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Centre for Sustainable Finance

The Centre for Sustainable Finance at The London Institute of Banking & Finance has a mission to develop the understanding of sustainable finance through education, research and thought leadership.

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Sustainable finance in action

With climate change a top priority for organisations and governments around the world, LIBF is bringing together key players in the finance sector to highlight organisations, projects and activities that are making a difference. 

Over the next few months, in collaboration with Zinc Media, we’ll be releasing films from different organisations to show how they’re playing their part.

Aegon: a lower carbon world by default

 

 Aegon



SUSTAINABLE FINANCE IN ACTION:
Aegon, and the wider finance industry, have a significant role to play in the transition to a lower carbon world. Default funds, and their journey to net zero, are a big part of this. This short film tells the story of Aegon UK’s route to net zero and the importance of industry innovation and collaboration. The film highlights their partnership with @Aegon Asset Management and the @Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) to introduce the new Aegon Global Sustainable Sovereign Bond Fund during COP26.

This film features:

  • Mike Holliday-Williams, CEO Aegon UK
  • Hilkka Komulainen, Head of Responsible Investment, Aegon UK
  • Natalie Jackson, Executive Manager, Global Ethical Finance Initiative
  • Tim Orton, Managing Director Investment Solutions, Aegon UK
  • Stephen Jones, Chief Investment Officer, Equities and Multi-Asset, Aegon Asset Management
  • Susan Rice, Chair, Global Steering Group, Global Ethical Finance Initiative.

 

 

Novia Financial: making sustainable investing more accessible

novia-logo
 

SUSTAINABLE FINANCE IN ACTION: Novia talk about how they work with external experts to make sustainable investing more accessible for financial advisors and their clients.

This film features:

  • Helen Austin, Regional Sales Manager
  • Lee Coates, co-founder, ESG Accord
  • Joanne Benson, Portfolio Manager, Copia Capital Management.


Twelve Capital: financing the transition 


twelve-capital-logo 



SUSTAINABLE FINANCE IN ACTION:
As an insurance investment specialist, Twelve Capital has a strong commitment to ESG and Sustainability throughout its strategies. The Climate Transition Equity Strategy in particular focusses on the Environmental aspects of climate sustainability while also considering social and governance aspects.

Financial services are key for a net-zero economy, as companies need funding and insurance to manage risks from climate change. Twelve Capital takes responsibility and aims to contribute by investing in companies that are financing the transition to reorient capital in a sustainable manner.

By steering capital into the right directions, Twelve Capital believes that, besides doing “the right thing”, there are opportunities for generating value for investors.

This film features:

  • Dr. Urs Ramseier, CIO & Founding Partner
  • Daniel King-Robinson, Strategy Leader Sustainability and Climate Investing.

 

Watch the previous films

Coming soon

Standard Chartered will look at addressing capital shortfall in countries where it matters the most: the countries that face the greatest risk from climate change, and the countries that also can leapfrog to low carbon technologies and drive sustainable growth while also eliminating carbon.

Followed by:

EFG Hermes
GAM Asset Management
Nasdaq
Redington

  Podcasts
        

About the Centre for Sustainable Finance 

We recognise the financial sector's role in meeting the development and environmental targets laid out in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change. It is through sustainable finance that financial markets will be able to adjust and allocate resources effectively. We established the Centre for Sustainable Finance here at LIBF to provide insights to practitioners – whether in markets, regulation, risk management or government.

One of our key institutional strengths is the relationships we've fostered over time in the financial industry both at home and overseas with commercial banks, investors, regulators and governments.

The Centre has established links in Asia, the Americas and the Middle East and is a founding member of the European Research Network for Sustainable Finance.

Our research agenda

Sustainability is different to other forces that have shaped the financial sector in the past. Regulatory change  in response to a crisis has typically driven structural changes. Sustainable finance is driven by ideals that challenge beliefs and ways of working.

Climate risk has been centre-stage when considering the new risks that financial institutions and corporations will face.  Banks are re-considering the structure of their loan portfolios and working on new stress tests.  Investment managers and asset owners are reviewing the nature of their investments. Corporations are developing 'environmental, social and governance' (ESG) policies to demonstrate their commitments to shareholders, lenders and stakeholders. As part of this process, it's important to explore  social and governance issues.

Traditionally, financial innovation for banks and investment managers has focused on individual customer needs rather than collective goals. Sustainable finance requires an acceptance of external principles that present three core challenges.

