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Sustainability: The Role of Non-Financial Reporting

Understand the types of non-financial reporting stakeholders are asking for and how companies should handle these requests.

Financial growth graph, coins, plants and light bulb. Role of financial reporting for sustainability concept

Sustainability: The Role of Non-Financial Reporting

  • 2 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Intermediate level

Find out more about how to join this course

Explore ESG financing and the role of rating agencies

Stakeholders are increasingly demanding to know details of the sustainability strategy of companies as well as requests for non-financial data. Determining these information requirements and how best to provide them is a challenge for sustainability and finance teams.

This two-week course will help you understand the importance of non-financial data and how organisations such as rating agencies use this information to make an assessment of ESG related risks.

You’ll explore the challenges with getting the right types of data and how to avoid claims of greenwashing. You’ll also learn how the main credit rating agencies and ESG specialist firms apply their own methodologies to create ESG scores and ratings.

Building on our previous courses Sustainability: An Introduction to ESG and Sustainability: The Role of Private Sector Finance, this course will take your finance knowledge to the next level.

Learn how to communicate your sustainability strategy

You’ll start by unpacking the importance of communicating your sustainability strategy as you explore examples of corporate communication.

Explore the role of credit rating agencies

To help a business achieve its objectives it’s important to have a 2nd party opinion and 3rd party assurance.

On the course, you’ll learn the techniques to select an appropriate opinion/assurance provider.

Learn from the experts at the Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT)

Throughout the course, you’ll be guided by the specialist at ACT to gain the confidence to lead and support discussions with rating agencies and professional advisors, enhancing your career prospects in the finance sector.


  • Week 1

    The importance of reporting on sustainability strategy and performance

    • Introduction to the course

      In this activity we will introduce you to the course and what it covers, we will start to look at the importance of communication and consider approach to reporting.

    • The importance of communicating your sustainability strategy

      In this Activity we explore the growing importance of communicating your corporate strategy in relation to sustainability and ESG.

    • Key reporting frameworks

      There are two main reporting frameworks which we cover in this Activity. Their aim is reduce effort for those producing and those receiving reports on sustainability by creating some agreed standards and principles.

    • Performance indicators

      In this Activity, we explore the challenges of identifying suitable metrics that help an organisation implement its sustainability strategy.

    • Selecting sustainability related data

      In this Activity, we will explore the data collection methodologies and how they can impact claims over greenwashing.

    • Summary of Week 1

      In this activity we will review what you have covered in Week 1, and look ahead to Week 2. You will also get a chance to test your knowledge and consider other ACT activities.

  • Week 2

    How sustainability strategy and performance is used by stakeholders

    • Introduction to Week 2

      In the first Activity in Week 2, we introduce you to the week, then quickly move on to looking at ESG assessments and risks.

    • Background to credit rating agencies

      In this Activity, we will explore the work of credit rating agencies and in particular how they can play a key role in understanding the sustainability credentials of organisations.

    • How credit rating agencies assess ESG risks

      In this Activity we look at how the three main credit rating agencies undertake assessments of ESG risks.

    • The role played by non-credit rating agencies in assessing ESG risks

      Having looked at the role of credit rating agencies, in this Activity, we will explore other firms that can provide independent assessments on organisations.

    • Designing a sustainability communications operating model

      There are a variety of ways in which a company can delivers a sustainability communications operating model. In this Activity we explore some of the more common models that exist.

    • Examples of good practice in communicating a sustainability strategy

      In this Activity we look at examples of good practice.

    • Examples of good practice within ESG corporate reporting

      This activity provides highlights and links to a range of companies and they reporting on sustainability linked activities.

    • Course summary and assessment

      Well done you've got to the final activity in Week 2 and the overall course. Here you will rate your understanding, review your knowledge and have the chance to take the final assessment.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Develop an understanding of the additional challenges faced by financial reporting teams when communication a sustainability strategy and performance
  • Create reporting frameworks based on the TCFD and TNFD templates
  • Describe the challenges and tool available to collect performance data
  • Explain the methodologies employed by the three main rating agencies on ESG risks
  • Identify which other organisations can provide opinions and assurance over the management and reporting of ESG risks
  • Identify the different operating models available to report on sustainability and ESG risks

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for those working in a financial environment or dealing with corporate communications. It does not require any previous financial qualifications but an understanding of how stakeholders apply a financial lens when reviewing the performance of a business.

Who will you learn with?

I am a corporate treasury professional with a career spanning operational, strategic and consulting roles. At PwC I led the Cash and Payments proposition. I focus on payments, technology and ESG.

Following a multi decade career in credit finance working for major international banks, I am looking to refocus my energies on promoting ESG initiatives and opportunities.

Who developed the course?

The Association of Corporate Treasurers

The Association of Corporate Treasurers, the only professional treasury body with a Royal Charter, sets the global benchmark for treasury excellence through internationally recognised qualifications.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$104/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 29 Jun 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

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