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Webinar Replay on the
Climate Governance Certificate

Watch the webinar recording
Download a PDF of the Slides

Useful Resources

Certificate Requirements
Enrollment Process
Frequently Asked Questions
3rd-Party Courses
Customized Workshops

Tailoring Training Curriculum

ACCO is working with a consortium of organizations and government entities to tailor training materials and curriculum to compliant with requirements such as President Obama's Executive Orders 13514, 13653 and 13693 and California-specific mandates.

Additionally, training programs will be offered that have been customized to specific sectors, decision-making roles and geographic regions.

The Buzz

"Climate change is affecting communities, public health, natural resources, ecosystems, economies, infrastructure, and supply chains across the Nation – now and into the foreseeable future. Because climate change effects are far-reaching and complex, and our understanding of climate change is rapidly growing, responding to climate change will pose new or unfamiliar challenges for many of leaders. It's important that standards are established for ensuring that leaders can get the knowledge and skills they need to help the nation respond to the threats that climate change poses."
- Paul Wagner (Former Deputy Associate Director for Climate Preparedness, White House Council on Environmental Quality)

"This initiative will help us build the institution-wide capacity we need to drive large-scale climate adaptation initiatives and prepare communities like South Florida for the very significant implications of climate change."
- Susanne Torriente (Assistant City Manager, City of Fort Lauderdale)

"Credentialing Climate Change Officers is critical to professionalizing this emerging discipline.  Climate change affects virtually every business. Understanding how climate change impacts business strategy and planning for - and adapting to - that impact is fundamental to success. Businesses with an officer who has earned a Climate Governance Certificate will be a step ahead of their competition. I applaud ACCO for this important accomplishment."
- Peter Gray (Partner, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP and Co-Founder of ACCO)

"The Climate Governance Certificate addresses an important constituency within ACCO’s vision of empowering a professional workforce to manage the risks and opportunities associated with climate change."
- Michael Mondshine (Vice President, Sustainability and Energy, WSP and ACCO Board Chair)

Climate Governance Certificate

ACCO is pleased to unveil its first professional credential, the Climate Governance Certificate. This certificate recognizes the capacity of senior executives and officials across sectors to make informed and strategic decisions on climate change related risks to the operations of an organization and its surrounding communities. For climate change professionals, this certificate can be used as a step toward the master-level CCO DesignationTM. Upon completion of the requirements, bearers of the Climate Governance Certificate will have developed a fundamental understanding of climate science and risk assessment, footprint management and reduction strategies, project finance and economic analysis related to climate initiatives, governance and engagement tactics, and enterprise strategy.

Delivering Value

This certificate is a highly visible credential that affirms knowledge of climate-related risks and opportunities as well as the skills needed to take sensible action. Certificate bearers are broadly recognized for exemplifying a forward-thinking mindset and a capacity to incorporate climate related knowledge and skills into their day-to-day decision-making. The core requirements and broad-ranging electives have been designed to enhance professional performance and prepare decision makers for the increasingly complex challenges that climate change poses to their organizations and communities.

Development of Climate Change Competencies

Executives and senior officials working in industry, academia, government or the NGO community will develop a proven ability to understand and meaningfully contribute to driving climate action through the following skills and competencies:

  • Recognizing situations where climate change outcomes affect the organization
  • Assessing impacts of specific situational outcomes
  • Enabling enterprise management of climate related initiatives
  • Assessing and quantifying climate risks and opportunities
  • Educating the organization on managing short-term and long-term uncertainty
  • Tailoring communication to different audiences
  • Leading organizational change initiatives
  • Developing and overseeing training programs
  • Attributing value to resource consumption
  • Extending organizational capabilities and maintaining good stewardship of actions taken through collaboration and partnership
  • Developing strategies for bundling, comparing to and/or relying on existing management models

Overview of Certificate Requirements

The core curriculum for this certificate requires approximately 40-50 hours of training and completion of a practicum project:

  • Core Curriculum approximately 24-30 hours
    • Basics of climate science, latest projections, identifying climate hazards and conducting vulnerability assessment
    • Fundamentals of greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting, reporting and disclosure and an understanding of the energy, water and food nexus
    • Strategies for engaging stakeholders, leading organizational change initiatives, and determining the best internal and external policies and actions for your organization
    • Economic implications of climate change
    • Analyzing and quantifying climate risk, uncertainty, assessing materiality and disclosing climate risk
  • Electives approximately 14-16 hours
    • Coursework oriented toward a particular sector
    • Coursework tailored by professional role/function
    • Coursework focused upon geographic region or location type
  • Practicum Project
    Upon successful completion of the mandatory and elective course requirements, certificate applicants are required to design and complete a work-related project that reflects understanding of the above-referenced coursework. An independent review board managed by ACCO provides guidance to certificate enrollees prior to undertaking the Practicum Project.

Leveraging the Certificate
for the CCO DesignationTM

Bearers of this certificate may enroll in the CCO Designation program—the master-level credential, which will be offered beginning in 2016—and jump straight into its advanced requirements and electives.

Continuing Education & Usage Requirements

ACCO maintains a searchable database of certificate bearers in good standing. Maintaining good standing requires written documentation provided to ACCO reflecting the following:

  • Completion of a minimum of 8 hours of continuing education courses annually
    • Satisfaction of continuing education requirements for previously taken courses (can also be used toward annual 8 hour requirement)
  • Contribution to the community of climate practitioners through a minimum of 40 hours of service, which may include: speaking at public events, conducting research, developing training programs for internal/external stakeholders, and/or publication.

Tracking Progress

Certificate enrollees can track their progress through ACCO’s web-based membership management system. This system enables tracking of requirements met to date and outstanding requirements needed to complete the certificate. Additionally, ACCO staff is available to provide counsel to enrollees.

Summary of Program Fees

  • Enrollment Fee: $195
  • Certificate Application: $795 (Includes one year individual ACCO membership)
  • Annual Certificate Renewal:
    • $795 (corporate and general)
    • $695 (NGO and academic)
    • $195 (government)