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Sustainability Fundamentals

Sustainability Fundamentals

SwissNéGoce has launched a new education programme: Commodity Sustainability Fundamentals ESG. The 2-day programme encompasses all aspects of sustainability (Environment, Social and Governance – ESG) and has been designed for the whole commodity industry (Oil & Gas, Metals & Minerals and Agricultural/Soft).


SwissNégoce idenitfied a gap in their training offers: while there were many training modules on sustainablility and on shipping separately, there was none that connected these two areas. Developed by Elsa Pernot, the Global Head of HSEC at Gunvor, this course is the first learning programme designed specifcally for sustainability in the commodities trading industry.

Elsa was approached by SwissNégoce to start building the course last year. The key areas were identified early on, and content experts were brought in to quality-check the modules to ensure that everything was covered appropriately and pitched at the right level.

The programme

It’s a 2-day, 16-hour course, delivering key objectives through practical examples, case studies and case studies. By the end of the training programmes, course participants are able to:

  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of ESG at each step of physical commodities trading
  • Familiarize themselves with ESG specific standards, documentation and specific terminologies immediately usable in their daily practice
  • Understand how to develop a policy commitment and embed respect for environment, human rights and general governance into management systems
  • Appreciate the need for cross collaboration and offer tools to set up a tailored approach to one’s organization

The course focuses on the importance of the life cycle of a trade and emphasises the interactions between them. In addition, it focuses on the importance of understanding the work done by colleagues, actively enhancing inter-departmental collaboration. 

It is aimed at individuals currently working within and around the industry looking to improve their overall understanding and actions of sustainability in the context of commodities trading. In particular: management; front office; middle office; legal and compliance; SMEs; any person interested in how to integrate Environment, Social and Governance in the physical commodities value chain.

More information is available in the brochure, available on the SwissNégoce website.

Developing and delivering

Throughout the development stages, Elsa was determined to have the right people presenting the different topics and subjects, so she reached out to experts to help her deliver specific sessions. Camille was involved to cover ESG linked financing and delivered the related session. Planning these sessions with experts has ensured that the course has a coherent voice and tone, as well as content of the highest quality.

The first training programme took place in January 2023, and the second is scheduled for October 2023. As well as having developed the course, Elsa is also the lead facilitator. Her immediate reflection from the January iteration was that the participants aren’t the only one who learn – she also gained a lot from the experience. She loved interacting with the participants, and found herself being asked questions that made her think differently. Having everyone engaged gave a true diversity of thinking throughout the two days, resulting in creative, interesting and curious learning.

Future courses

If you would like to find out more about the training opportunities at Gunvor, be in touch with Elsa at [email protected]