Program Experience

Highlights and Key Outcomes

In the Wharton ESG Executive Certificate for Senior Leaders program, you will build upon and expand the foundational knowledge and framework from Wharton ESG Essentials. In particular, you will:

  • Gain insight into both public and private environmental governance surrounding climate risk disclosures, green marketing claims, and stress testing for the climate transition
  • Learn how to create competitive advantage through a sustainability strategy
  • Explore different geopolitical scenarios for the world economy in 2030 and what organizational structures and processes can best help you to develop a geostrategy
  • Learn about trends and performance in ESG and impact investing
  • Learn what data tools and approaches can improve your ability to identify ESG risks and opportunities in your corporation or portfolio

The Wharton ESG Executive Certificate for Senior Leaders is comprised of one month of introductory content (Wharton ESG Essentials) immediately followed by an additional month of advanced ESG management content. This advanced certificate is designed to quickly catapult corporate leaders to the forefront of ongoing ESG decision making, empowering them to act as informed, prepared catalysts for change amid urgent and complex constraints.

Participants who have successfully completed Wharton ESG Essentials as a standalone program can apply for and enroll in this certificate track within one year of Essentials completion.

Blended Online Program Structure

This program’s live online format is designed to produce immediate impact for the busy executive. Over eight weeks, participants will engage in weekly three-hour live online sessions directly with our ESG faculty experts. The learning experience is interspersed with engaging, self-paced, online activities with your peers and directly with the program faculty on the learning platform. Content is delivered by award-winning faculty at the Wharton School who are pioneering the academic research and leading the dialogue on ESG.

Broadcasted and facilitated live from Wharton’s Wave Classroom, the program prioritizes live engagement and employs a host of instructional modalities to enhance the learning experience: in-class discussions, team collaboration, case work, small-group breakout sessions, a competitive and engaging simulation, and a live panel discussion. In addition, participants will work through self-paced online content at their convenience in between live online sessions.

Blended Format Highlights Include:

  • Online Discussion with Wharton’s Distinguished ESG Faculty – This program offers the unique opportunity to directly engage with each of the program’s faculty in the live online session and on the learning platform.
  • Curated, Relevant Wharton ESG Resources – Faculty curate and share a list of essential videos to equip learners with the requisite knowledge necessary for an optimal experience in live online sessions.
  • Peer Dialogue – Participants are encouraged to share their input and experiences as well as gain valuable insights from peers and the wider community.

Program Details:
Welcome Session
February 4, 2025, from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Weekly Live Online Sessions
Every Tuesday for four consecutive weeks in February and March
1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EDT

  • Day 1: February 11, 2025
  • Day 2: February 18, 2025
  • Day 3: February 25, 2025
  • Day 4: March 4, 2025


Every Tuesday for four consecutive weeks in March and April
9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. EDT

  • Day 5: March 11, 2025
  • Day 6: March 18, 2025
  • Day 7: March 25, 2025
  • Day 8: April 1, 2025

Additional Asynchronous Preparation and Applications
Around two hours weekly

Experience and Impact

The Wharton ESG Executive Certificate for Senior Leaders will arm participants with best practices, data, and processes that they can immediately deploy in their organizations. You will build on the knowledge of Wharton ESG Essentials to have a multi-lens perspective of ESG in organizations from the investors, boards, and C-suite executives. You will learn strategies to address ESG risks and opportunities, from climate and socio-political risks to the best internal governance structures, and how to powerfully measure and harness these factors.

The program dives deepest into the skill sets befitting a successful leader who can put ESG at the forefront of value creation. You will learn the art and science of corporate diplomacy, including best practices for engaging with and fostering fruitful relationships with stakeholders, both external and internal. The program will also provide a playbook for overcoming organizational silos in the development and assessment of political risk mitigation strategies.

Additionally, you will analyze scenarios of global warming and their impact on asset values. You will gain perspective on the green technology and innovation sector, analyzing where cost curves are rapidly evolving and could impact your firm. You will investigate the risk factors that make some firms more likely to face shareholder activism and less capable or successful in their response. You will also develop tools and tactics for more sophisticated engagement with activist shareholders, policymakers, and representatives of civil society to unlock value.

Session topics include:

  • Strategy, Environmental Sustainability, and Geostrategy
  • Carbon Pricing and Climate Risk Strategies
  • ESG and Impact Investing
  • Stakeholder and Shareholder Activism

Interactive Highlights Include:

  • Program Simulation: Work with your team to make decisions focusing on crisis management and stakeholder-engagement situations. Faculty will be providing feedback on this simulation for each team.
  • 2030 Scenarios: Consider four distinct potential geopolitical scenarios for 2030 and their implications for investors today. Explore non-traditional datasets that can offer insight into socio-political risks and the efficacy of mitigation strategies, including a contrast between divestment and engagement.
  • Hands-On Social Activism: Select a shareholder proposal, review it, and advocate its adoption in your current organization or an organization of your choice. Present your rationale and engage with others and the program faculty on this advocacy exercise.
  • Engage Live with Faculty Panelists: Zoom in on climate risk strategies using key sectors such as energy, transportation, and real estate sectors and connect directly for further insight on the latest research and applications in those industries.
  • Access to Wharton ESG for Executives Network: Join a growing global group of Wharton ESG-certified leaders and gain access to the latest research by our Wharton ESG initiative faculty members.

Convince Your Supervisor

Here’s a justification letter you can edit and send to your supervisor to help you make the case for attending this Wharton program.

Due to our application review period, applications submitted after 12:00 p.m. ET on Friday for programs beginning the following Monday may not be processed in time to grant admission. Applicants will be contacted by a member of our Client Relations Team to discuss options for future programs and dates.


