Over the last few years, RILA's energy management and sustainability initiatives have evolved from helping retailers understand the broad benefits of investing in these areas to sharing leading practices and tools necessary for realizing those benefits. One skillset that has been consistently relevant for our communities is financial literacy. Ensuring that leaders from the retail energy and sustainability side of the business are engaging with their counterparts in the finance department connects the diverse business benefits of these projects to the capital they require. But navigating that relationship and understanding more unique financing options available to energy and sustainability projects can be a challenge.
That's why RILA, with support from the Department of Energy, is introducing the Financial Literacy for Retail Curriculum. Initially announced at the 2018 Sustainable Brands Conference this month, the online e-learning modules are comprised of one sixty-minute and one seventy-five-minute online course, designed specifically for retail energy and sustainability leaders to improve perspective and understanding of their own company's finance teams, and develop skills for navigating common barriers.
Originally taught as in-person workshops developed in collaboration with Deloitte Consulting LLC and Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) respectively, the e-learnings listed below will allow professionals to self-teach, consider scenarios based on real company activities, answer test questions, and ultimately obtain a completion certificate for continuing education requirements – all on their own time.
Finance 101: Understanding the CFO and Translating Metrics for Retail Energy & Sustainability Professionals
Finance 201: Innovative and Alternative Options for Retail Energy & Sustainability Professionals.
Finance 101 aligns energy initiatives with company financial aims and gives tips for success when starting the proposal process. Finance 201 looks at the different financing options available, both internally and externally, for energy and sustainability projects and helps users identify which mechanisms are right for their company. Both modules allow users to customize their learning process by going through the modules sequentially or separating them by sections based on their specific needs.
Both courses have already been approved for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points towards renewal of the professional designations offered by Building Owners and Managers Institute (BOMI) International and Continuing Education Hours with Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI). Additional approvals are already under review, and the curriculum was designed to qualify for many other professional accreditation programs requiring the user to submit course information.