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Introduction to ESG

The Introduction to Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance Course, will provide an initial understanding about implications ESG may have on the strategic design of CSOs’ advocacy actions, enabling them to better identify needs and opportunities.

About This Course

The demand for Environmental, Social and Corporate governance (ESG) criteria in investing has seen exponential growth in recent years. The ESG trend, and the incentives it creates for businesses and investors provides unique advocacy opportunities for CSOs to influence institutional investment policies and corporate behaviors with unprecedented efficacy and precision.

By engaging with institutional investors, ESG rating agencies, but also individual businesses, CSOs can be instrumental in providing a different perspective, filling an information gap and contributing to achieving a full picture of what sustainable business practice looks like. Civil society is well placed to provide information that could be fed directly into institutional databases that rate companies’ individual ESG performance, and create a lasting pressure for positive change on topics such Human Rights, labor practices, and corporate governance.

Realizing that many CSOs and NGOs may not be aware of these trends and the opportunities they offer, this introductory course is aimed at providing a basic overview for CSOs and activists to increase their knowledge about the ESG criteria and allow them to identify possible opportunities and gaps in their advocacy strategies.


This course is meant for members of civil society, whether organized (NGOs, CSOs) or individual activists, community organizers, human rights defenders and supporters of civil society. No prior knowledge or experience in ESG is assumed.


This course was originally launched in October 2021, and included a live Q&A session in December 2021. Speakers make reference to this live Q&A session at the end of their interventions. For confidentiality reasons, the live Q&A session was not recorded and is not accessible. The content of the course and the additional material are still up-to-date. There is no additional live Q&A session planned at the moment. As a result, if viewers have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact PILnet at [email protected].

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