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The need for climate competent directors is no longer around the corner. It is an urgent reality.

Climate change is creating risks and opportunities for businesses in a diverse number of ways. Investors, regulators and other stakeholders are challenging organizations to take responsibility by adopting an integrated, strategic approach to addressing the climate imperative.

As long-term stewards, directors must understand the impacts of climate change on their organizations. This includes consideration of the physical and transition risks, strategic risks and opportunities under different scenarios, oversight of internal monitoring and external reporting, and more. The consequences of inaction must not be underestimated.

Effective climate change oversight, however, does not involve a straight path or simple solution. Boards of all sectors are grappling with how to frame these risks and opportunities and embed a viable adaptation strategy into their business models. How can they effectively navigate stakeholder expectations across their operating environments? What steps can they take to ensure organizational resilience  amidst shifting capital flows and ever-evolving regulatory landscapes? More fundamentally, where and how should boards begin this journey and how can they help management advance and thrive in a practical way?

Grounded in the World Economic Forum’s Principles for Effective Climate Governance, the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, and the strategic guidance of the ICD’s Climate Strategy Advisory Board, Board Oversight of Climate Change (co-hosted by the ICD and Chapter Zero Canada*) is designed to build directors’ climate competency, equipping them with the knowledge, tools and forward-thinking strategies to:
  • Enhance their oversight of climate-related risks.
  • Optimize their organizations’ long-term competitiveness in the context of climate change.
  • Augment their contribution to boardroom discussions on climate change reporting.
Upon completion of the program participants will receive a certificate to indicate that they have successfully completed critical building blocks of climate competence.

*The ICD is host of Chapter Zero Canada, the Canadian Chapter of the World Economic Forum’s Climate Governance Initiative. Chapter Zero Canada’s mandate is to mobilize the corporate director community through education based on the World Economic Forum’s Climate Governance Principles, as contextualized for Canada, on strategies to embed climate considerations into Canadian boardrooms’ strategic decision making.

Current Offerings

  • At this time, there are no active course offerings for Board Oversight of Climate Change. The new academic year will commence on September 1, 2022; please check back regularly for future offerings on this program.


This program uses a blended online learning model that weaves together best practices in adult education with creative networking opportunities.

  • It is comprised of three modules, each of which will include:

    Independent online learning (three to five hours per module)

    Each module will have distinct independent learning requirements to be completed in advance of the live, instructor-led sessions
    Comprised of e-learning modules, videos, webinars, readings, polls, discussion forums and more, independent learning enables participants to work through material at the time and pace that best suits their individual needs. It also allows for content to be broken into shorter, more digestible sections, and delivered in multiple formats to appeal to different preferences. 
    Participants will receive access to independent learning materials for Module 1 approximately two weeks prior to the instructor-led session. Access to independent learning materials for Modules 2 and 3 will become available following the conclusion of the instructor-led session for the preceding Module.

    *Note: completion of some independent learning components may require a live internet connection.

    Live, instructor-led session (one four-hour session per module, sessions delivered two weeks apart)

    The instructor-led online sessions will focus on the application of concepts covered through independent learning. The live session will be comprised of a combination of class faculty led discussions, breakout group discussions and exercises, Q & A with instructors and other experts, simulations and cases, live polling and online chats.

    Supplemental resources and tools

    Participants will receive supplemental resources to augment the required components of their independent learning packages.

    Learning sustainment and engagement opportunities

    Following course completion, participants will be invited to join an Alumni Portal, becoming part of a community of practice where they gain access to tools and resources to help apply course learnings in real-life settings. They will also have opportunities to engage in discussion forums with course peers to exchange questions, ideas and experiences that will round out their newly acquired knowledge and skills.


  • Fundamentals of Climate Governance Elearning Module (included in independent learning package)

    Participation in this interactive, elearning module will enable participants to:

    • Recognize why boards must take a proactive approach climate change oversight.

    • Understand how overseeing climate change links with directors’ fiduciary duty and why it necessitates a unique approach.

    • Demonstrate how climate change governance integrates with oversight of strategy, risk, performance, and reporting.

    • Identify steps to ensure the board is sufficiently educated on climate change and assess whether they could benefit from external resources.

    • Determine whether additional skills or expertise are required on the board to effectively oversee climate change.

    • Explore different structures and frameworks appropriate for board oversight of climate change.

    Module 1: Integration of Climate Change into Oversight of Risk Management

    Participation in this module will equip directors with the knowledge and frameworks to:

    1. Integrate climate-related risk within the broader mandate of enterprise risk oversight.

    2. Identify appropriate management roles responsible for identifying, assessing, and managing material climate-related risks and opportunities.

    3. Ensure board satisfaction with management processes to identify, assess and mitigate material climate risks.

    4. Understand the correlations between climate-related risks and other ESG-related risks (e.g., Indigenous, human capital management, relationships with local communities, social license).

    Module 2: Integration of Climate Change into Oversight of Strategy

    Participation in this module will equip directors with the knowledge and frameworks to:

    1. Assess the impact of climate change in the context of strategic and financial planning, including capital allocation, operational budgeting, mergers and acquisitions and divestitures.

    2. Integrate climate change factors into strategic oversight across short, medium- and long-term time frames.

    3. Evaluate the resilience of their organization’s strategy under different climate-related scenarios, including a 2°C or lower scenario.

    4. Understand best practices for integrating climate change factors into management incentives and compensation structures.

    Module 3: Oversight of Climate Change Communication and Reporting

    Participation in this module will equip directors with the knowledge and frameworks to:

    1. Understand how to integrate climate change into the board’s oversight of external reporting.

    2. Assess the use cases for different climate change reporting frameworks and standards used for external reporting to company stakeholders.

    3. Identify steps to evaluate appropriateness of metrics used by the organization to assess climate-related risks and opportunities.

    4. Identify the board’s role in setting climate change goals and performance targets.

    5. Understand how to integrate climate change into the board’s internal monitoring of company performance against key performance indicators and progress toward targets.


Participants will gain the key insights and understanding necessary to build their climate competence and enhance their contributions to climate change oversight.

  • Specifically, they will:

    • Enhance their oversight of climate-related risks and opportunities, improve their organizations’ long-term competitiveness and augment their contribution to board considerations on climate change reporting

    • Benefit from the collective knowledge and experience of a best-in-class teaching team

    • Gain access to proprietary tools and frameworks to enhance their application of course takeaways

    • Thrive in a flexible and intuitive online learning environment designed to optimize their course experience

    • Gain access to a lively community of practice where they can share queries and insights with course peers to continue learning and networking

    • Receive a certificate to indicate that they have successfully completed critical building blocks of climate competence


This program is ideal for directors across all sectors looking to advance their contributions to climate change governance by:
    • Enhancing their oversight of climate-related risks
    • Optimizing their organizations’ long-term competitiveness in the context of climate change
    • Augmenting their contribution to boardroom discussions on climate change reporting


Participants will benefit from the collective knowledge, insights and guidance of a best-in-class teaching team with diverse experience across a range of climate governance facets:

Sarah Keyes, CPA, CA Headshot
Michelle Tan Headshot
Miranda Hubbs, CFA Headshot
Wendy Kei, FCPA, FCA, ICD.D Headshot
Jo Mark Zurel Headshot

Expert Contributors

Jennifer Coulson, ICD.D Headshot
Michelle Edkins Headshot
Andrew Hall Headshot
Carol Hansell, LL.B, F.ICD Headshot
Jane E. Kinney, BMath, FCPA, FCA Headshot
Jo-Anne Matear Headshot
Bertrand Millot Headshot
Mark Podlasly Headshot
Michael Torrance Headshot