KPMG Global Learning: a learning solution for ESG literacy


Through helping other organisations mitigate risks and grasp opportunities, KPMG drives positive, sustainable change for clients, our people and society at large.

KPMG firms operate in 143 countries and territories, and in FY22, collectively employed more than 265,000 partners and people, serving the needs of business, governments, public-sector agencies, not-for-profits and through KPMG firms’ audit and assurance practices, the capital markets. KPMG is committed to quality and service excellence in all that they do, bringing their best to clients and earning the public’s trust through their actions and behaviors both professionally and personally.

The requirement

A learning solution for ESG literacy

KPMG Global Learning came to Cambridge needing a learning solution for ESG literacy, that they could deploy across the organisation. ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) is one of KPMG’s core strategic pillars, but the firm had identified an inconsistency across ESG thinking across the organisation, and a lack of understanding around core aspects of the sustainable transition. A learning solution was needed to enhance knowledge and support KPMG professionals in acting as trusted advisors in the ESG space.

KPMG’s requirement for a global learning solution focused on ESG literacy is a key aspect of their overarching organisational strategy to be a key component of securing a just transition to a green future. However, KPMG realised they needed an external partner to get cutting-edge insights and actionable outcomes allowing them to become a trusted advisor in the ESG space.

ESG has become a core strategic pillar for KPMG. Recognising the increasing significance of ESG factors in the business landscape, KPMG aimed to position itself as an organisation at the forefront of ESG solutions. By enhancing ESG knowledge among their professionals, KPMG ensures that they can effectively navigate the complexities of sustainable development, align client strategies with ESG goals, and drive positive change.

Another core driver for the KPMG team was the inconsistency in ESG thinking identified across the organisation that highlighted the need for a standardised understanding and approach. This lack of consistency could have hindered collaboration, impede effective client advisory services, and potentially lead to contradictory guidance. By addressing this issue through a comprehensive learning solution, KPMG aimed to foster consistency and alignment in ESG thinking across the organisation, enabling professionals to speak a common language and work together seamlessly.

Moreover, as the sustainable, just transition gains momentum globally, clients increasingly expect their advisors to possess strong ESG expertise. By upskilling their workforce in ESG literacy, KPMG ensures that their professionals are well-equipped to act as trusted advisors and provide valuable insights and solutions to clients’ sustainability challenges.

The solution

A bespoke, 2-tier online learning programme

Cambridge Judge Business School leveraged its place as the leading research institution for sustainability to create a bespoke online learning solution, ‘The Cambridge ESG Transformation Programme’. This bespoke programme was designed to address the specific needs, challenges and context of KPMG.

The programme consisted of two tiers: ‘core modules’ and ‘content paths’. The core modules, each lasting 50 minutes, focused on ESG issues at a macro level, exploring topics such as organisational change and systems thinking. These modules provided a broad understanding of the sustainable transition and its implications.

The content paths, comprising 7 modules of 40 minutes each, delved deeper into specific aspects of the sustainable transition. These paths covered topics including net-zero initiatives, positive social impact, and accountable governance. By exploring these areas in detail, the participants gained a comprehensive understanding of the intricacies and nuances of ESG.

To ensure the programme’s relevance and effectiveness, the Business School worked closely with KPMG’s team of subject matter experts (SMEs) from around the world. By leveraging Cambridge’s thought leadership in sustainability, and utilising the latest digital delivery techniques the programme addressed the specific challenges faced by the organisation and incorporated real-world contexts that would enhance delegates learning and make the outcomes actionable.

Through ‘The Cambridge ESG Transformation Programme’, KPMG professionals gained access to high-quality learning content that combined academic rigor with practical application. This collaboration between Cambridge Judge and KPMG global learning enabled KPMG professionals to enhance their ESG literacy and develop the expertise needed to become trusted advisors in the field.

The impact

Increasing KPMG employee knowledge of ESG issues


Member firms the programme is available to


Potential learners


Module completions to date


Expert faculty and industry experts teaching on the programme

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The programme was made available to KPMG’s 140+ member firms at the start of 2023, giving access to a possible 150,000 learners. To date, the programme has seen over 11,000 module completions, receiving excellent anecdotal feedback from learning heads and participants across member firms.

By drawing on the expertise of over 10 expert faculty and industry experts, and by extension the research of dozens of their students, centres and collaborators the programme has massively increased the access of KPMG professionals to Cambridge thought leadership. This, and the asynchronous, mobile nature of the programme, maximises our ability to share Cambridge insights with the professional community anywhere in the world, at any time, in any context. We are confident that the programme will continue to enhance KPMG’s ESG understanding across its portfolio and will serve as a world-leading example of academic thought leadership applied to the pressing business and human challenges of our age.

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