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Development ESG-upskilling program
PwC Netherlands Consulting
Within the financial sector, the focus on sustainability is increasing by the day. A major Dutch bank also noticed an increase in the number of questions around ESG in daily practice, both on the customer side as well as internally. The bank took an important step towards sustainable progress and, together with PwC, developed an ESG refresher program for all employees.
Companies are looking for ways to bring their ESG (environmental, social, governance) strategy to life. This also applies to a major Dutch bank. The bank not only has to comply with EU sustainability rules, but also faces increasing external pressure.
ESG and sustainability are both social topics. The role that the bank takes on this issue is elementary for the image, competitiveness and credibility of an organisation that is so central to society. In addition, financial institutions are increasingly expected to have more knowledge in the field of sustainability. The opportunities and risks of climate change are considerable, also in the business world. The resilience and future-proofing of many organizations depend on this.
This was noticeable in practice. For example, employees of the climate risk department received more and more questions about sustainability, climate and ESG. There was a growing awareness within the organization that all employees must have the right knowledge and skills to make ESG an integrated part of their work. It is essential knowledge to be able to advise customers well, to assess risks correctly and to feel more meaningful when working for the bank.
The route to sustainable progress is a collaborative one. That realization was immediately clear to the major bank. All employees must feel part of this journey and it is very important everyone has the same basic knowledge.
A refresher training program has been set up in co-creation with PwC. One of the initial questions was: what basic ESG knowledge is required for everyone within the bank? The various target groups were then identified and prioritized, as different topics in further training are relevant to each target group. Specific learning routes were created for the front office, credit risk department and other specific target groups. One important element for example, was specific further training in the field of ESG regulations within the banking sector.
The ESG 'upskilling' program covers, among other things, climate change, climate risk, stakeholder expectations, net zero and CSRD. Employees get taught why change based on ESG principles is necessary and how they can drive this change in their work.
Involvement at management level is crucial for change. That is why interactive modules have been created especially for them. Thanks to the bank's ambition and the steps taken with the ESG upskilling program, the bank is on the road to sustainable progress.
Sophie de Vries
Partner, PwC Netherlands
Tel: +31 (0)61 236 48 24
Kees-Jan de Vries
Partner, PwC Netherlands
Tel: +31 (0)61 069 68 28