Sustainability training: a win-win for people, business, and the planet

Written by Malvi Goyal

Every generation has an era defining problem that it must solve. Ours is maybe the most pressing of all: confronting climate change to safeguard the future of our planet, our economy, and our people.

The scale of this challenge should not be underestimated and needs to be tackled collectively. For businesses, it means that upskilling the workforce on climate and sustainability is no longer a nice to have; it’s a fundamental necessity.

Speaking to Reuters Plus, AXA Climate School’s Head of APAC, Shalmalee Nath, and Head of Market Development, Ciaran McCormack, explained how businesses can approach sustainability training to cultivate the awareness and skills needed. Here are our key takeaways.

Read the full article & watch the video here.

All businesses, large and small, will have to adapt to climate change.

No business is immune to climate change. We can already see how heat stress is creating hazardous working conditions, and extreme events like droughts, floods and wildfires are impacting operations, and demanding a rethink of business models.

ESG disclosure means businesses must adapt in other ways too. This is happening on a global scale, at an industry level, and regionally. India has introduced mandatory sustainability reporting (the Business Responsibility and Sustainability Reporting requirements). Australia is also proposing a new law for large and medium sized companies. To meet ESG disclosure requirements businesses will have to integrate new reporting measures, such as the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) reporting frameworks, or the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework which is widely used, including in Australia and New Zealand. For many this shift to new reporting approaches will require new skills and competencies.

Ultimately, organisations must realise that inaction is no longer just irresponsible towards the planet, it is fiscally and socially irresponsible too. The sustainable transition needs to happen at scale and at pace and, to respond, businesses need a workforce with the right skills and knowledge. Every job today will be a green job tomorrow.

Building a culture of sustainability needs buy in from all employees.  

Everyone in society has a role to play in addressing the climate crisis. This is particularly true in an organisation where, as employees, it is often easier to see what our role is and how we can act it out.

The sustainable transition impacts all facets of an organisation; everyone is an active stakeholder. People across all job levels and functions – from marketing and sales, to IT, finance, legal and facilities management – will need supporting, motivating, and upskilling to navigate changes in their day-to-day roles.

It is also very important to outline a clear learning pathway that is accessible to individuals no matter their level of understanding. This is why AXA Climate School was created to be rolled out across an entire organisation, at every level. By providing a library of training content aimed at specific job functions and covering a broad range of climate and sustainability topics, we are helping businesses to educate and share knowledge widely.

Training helps transform employees into sustainability advocates.

By proactively training the workforce there is an opportunity to foster support for your sustainability strategy and get ahead of the curve in cultivating the specific technical, cognitive and leadership skills that are needed to action it.

Some organisations have been quick to realise the value of this investment. In the manufacturing sector Schneider Electric is working with AXA Climate School to raise awareness and understanding of its sustainability strategy amongst its 140,000 strong workforce. We are also part of Accor Group’s initiative to train everyone in its hospitality business – from the front line to the boardroom – about sustainability and how this influences the way the company operates.

Importantly, when you are designing a training programme on a topic as multi-faceted and dense as climate change, it is crucial that the content is engaging for the audience. Scientific content must be balanced with real life examples demonstrating how to put sustainability action into practice. To inspire change we must connect with people at the human level.


Businesses are starting to appreciate that their growth cannot sustain unchecked in a world where natural resources are being depleted faster than ever before .

If you want to learn more about how AXA Climate School can help your organisation on its path to becoming more sustainable, please get in touch.


Read the full article & watch the video here