It’s no secret that professional skills training courses can help you advance your career and earn more than your peers.
Luckily, there are plenty of free courses that you can take online to learn more about ESG. Some courses even offer certifications at the end, which you can add to your resume or LinkedIn to make yourself more marketable.
Below are more than 40 free online ESG courses to take this year, organized by topic, along with six places to find more free and affordable courses.
Introduction to ESG Courses
1. ESG Risks and Opportunities — University of Pennsylvania — Coursera
2. Introduction to ESG — Corporate Finance Institute
3. Introduction to Sustainability — University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign — Coursera
Sustainable Business Courses
4. Business Models For Sustainability — Copenhagen Business School — Coursera
5. Corporate Sustainability. Understanding and Seizing the Strategic Opportunity — Università Bocconi — Coursera
6. Diploma in Sustainable Business— Saylor Academy — Alison
7. How to Start a New Business and Integrate Sustainability — Alison
8. Strategic Communication for Sustainability Leaders — University of Maryland — edX
9. Strategy and Sustainability — IESE Business School — Coursera
10. Sustainability in Corporations and Businesses — Alison
11. The Materiality of ESG Factors — University of Pennsylvania — Coursera
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
12. Age of Sustainable Development — SDGAcademy — edX
13. Data Science on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — Udemy
14. Driving Business Towards the Sustainable Development Goals — Erasmus University Rotterdam — Coursera
15. Impact Measurement & Management for the SDGs — Duke University — Coursera
16. Introduction to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — Udemy
17. The Science and Practice of Sustainable Development — The University of Queensland — edX
18. The Sustainable Development Goals – A Global, Transdisciplinary Vision for the Future — University of Copenhagen — Coursera
19. Transforming Our World: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals — SDGAcademy — edX
20. Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace — ESSEC Business School — Coursera21. Human Rights, Human Wrongs: Challenging Poverty, Vulnerability and Social Exclusion — SDG Academy — edX
22. Inclusive Leadership: The Power of Workplace Diversity — University of Colorado — Coursera
23. Introduction to Corporate Sustainability, Social Innovation and Ethics — Imperial College Business School — edX
24. Work and Employment for a Sustainable Future — SDGAcademy — edX
25. Circular Economy: An Interdisciplinary Approach — Wageningen — edX26. Circular Economy: An Introduction — TUDelft — edX
27. Circular Economy - Sustainable Materials Management — Lund University — Coursera
28. Climate Action: Solutions for a Changing Planet — SDGAcademy — edX
29. Disaster Preparedness — University of Pittsburgh — Coursera
30. Environmental Education: Biodiversity Overview — Alison
31. Environmental Education: Circular Economy— Alison
32. Environmental Education: Energy Calculations — Alison
33. Environmental Education: Transport — Alison
34. Environmental Gamechanger – Lead the Way to Sustainable Development — Wageningen — edX
35. Introduction to Environmental Sustainability Course Online — Alison
36. Online Sustainable Green Buildings Architecture Course — Alison
37. Scope 1: Greenhouse Gases Emissions Calculation Methodology — Udemy
38. Sustainable Energy — MIT — edX
39. Urban Transport and Sustainability — Alison
40. Corporate Governance in Practice — Bina Nusantara University — Udemy
41. CSR Disclosures and Ethics — Udemy
42. Inclusive Growth: Governance — The International Monetary Fund — edX
43. Operational Risk Management: Frameworks & Strategies — New York Institute of Finance — Coursera
Where to find free and affordable ESG courses
The 50 free ESG courses we listed above will teach you the basics as well provide you with some deeper knowledge of specific areas of sustainability practice. If you want to gain some additional certifications or you have more time and resources to invest in your education, here are some platforms you can check out.
Coursera offers over 5,200 free online courses from the world's leading companies and universities, including Google, Microsoft, Oxford, Yale, and Stanford. Learners can also choose the paid version of these courses, which includes access to graded assignments and a completion certificate. Courses start throughout the year, so be sure to check the catalog to find a course that works with your schedule.
EdX is another online learning platform that offers free and paid courses. It was founded in 2012 by MIT and Harvard, and today edX partners with some of the world’s best institutions like Cambridge and the University of California Berkeley. Like Coursera, edX courses start at various times throughout the year.
Udemy’s massive library of more than 204,000 courses is what sets it apart from other online learning platforms. Anyone can create free courses on Udemy, so be sure to read about your instructor’s prior experience before deciding which course to join.
With over 4,000 free courses, Alison is another great place to learn online. Most of Alison’s offerings are short ‘micro-courses’, which is ideal if you only have a few hours to learn. Although you’ll find fewer courses from big-name universities like Harvard and Yale, Alison stands out from other online learning platforms because it offers five language options: English, Spanish, French, Italian, and Brazilian Portuguese.
5. SDG Academy
SDG Academy creates and curates free courses and educational materials on sustainable development and the Sustainable Development Goals. Courses are taught by instructors from the United Nations, the World Bank, universities, and other government and non-profit institutions.
As you may have noticed above, many universities offer free courses through platforms like Coursera and Udemy. However, there are also a number of paid courses available as well — some of which are eligible for credit toward a degree. For example, the University of Michigan offers a Sustainability and Development MasterTrack certificate program online through Coursera.