on the organisation's sustainability policy. We are thinking of (future) CSOs, CEOs, CROs, CIOs, CFOs, controllers and other finance professionals and their internal and external advisors, such as internal and external accountants, auditors, risk managers, compliance officers, policy analysts, (company) lawyers, investor relations managers, HR managers, business/product development managers, quality managers, marketing managers, communication managers, PR managers, environmental managers and supply chain managers.
The course is also important for investors and asset managers, such as banks, insurance companies, private equity companies, pension funds and regulators.
Also interesting for you!
In addition to the Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) course, the following courses may also be of interest to you and/or your colleagues:
During an in-company course, the teachers can link up with the yet to be formulated or existing sustainability strategy of your organization and help you with its implementation. A (tailor-made) In-company course offers numerous advantages, such as:
- Organizational issues can be discussed openly because no students from other organizations participate
- It saves you and your colleagues (travel) time, travel costs and accommodation costs
- you follow the course in your own working environment
- You determine the dates, times and location yourself
- From 5 participants, an in-company course is often useful and cost effective
Do you prefer an in-company course? Please contact us for the possibilities. We are happy to discuss all options with you!
Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) – curriculum
SUSTAINABILITY – DRIVERS AND RELEVANCE
Setting the Scene
- Brundtland report; People, Planet, Profit (PPP); Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR); Integrated Thinking; creating shared value
- Voluntary initiatives/International Corporate Social Responsibility (ICSR) covenants
- Integration of existing (voluntary) initiatives such as Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), etc.
- EU Green Deal
- EU Taxonomy
- SDFR (Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation)
- CSRD (Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive)
- Translation into international agreements (Paris Climate Agreement)
- CSDDD (Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive)
- Climate and energy transition and the importance of circularity
- Imminent risks (dual materiality): impacts of climate change (for business)
- Market dynamics (innovation, taxes, consumer preference)
- Where does your influence lie as Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO)?
Drivers and relevance of sustainability for the business and financial sector
- Where are your limits?
- Business reputation (specific examples); Greenwashing
- Market opportunities
- Risks: difference B2B and consumer market
- Cost and profit potential
- Legislation (EU); CO2 tax; subsidies
- ISO 26000 (Corporate Social Responsibility/CSR)
- ISO 14091 (Climate Change Risk Assessment)
- What is your position in the chain?
Business principles, corporate values, ethics and culture
- Corporate values
- Responsibility of 'the top'
- Culture and 'tone at the top'
- Ethics and business
- Discussion: 'the business of business is doing business'
SUSTAINABLE (BUSINESS) STRATEGY: REALIZATION AND IMPLEMENTATION
Sustainability in the strategy
- The management process throughout the organization (from purchasing, HR, the customer, reporting, etc.)
- Where is your impact as a company?
- How do you behave?
- Are you going too fast or are you going too far?
- Company culture
- Urgency: investment cycle (years)
- The role of the Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO): various perspectives and studies
From policy to implementation
- Formulate objectives
- Setting priorities (materiality analysis)
- Involving formal and informal leaders (incl. Supervisory Board and other advisory boards)
- Involve relevant stakeholders
- Adapting processes and procedures: using international standards and methods, from ISO, OECD to UNGP (United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights) and SBT (Science-Based Targets)
- Internal and external communication
- Measuring the results
- Data is crucial for sustainability!
- Transparency about success and setbacks
- Insights from (formal) reporting: various standards such as GRI (Global Reporting Initiative), SASB (Sustainability Accounting Standards Board), etc.
- Review remuneration policy
SUSTAINABILITY LEGISLATION, SUSTAINABILITY REPORTING, COMPLIANCE AND AUDIT
Legislation (from Europe)
- EU Green Deal
- EU Taxonomy
- Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR): successful implementation partly dependent on Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD)
- Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD): data!
- Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD)
- Centrally address negative impacts on human rights and the environment in value chains
- Link variable remuneration of directors to the sustainability objectives of the company
- Translation of international agreements
- Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and Task Force on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD)
- Staying ahead of the benefits of the legislation
- No legislation, but still...
Developments with regard to reporting
- Explanation of the various reporting systems and methodologies such as SASB, GRI, Integrated Reporting, ...
- Incorporating knowledge about sustainability into existing processes
- 3 Lines of Defense (3LoD)
- The role of audit and the role of the Audit Committee
SUSTAINABLE FINANCE – RISK MANAGEMENT
What do investors pay attention to and what should they take into account?
- Return and risk
- Whether or not exclude business activities
- Willingness to reduce negative consequences for society and the environment
- Willingness to compensate damage (Remedy – United Nations Guiding Principles)
- Contributing to solutions (real world impacts): per investment but also at portfolio level
- Using 'Green Bonds'
- Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and its impact on stock markets
- Regulators demand insight into sustainability risks
What do banks (and other financiers) pay attention to?
- Reputational damage and financial damage
- Example: Equator Principles
- 'Tailored influence'
- More and more sector policy
- From large companies to increasingly smaller companies (sustainability requirements also in the chain)
What do insurers look for?
- Climate change in particular leads to changes in risk estimates
- Risk management policy in conjunction with 'risk' appetite
- Reputation risks
- Financial risk
- Indirect damage
MARKET CHANGES, INNOVATION AND INSIGHT IN THE CHAIN
Market changes and innovation
- Changes in markets
- Innovation: consequences of existing 'business models'
- Possibilities to change
- From strategy to a sustainable profitable (renewed?) business model
Insight into the chain
- Operate in conjunction
The outside world
- Stakeholder management
- How to deal with the media and NGOs?
- How do you influence suppliers and customers?
You as Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO)Request brochure
You will receive a Personal Certificate at the end of the course.
Your teachers are (international) sustainability experts.
Vincent van Assem MSc
Vincent van Assem is the owner of VADASU, an organization that is fully dedicated to strategic sustainability advice and its implementation in the business and financial sector. Prior to that, he held various (international) management positions at ABN AMRO, including Sustainable Development Manager for more than 10 years. Vincent is also affiliated with Hogeschool InHolland as a lecturer in 'Sustainable Finance'.
Len Blom MSc
Len Blom is Lead Sustainability Reporting at de Volksbank. Prior to that, he was Sustainability Consultant at Peterson Projects and Assistant to the Board of the International Sustainable Development Research Society (ISDRS). Peterson Projects is a global consultancy firm that helps companies achieve their sustainability goals by helping them develop sustainability policies, reduce their environmental footprint and define potential sustainability claims.
The Chief Sustainability Officer course takes place (near) Amsterdam. Class times are from 09:00 in the morning to 17:00 in the afternoon. You can participate on the following dates:
- 27 + 28 March + 10 + 17 + 18 April 2024
Fee / Registration
The fee for the 5-day Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) course is € 4,780 (excl. VAT) per person. This amount includes all lunches, coffee/tea and documentation material.