Megan Ryerson

Megan Ryerson

UPS Foundation Chair of Transportation and Professor, City and Regional Planning and Electrical & Systems Engineering, University of Pennsylvania.

Professor Megan S. Ryerson is the UPS Foundation Chair of Transportation and Professor of City and Regional Planning and Electrical & Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Ryerson’s research emphasis is in the area of transportation engineering and planning, with a focus on intercity transportation planning and urban transportation safety. Dr. Ryerson has written extensively in the area of air transportation, including environmental impacts, economic development, and multimodal planning. In 2024 Dr. Ryerson was awarded a $6M NASA University Leadership Initiative award to study, develop, and deploy solutions for aviation system resilience. In the urban transportation safety area, Dr. Ryerson founded the Center for Safe Mobility under which she focuses on the development of development of novel, human-centered transportation safety metrics as well as the evaluation of safety-focused policies. Dr. Ryerson has published over 65 peer-reviewed articles, won numerous awards for her scholarship and leadership, and counseled major airlines, cities, Universities, airports and Port Authorities, and the Federal Aviation Administration.

Dr. Ryerson served as the first Associate Dean for Research at Penn’s Weitzman School of Design. She founded the Research Support Center which assists faculty in pursuing external funding; during her five years as Associate Dean for Research, awarded grants grew by over 300%. Dr. Ryerson is a committed educator dedicated to the advancement of women in transportation. For these efforts, her mentorship and her accomplishments, Dr. Ryerson was named “Woman of the Year” by the Women's Transportation Seminar-Philadelphia Chapter.

Luke Taylor

Luke Taylor

John B. Neff Professor in Finance; Professor of Finance Co-Director; Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Coordinator of Finance PhD Program, The Wharton School

Dr. Taylor is John B. Neff Professor in Finance; Professor of Finance Co-Director, and a Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Coordinator of Finance PhD Program at The Wharton School. Primary areas of research are empirical corporate finance and asset management. Dr. Taylor's research focuses on three main themes: sustainable investing, skill in fund management, and structural estimation in corporate finance. His work has appeared in the Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Economics, Review of Financial Studies, as well as nonacademic outlets such as the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, and Forbes. His research has received the Fama/DFA Prize for best paper in the Journal of Financial Economics, the AQR Insight Award for Distinguished Paper among others. He is an associate editor at the Journal of Financial Economics and Review of Finance. Dr. Taylor received his AB from Princeton University and MBA and PhD in Finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Dr. Taylor teaches Venture Capital and the Finance of Innovation to undergraduate, MBA, and executive MBA students at the Wharton school.

Who Should Attend

The Wharton ESG Executive Certificate for Senior Leaders is designed for senior leaders and professionals responsible for devising and leading their firm’s ESG strategy. This audience includes organization leaders (C-suite leaders, vice presidents, board members); financial professionals (investment and private equity professionals, bankers, portfolio managers, venture capitalists, hedge fund managers, financial advisors and analysts); and strategists (consultants, business development professionals, in-house ESG managers) in addition to functional and cross-functional leadership positions that have a stake in their firm’s ESG strategy execution.

Fluency in English, written and spoken, is required for participation in Wharton Executive Education programs unless otherwise indicated.


Witold Henisz

Witold Henisz, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Academic Director

Vice Dean and Faculty Director, ESG Initiative; Deloitte & Touche Professor of Management in Honor of Russell E. Palmer, former Managing Partner

Research Interests: Political and social risk management; project management; ESG integration; stakeholder engagement

Chris Geczy

Christopher Geczy, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Adjunct Professor of Finance; Academic Director, Wharton Wealth Management Initiative; Academic Director, Jacobs Levy Equity Management Center for Quantitative Financial Research, The Wharton School

Emile Feldman

Emilie Feldman, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Michael L. Tarnopol Professor; Professor of Management, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Corporate governance, corporate strategy, diversification, divestitures, firm scope, spinoffs, mergers and acquisitions

Claudine Gartenberg

Claudine Gartenberg, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Associate Professor of Management, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Research Interests: Corporate strategy; organizational strategy; firm scope; motivation; corporate governance; compensation and pay inequality; corporate purpose

Mary-Hunter McDonnell

Mary-Hunter McDonnell, JD, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Bantwal Family Goldman Sachs Presidential Associate Professor; Associate Professor of Management

Research Interests: Organizational theory (political sociology, institutional theory); nonmarket strategy; corporate governance; corporate misconduct and punishment

Mirko S. Heinle

Mirko Heinle, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Professor of Accounting, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Theoretical research in financial and managerial accounting

Nicolaj Siggelkow

Nicolaj Siggelkow, PhDSee Faculty Bio

David M. Knott Professor; Professor of Management; Co-Director, Mack Institute for Innovation Management, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Competitive strategy, firms as systems of interconnected choices

Sarah Light

Sarah Light, JDSee Faculty Bio

Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics; Faculty Co-Director, Wharton Climate Center


ESG considerations are increasingly becoming part of executive responsibilities and as a big proponent of continuous learning I was looking for a program to enhance my ESG skills and ability to effectively incorporate ESG factors into my decision making. The program provided me with a powerful mix of insights about ESG and sustainability by engaging in many valuable and thought-provoking discussions about the merits of implementing a robust sustainability framework. By broadening the understanding of ESG factors, we can all make more informed and sustainable choices that align with our values and contribute to a long-term success.”

Snjezana Tremblay Chief Risk and Compliance Officer, Bermuda

Date, Location, & Fees

February 4 – April 5, 2025Live Online$7,000Welcome Session: Wednesday, February 4, 2025, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. EST
Weekly Live Online Sessions:
Tuesdays beginning February 11, 2025, for eight consecutive weeks
Time: 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EDT
Additional Asynchronous Hours: Weekly

Download the program schedule, including session details and format.

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