Skip to main content

11 training resources to bolster your climate and net-zero strategy

Empower your organization to meet its climate goals by learning how to develop a strategy based on best practices and science.

Globe and pencil

Image via Shutterstock/Petrenko Andriy

Editor’s note: This is part of a series on closing the sustainability skills gap with the resources we have available right now. Read the previous articles in this series: Climate literacy training for every budget, 10 resources for scaling corporate climate literacy and Need sustainability strategy training? Look here

Today’s installment provides 11 training offerings that can help you learn how to set greenhouse gas emissions reductions goals — including Science-Based and net-zero targets — and how to develop a strategy for achieving those goals. There’s even training on how to evaluate net-zero plans so you can spot opportunities to improve existing strategies.  If you’re excited to learn about net zero, be sure to attend GreenBiz Net Zero on Sept. 7.  It’s a free, online, collaborative experience with small-group discussions and solution-forward workshops designed to equip you with cutting-edge strategies proven to dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions.  

According to the 2023 Net Zero Stocktake report, the number of the world’s top 2,000 publicly listed companies with net-zero targets has more than doubled in a little over two years — from 417 to 929. That’s great news, but unfortunately it means that more than half of the world’s largest companies still don’t have net-zero goals. The report also points out that many of the emission reduction targets that do exist don’t meet the UNFCCC Race to Zero criteria, which establish what “good” net-zero goals and implementation look like.  

Put simply, the report is telling us that we need to do better, from both a goal-setting perspective and an execution perspective. If you’d like to learn how to help your organization do better, read on. 

As is often the case with these types of lists, I’m sure I've missed some. If I've missed your favorite offering, I warmly invite you to join the conversation on LinkedIn to tell me and your fellow readers about it. Thanks in advance for your help with bringing these resources out into the open so that more people can get to work on advancing sustainable business practices. 

On-demand online training

These offerings are available online 24/7, which means you can start and stop as needed, and you’re not required to be available for live sessions at specific times. These are the most flexible options for busy working professionals.

Setting Science-Based Targets from the UN Global Compact Academy, in partnership with the Science Based Targets initiative

This course is part of the UN Global Compact Academy, a thoughtful, actionable collection of learning experiences designed to advance the Sustainable Development Goals. While access to the full course catalog is available only to employees of the United Nations Global Compact, this offering is free to the public. 

  • Cost: Free
  • Time to complete: 30 minutes
  • Training format: On-demand e-learning
  • Key topics covered: What is a science-based target; how to set a science-based target; what companies can do to align with 1.5 degrees Celsius pathways
The Net-Zero Standard from the UN Global Compact Academy, in partnership with the Science Based Targets initiative

This is another great, free offering from the UN Global Compact Academy. 

  • Cost: Free
  • Time to complete: 20 minutes
  • Training format: On-demand e-learning
  • Key topics covered: How the Net-Zero Standard provides a common, robust, and science-based understanding of net zero; how to set science-based net-zero targets consistent with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5C; how to align your company's near- and long-term targets with climate science
Climate Fit from SME Climate Hub, in partnership with BSR and the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

Climate Fit is designed to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to align their businesses with the 1.5C ambition by committing to halve emissions before 2030 and reach net zero by 2050. The content was designed to be accessible to all SMEs regardless of where they are in their decarbonization journey.

  • Cost: Free
  • Time to complete: Approximately 3.5 hours across 7 modules 
  • Training format: On-demand video and reading
  • Key topics covered: Climate strategy and governance; climate action for your operations; reducing emissions in your supply chain; design for net-zero; financing the net-zero transition; engaging your people and community in your climate ambitions; net-zero storytelling
Online Certificate in Carbon Reduction and Net-Zero Strategies from Sustainability Academy

This course is part of a collection of offerings from the Sustainability Academy, which is owned by the Centre for Sustainability and Excellence and is associated with GRI and PRI.

  • Cost: $545
  • Time to complete: 20 to 25 hours 
  • Training format: On-demand video, quiz, assignment
  • Key topics covered: International carbon regulations; net-zero and carbon reduction strategies; energy efficiency and green buildings; GHG accounting and assessment; Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for carbon footprint and water footprint; GHG offsetting and green marketing; reporting
The Net Zero Action Accelerator from the Environmental Defense Fund 

EDF’s Net Zero Action Accelerator web hub hasn’t officially launched yet, so I can’t point to specific training opportunities here, but the hub has been designed to provide sustainability, procurement and finance professionals with the actionable, concise and data-driven resources they need to turn climate pledges into progress. 

The hub will feature training, tools and resources presented in partnership with Deloitte, Oxford Net Zero, The Transform to Net Zero Coalition and other leading NGOs. Sign up to receive notifications about the hub’s official launch in September 2023 during NYC’s Climate Week. 

