The IASE's initial ESG qualifications will launch in late 2020 | Credit: Scott Graham

The IASE’s initial ESG qualifications will launch in late 2020 | Credit: Scott Graham

The International Association for Sustainable Economy (IASE) to offer online ESG exams and accreditation to ‘deepen the sustainable development of our society’

The International Association for Sustainable Economy (IASE) has launched a global accreditation scheme for professionals working in the field of environmental, social and governance (ESG), in an effort to provide a benchmarked standard for skills in the sector.

IASE, a newly-established sustainability body for the finance and business sectors, plans to begin offering online exams to test professionals on their ESG credentials from later this year, claiming the accreditation is the first of its type in the world.

While the global market for ESG investing has surged in recent years as public awareness of climate change has grown alongside growing understanding of the financial risks it poses, what actually constitutes an ESG investment can still vary significantly and specific sector-wide standards and measurement tools have been lacking.

The IASE benchmarked accreditation scheme is therefore designed to boost both customer and business understanding of ESG issues, while also awarded professionals and companies for socially-conscious behaviour, according to the London-based Association.

Two ESG certifications, one each for the finance and business sectors, are set for launch in the final quarter of 2020, and will be made available in more than 25 countries, including the UK, USA, France and Germany, said IASE.

IASE chair Javier Manzanares Allen, deputy executive director of the Green Climate Fund, said his ambition for the newly-established Association was to “deepen the sustainable development of our society by certifying professionals in ESG matters and in an environment of continuous innovation”.

“The Association will initially have two types of certifications, the first – International Sustainable Finance – aimed at the financial sector, with specialisations in the banking, insurance, savings banks and microfinance sector, and the second – International Sustainable Business – aimed at the business sector,” he explained. “The IASE qualifications have been designed in collaboration with highly experienced ESG professionals from multiple geographies and industries around the world.”