The transition to net zero is the great challenge of this century, and more support is now available for businesses preparing for new climate reporting requirements.

Sydney Executive Plus, in partnership with HSBC Australia, has launched Australia’s first Net Zero sprint that will support Australian corporates as they prepare for upcoming mandatory sustainability reporting.

Led by the Federal government, the climate-related financial disclosure regime will initially apply to the largest Australian corporates (revenue of over A$500m) for the reporting period commencing 1 January 2025. By 1 July 2027 it will be expanded to include corporates with a revenue of over A$50m, bringing Australia in line with International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) global reporting standards.

The Net Zero sprint is the only course of its kind in Australia to offer an immersive micro-credential that aims to equip senior executives and organisational leaders with the knowledge and tools to prepare for the mandatory reporting deadline, and to assist in delivering on climate commitments.

“The climate crisis demands an unprecedented, collaborative response, and we are proud to deliver innovative educational solutions that support leaders to drive meaningful change,” said Associate Professor Sandra Peter, Co-Director of Sydney Executive Plus.

“Our vision is to combine academic expertise with leading industry insight to deliver cutting-edge learning on the big issues of our time.”

Professor Leisa Sargent, Dean of the University of Sydney Business School, said the Net Zero sprint is a great opportunity for leaders to work together to achieve meaningful economic and climate-related transformation in their organisations.

“The Net Zero sprint exemplifies the University of Sydney Business School’s digital lifelong learning strategy, offering professionals across sectors the future-focused capabilities to excel in a challenging and disruptive business and regulatory environment. Education is fundamental to this transformation.

“Our participants will emerge as more purposeful strategic change leaders, by actively contributing to the global net zero transition which is vital for us all,” said Professor Sargent.

Drawing on experts at the University of Sydney, in an online format self-paced over two weeks, the sprint invites participants to cultivate practical skills through real-world industry case studies, interactive discussions and professional networking opportunities.

The program culminates in a hands-on capstone project where participants devise a strategic emissions reporting and decarbonisation plan for their organisation.

“We are thrilled to equip leaders with the critical expertise they need to navigate the complexities of carbon reporting and drive sustainable business,” said Professor Deanna D’Alessandro, Director of the Sydney Net Zero Initiative and co-leader of the Net Zero sprint.

There is no silver bullet for climate change. It will take partnerships and commitments from business, government, academia, and civil society.

Professor Deanna D’Alessandro

The sprint is part of a new partnership between the University and HSBC, a leading international bank, ensuring participants gain industry-informed insights and best practices from a financial institution with a strong commitment to sustainability.

“There is an expectation from the global investor community that the ISSB Standards will be widely adopted across markets. For Australian corporates, these growing expectations and the impending mandatory reporting deadline should be the timely prompt to get equipped,” said Amanda Taylor, Head of Large Corporates and Sustainable Finance at HSBC Australia.

“We are excited to collaborate with the University of Sydney in supporting clients and the broader Australian corporate community to upskill and further drive the transition to net zero.”

Enrolment for the first Net Zero sprint cohort is now open.

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