ESG stands for environment, social, and governance and refers to factors/criteria measuring the sustainability and ethical impact of a company or business. Increasingly today, investment decisions are made based on a company’s environmental, social, and governance performance with metrics to report for each criterion that finally results in an ESG score. Today there exist about 600 ESG reporting standards and the discourse around ESG parameters/measurement is still evolving in India.
Given the huge disease, economic, and ecological burden caused by controversial industries (like alcohol, tobacco, and ultra-processed food), it becomes important for public health researchers to be made aware and critical of the sustainability reporting practices of such entities. There needs to be a better understanding of how and why certain businesses, though known to cause much harm to public health across their supply chains, are able to retain a good public image by securing ESG ratings/scores.
The course provides an introduction to sustainability in the context of businesses and what it implies for public health. It attempts to look at the intersections of health and businesses.
Resource persons for the course include a mix of persons from corporations, civil society organizations, and local and international health and development agencies who are working toward sustainable solutions for businesses, working with issues on business and human rights, corporate accountability, and industry interference in public health and policy.
The course is a mix of video lecture recordings, reading material, and quizzes. The course can be completed for free – only participants requiring a ‘Certificate of completion’ need to pay 2,400 INR INC GST for administrative costs at the end of the course.
The course aims to introduce participants to the intersection between businesses, sustainability, and public health by focusing on business practices and reporting about “Environment, Social and Governance” (ESG) – a key component of business sustainability/responsibility – and what it implies for public health using examples from the tobacco sector.
- To describe the history and emergence of ESG norms within the space of business responsibility and sustainability reporting (BRSR) practices in India
- To enumerate the laws/policies in place for BRSR reporting for companies in India
- To describe how ESG is scored and measured
- To describe how some businesses cause environmental, social, and governance concerns that are overlooked in company disclosures reporting on ESG parameters
- To critically assess the implications of ESG investments on public health in India with a focus on the tobacco sector
- To critically appraise the laws/policies specific to BRSR and ESG reporting in India and describe the problematic aspects with respect to ESG investments in the tobacco sector
Student Investment Time
2 Modules Fully Online
Self-Paced - 5-6 hours
Resource persons for the course include a mix of persons from corporations, civil society organizations, and local and international health and development agencies who are working toward sustainable solutions for businesses, working with issues on business and human rights, corporate accountability, and tobacco industry interference.
The course will be delivered on a Learning Management System (LMS). The LMS will have lecture videos, supported by reading material and objective-type assessments to reinforce the learning at the end of every lecture video. The lecture videos were curated from a webinar series on ‘ESG in Public Health and Tobacco Control’.
The course is self-paced and participant investment time completion is approximately 5 hours. This course is being offered free for participants, but if one requires a certificate of completion, the participant MUST complete all the assessments successfully and a minimal fee for generating the certificate will be applied.
The course consists of 2 modules, all of which are compulsory.
Who is this course for?
This course is aimed at people working or interested in areas such as health, public health, sustainability, business responsibility/accountability, corporate governance, occupational safety, labor welfare, or public policy; and are interested in understanding what evolving paradigms and practices of sustainable and responsible business imply for population health. Any candidate keen to get introduced to essential concepts within ESG, its measurements and implications for public health in general and tobacco control specifically is strongly encouraged to apply.