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NAPA Launches ESG(k) Certificate Program for Advisors

Professional Development

Amid growing interest in Environmental, Social and Governance investing among plan sponsors and participants, the National Association of Plan Advisors has launched a new certificate program designed to help advisors educate them and evaluate ESG alternatives.

ESG(k), the NAPA ESG Investing for 401(k) Plan Advisors Certificate Program, is designed to provide retirement plan advisors with the knowledge to help employers manage their ERISA fiduciary obligations in evaluating the prudence of an ESG investment. The ESG program addresses the different terminology associated with ESG investing principles, strategies and screens, and provides tools and resources to help advisors communicate the benefits and risks of ESG investments for retirement plans.

Special Message from NAPA President: NAPA ESG(k) from ARA on Vimeo.

The certificate course is a 3-hour, self-paced online course broken into three interactive modules covering the fundamentals of ESG, the process for evaluating these options, and how to share that information with plan sponsors, participants and prospects.  

“While ESG has been slow to catch on with defined contribution plans like 401(k)s, there have been some significant regulatory and legislative changes in the past few months—and a growing sense that these options are of increasing importance to retirement plan savers,” noted Brian Graff, CEO of the American Retirement Association and Executive Director of NAPA.  “We are pleased to be able to bring some additional clarity and appreciation for the importance of a prudent assessment of these options to the retirement plan marketplace.” 

The program is available at no cost to NAPA advisor members thanks to the generous support of our education program sponsors: AllianceBernstein, Amundi Pioneer, BlackRock, Calvert, Dimensional, Leafhouse Financial, Lord Abbett, MFS, Natixis Investment Managers and Voya Financial.  Additional information is available at


All comments
Mike Sladky
2 years 2 months ago
Specific ESG targeted investing for 401k plans have been slow to catch on because most fiduciaries know that it is better to keep their personal views of how our society should look and our environment out of the core investment funds offered to participants.