First, designing products that reflect mutually acceptable sustainability principles is going to be hard for some to accept. While it might seem straightforward to agree on high-level development goals, there will be differences of opinion about how to pursue them.  A bank, investment manager or asset owner will need to decide how to map their organisation’s activities and processes against its chosen set of sustainability principles.

The second challenge is codifying those ideas into financial products, whether loans, deposits or investments. The legal and regulatory frameworks exist but are changing. Every product design creates new incentives for borrowers, lenders, buyers and sellers which can be hard to explain and understand. There are commercial and reputational risks to getting this wrong.

The third, and perhaps biggest, challenge is measuring impact. How can we know that these innovations are making a difference? Do they genuinely act in support of the principles we adhere to? This is more than just a logistical issue – there are cultural and ethical issues to consider.

We regularly publish white papers, insights and thought leadership on these issues to help practitioners.

Read our insights on sustainable finance

Educational programmes

The Centre offers training and short courses that we can adapt and tailor to the level of your staff's seniority and how familiar they already are with sustainable finance.

Typical content includes:

  • introduction to the principles of sustainable finance
  • aligning the organisation to the SDGs
  • integrating climate/biodiversity risk into risk management
  • the role of ESG in wealth management
  • reporting and disclosures, such as the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)
  • sustainability leadership and governance
  • the role of central banks and regulators
  • designing financial products for ESG.

Short courses and training

The purpose of short courses is to impart specific knowledge to a focused audience.  The outcomes from this type of course should be well-defined and have an immediate practical benefit for your organisation and staff.

We can design and deliver those programmes face to face, virtually – or through a combination of the two. Courses are taught using case studies, interactive exercises and group work to bring the learning to life.

Sustainability in trade finance 

In our continued efforts to promote education around sustainable finance, we’re working with Coastline Solutions to provide access to a unique opportunity for you to upskill from the comfort of your own home, in just 12 hours.

The Sustainability in Trade and Trade Finance programme includes: 

  • online training – access material anytime, anywhere and earn 12 CPD points
  • extensive content – from trade finance sustainability experts, so you can learn about the issues, governance and best practices
  • supporting sustainability – demonstrate your knowledge and commitment to sustainability in international trade.

Discover more       Register today

Qualifications

LIBF runs a post-graduate level programme in sustainable finance that is currently only available in the Middle East through the Abu Dhabi Global Market Academy.  We are exploring alternative formats and geographical venues for similar courses.

Certificate in Sustainable Finance – registration

In conjunction with the Abu Dhabi Global Market Academy, we're presenting our first Certificate in Sustainable Finance in the Middle East and North Africa region. Please register your interest.

Register your interest

Demand for ESG, sustainable investments and green funds is growing, driven by rising awareness of sustainability issues and increasing appetite to tackle climate change. But without standardised terms and definitions, this presents several challenges for financial markets. We look at the challenges in the context of the European Union’s (EU’s) new regulatory frameworks.

Read this White paper

In this paper Stanley Kwong from Aviva Investors explains different approaches in the form of incentives and deterrents. This form of financing is still developing and has the potential to inspire new templates for investing and lending in public markets.

Read this White paper

November 2020: Biodiversity is a critical risk factor across the world and underpins many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This white paper explains how biodiversity fits into sustainable finance for both banks and investors. We highlight the new demands that private sector corporations will need to consider. These demands are significant as biodiversity loss holds an existential risk for the world and is a clear focus of SDGs 14 and 15 – Life below Water and Life on Land.

Read this White paper 

June 2020: Gender equality is important to women, to society and to business. This paper explores how workplace gender inequality affects economic freedom, social empowerment, life, and lifestyle choices. It further highlights how a lack of diversity, including gender diversity, affects businesses’ ability to thrive.  This work aligns with SDG 6 – Gender Equality. 


Read this White Paper 


Contact details:

Advisory services and research

The Centre offers bespoke research projects for your organisation which we can staff with relevant experts.  Please contact the Centre Director for an informal discussion of what we can offer.

For further information about any of our activities please contact the Centre:

E-mail: csf@libf.ac.uk

Launch of the Green Finance Education Charter

We are pleased to play our part in financing the green recovery by signing the first Green Finance Education Charter & integrating green finance into members' professional development programmes.

Thematic Bonds: where next? - Webinar 

 

Chris McHugh, Director of our Centre for Sustainable Finance, puts thematic bonds into context with the developing market infrastructure around sustainable finance.