Course Description

Course Name

Sustainable Finance

Session: VPRU3322

Hours & Credits

3 US Credits

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


Course Description:

Following the 2008 financial crisis, Finance has widely been seen as an obstacle to a better world. In this course, we will see how Finance can be mobilised as a means to achieve social goals and divert the planet and its economy from its current path to a world that is sustainable for all. Bridging the gap between traditional capitalism and a new system of shared economic and social value, Sustainable Finance is becoming a core part of the mission of financial institutions and companies.This course explores the links and challenges between Sustainability and Finance, and how Sustainability issues are changing our concept of Finance and accelerate the transition to a more inclusive Economy.The traditional Financial System focuses on its own returns and considers itself as separate from the society and the environment in which it is embedded. By contrast, sustainable finance also takes into account Environmental, Social, and Governance externalities. We will review current financial issues; cover Sustainability challenges from the perspective of all players; and over all adopt a large interdisciplinary approach. Beyond theory, we will use case studies, real-life events, and hear guest speakers from different industries to help us understand how Sustainable Finance is reshaping global markets and politics.

Course Objectives:
This course aims to provide a broad understanding of Sustainable Finance and its challenges, and how it can contribute to a financial sector which fulfils its role in society and re-engineer our economy to avoid environmental crisis. We will acquire some practical business skills: in particular, the ability to make practical and reasoned decisions when faced with sustainability and ethical dilemmas, and the ability to justify those decisions clearly and convincingly. 

Expected Learning Outcomes:

Understand the financial system purpose and its impact on the real world;

•Gain an understanding of the development and challenges of sustainable finance, as seen from the different players’ perspective;

•Think critically, creatively and globally with regards to applying sustainable finance mechanisms to real-life investments and company cases;

•Make valid and informed contributions to class discussions on how finance can accelerate the transition to a sustainable economy and how each individual can contribute to the transformation;

•Prepare and deliver a clear and efficient presentation on the impact of sustainability on a specific aspect of the financial sector.

Mandatory Textbook:

There is no mandatory textbook. There’s a good reference book «Principles of Sustainable Finance» by D.Schoenmaker & W Schramade Recommended texts and excerpts from different sources will be provided in due course.


The final grade will be determined as follows:

ClassParticipation 30%

Short Exams/Case Studies 35%

FinalPresentations(group) 35%

Presence in class is mandatory. More than 2 absences will lead to a failing grade.

*Course content subject to change