Corporate Governance and Sustainability (ESG)

Do you want to know which effect ESG has and will have on the Governance of corporations? This course will provide you with the answers!




Course Level
Advanced Bachelor
ECTS credits
1.5 ECTS
Course location(s)
Utrecht, The Netherlands


Climate change threatens our world (economy)! Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) aspects of business play an increasingly dominant role on the agenda of boards all over the world. European large corporations have to give ESG issues top priority because of the adoption of the Corporate Sustaining Reporting Directive (CSRD) and the upcoming Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD). Recent case law (Milieudefensie v. Shell) shows that courts are receptive to private enforcement of ESG matters.

On 5 January 2023, the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) of the European Union entered into force. This new Directive modernizes and strengthens the rules concerning the social and environmental information that large and listed (also small and medium sized enterprises) corporations have to report. Will these new rules together with the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) ensure that investors and stakeholders have access to the information they need to assess the impact of corporations on people and the environment?

On 23 February 2022, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD). The aim of this Directive is to foster sustainable and responsible corporate behaviour and to anchor human rights and environmental consideration in the operations of corporations and corporate governance. Will these rules ensure that corporations address adverse impacts of their actions, including in their value chains inside and outside Europe?

On 26 May 2021, The Hague District Court of the Netherlands ordered Shell to limit its CO2 emissions by at least net 45% at the end of 2030. Shell has since appealed this decision. On 25 April 2022, Friends of the Earth Netherlands threatened to pursue director liability claims against the Shell directors if they failed to adhere to the District Court’s judgment. Which effect will these new rules and case law have on the way corporations are governed and controlled?

These and other questions will be dealt with in the course 'Corporate Governance and Sustainability (ESG)', from both economic and legal perspectives.

Day to Day Documents

Day program Corporate Governanceand Sustainability 22-07-2024.pdf

Target audience

Bachelor and Master students with an interest in Law & Economics. PhD. Students and young professionals are also welcome to apply.

Aim of the course

The course aims to equip students and young professionals with an insight into the background and development of key issues in Corporate Governance. The assignment will stimulate participants to apply this knowledge to one of the big scandals and ongoing global issues whilst also practicing academic writing skills. This course is also an excellent introduction to the Master's programme 'Law & Economics' of Utrecht University.

Study load

Contact hours daily: four to five hours (lectures, group assignments). Self-study daily: four hours (preparation and research).

Participants can choose to take a final exam or to participate in a group presentation about a major Corporate Governance failure on the last day. 

Grading of the exam is based on a 10-point scale on the weighted sum of different elements. 


  • Course fee: €725.00
  • Included: Course + course materials
  • Housing fee: €200
  • Housing provider: Utrecht Summer School

If you are a student, you will pay the course fee of € 725. If you are not a student, you will pay an additional fee of € 125. This additional fee will be visible once the application has been accepted.

Additional information

The housing costs do not include a Utrecht Summer School sleeping bag. This is a separate product on the invoice. If you wish to bring your own bedding, please deselect or remove the sleeping bag from your order once you apply for this course.