Live online training 

These offerings are fully virtual, but they include live components, so these experiences are time-sensitive and only available when the provider is running the course.

Climate and Net Zero Analyst Certification from Voiz Academy

This certification is part of a series of climate-focused bootcamps for Gen Z learners and career pivoters to help them build careers in climate. The Climate and Net Zero Analyst experience teaches students to analyze the effectiveness of corporate net-zero strategies. 

  • Cost: $495
  • Next start date: Sept. 2, 2023
  • Time to complete: 6 weeks, about 6 to 8 hours per week
  • Training format: On-demand video combined with a weekly live online peer review session
  • Key topics covered: Carbon emissions sources; carbon budgets; measuring and calculating emissions across the product life cycle; Scope 3 emissions sources; qualifying vs. greenwashed offsets; carbon capture technology; net-zero goals for financial firms
Certified Climate Change Professional from the Association of Climate Change Officers 

The ACCO provides live online cohort-based training to prepare students to take the exams required to earn the Certified Climate Change Professional (CC-P) credential. 

  • Cost: $995
  • Next start date: Sept. 12, 2023
  • Time to complete: About 35 hours over 8 weeks
  • Training format: Live online classes and assignments
  • Key topics covered: Identifying climate hazards and conducting vulnerability assessments; reporting and disclosing GHG emissions; establishing GHG reduction goals and management structures; analyzing climate risks and assessing materiality and disclosure
Business and Climate Change: Toward Net-Zero Emissions from the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership on GetSmarter

This course gives participants a holistic business understanding of how best to mitigate the business risks of climate change and oversee a low-carbon transition. Students gain the knowledge and skills to combat climate change and learn to build a business model that is resilient and profitable in the low-carbon, resource-efficient economy of the 21st century. 

  • Cost: $2,838
  • Next start date: Sept. 20, 2023
  • Time to complete: 8 weeks, about 8 to 10 hours per week
  • Training format: On-demand e-learning combined with weekly assignments
  • Key topics covered: The vision of a net-zero future; the need to repurpose the economic system; collaborating and leading a net-zero transition; decarbonization success stories; innovation and design for a net-zero 21st century; leading change and coping with disruption
Climate Change and Business: Sustainability, Risk and the Push for Net-Zero by Economist Education on GetSmarter

This course is designed for senior to C-suite professionals who want to manage the impact climate-related risks will have on their business and to develop the skills to implement a carbon-management strategy. The main goal of the course is to teach senior leaders how to craft and implement a corporate decarbonization strategy. 

  • Cost: $1,900
  • Next start date: Oct. 18, 2023
  • Time to complete: 6 weeks, about 6 to 8 hours per week
  • Training format: On-demand e-learning combined with weekly assignments
  • Key topics covered: Climate science and economics; climate risks to companies; how to develop a decarbonization strategy, including an understanding of tools available to measure, reduce and offset carbon emissions; climate disclosure and ESG investing; how to climate-proof your company
Climate Action for Business from the University of Colorado Boulder Leeds School of Business, in partnership with Project Drawdown and Mission Zero

This course explores climate action through eight aspects or dimensions of the Drawdown-aligned Business Framework. Students will leave class with a template for action that can be tailored specifically to their company and industry.

  • Cost: $1,500
  • Next start date: Nov. 7, 2023
  • Time to complete: 2 half-days
  • Training format: Live online instruction with activities 
  • Key topics covered: Stakeholder engagement and collaboration; emissions reductions; products, partnerships and procurement; investments and financing; climate disclosures; climate policy advocacy; business model transformation; long-term thinking
Corporate Climate Change Risk Management from the Yale School of Management on GetSmarter

This course is designed to empower students with the ability to design and implement a climate change risk management strategy for their business. 

  • Cost: $2,800
  • Next start date: The most recent class started on Aug. 16, 2023; new classes are held quarterly, and the next start date will be announced soon
  • Time to complete: 6 weeks, about 6 to 8 hours per week
  • Training format: On-demand video and reading combined with a weekly live online class session, quizzes and assignments
  • Key topics covered: Climate change and low-carbon transitions; climate-related financial risk; climate regulation; carbon footprint and handprint disclosures; implementing corporate climate risk management; carbon credits and voluntary markets

Join the conversation 

I hope this article has helped you find at least one great new resource to help you develop or improve your organization’s climate strategy. Be sure to keep an eye out for future articles in this series, which will focus on additional training needs of the sustainability team and the needs of functional business partners. 

Remember, if I’ve missed one of your favorites or if you want to tell me about a resource that could be relevant to a future article, please join the conversation on LinkedIn. Until next time!

More on this topic