KPMG, Microsoft Launch Global ESG Academy

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by | Sep 27, 2023

KPMG has teamed up with Microsoft to launch an academy for clients to learn and support environment, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives.

Dubbed the KPMG ESG Academy, the scalable platform leverages the KPMG Learning Enablement and Analytics Platform, which is a preconfigured platform by Microsoft 365, Azure, Teams, and Microsoft Viva Learning that delivers learning directly into the flow of work.

The offering is available as a standalone virtual learning tool or can be integrated within clients’ in-house learning platforms. The academy aims to help organizations support their ESG initiatives with foundational and advanced learning on a range of ESG topics and disciplines. KPMG said the course content is customizable and scalable, and it can engage executive-level leadership, mid-management, and non-management learners. The academy covers basic-level ESG training, comprehensive ESG training, and, or advanced ESG-focused training in specific topics, such as circularity, reporting, and risk. 

The launch of the academy comes as more companies are increasing the robustness of their ESG reporting to ensure investors understand their place in the market. In addition, new standards for ESG reporting are being developed and finalized to create a common language and understanding of climate-related impacts in business. In June, the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) issued its first-ever standards related to sustainability disclosures by companies. The standards are currently being evaluated in the U.K., which plans to adopt the sustainability disclosure reporting standards.

“In a time of deep uncertainty, business leaders are seeking information and insight to inform their decision-making and futureproofing,” John McCalla-Leacy, head of global ESG at KPMG International, said in a statement. “The combination of economic, geopolitical and climate crises is making planning for growth more challenging than ever before. KPMG and Microsoft’s shared commitment to innovation and sustainability is what’s driving us to deliver new products and initiatives.”

The academy is part of KPMG’s range of new digital solutions with Microsoft targeting businesses on their ESG journey. The professional services firm launched KPMG Circularity Tracker, which aimed to provide depth of ESG understanding for clients, including automated data collection and model-based data calculations using standards, regulatory reporting metrics, and measurement frameworks for circularity performance. 

“Since 2015, nearly 6,000 companies have announced science-based sustainability targets, representing a third of global market capitalization,” Shell Blackburn, vice president of cross solutions at Microsoft, said in a statement. “Skilling is a vital prerequisite for driving progress. To meet their commitments, these companies need to gain insights, take action, and ultimately transform their businesses. We’re proud to collaborate with KPMG on closing the skilling gap. The KPMG ESG Academy, powered by the Microsoft Cloud, provides the knowledge and tools that corporate leaders and their teams need to build more sustainable businesses that meet today’s critical climate challenges and tomorrow’s.”

The launch also comes as Microsoft has recently ramped up its sustainability and climate-related initiatives, including powering its data centers in Texas with renewable energy and becoming one of the largest purchasers of renewable energy.

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