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Sustainable finance: How can we create a finance system that incentivises and rewards long-term thinking?

It is widely recognised that today's financial system does not actively reward long-term thinking. Often, it can actually work against efforts to build a sustainable economy.

Our Centre for Sustainable Finance draws on the work of CISL’s leadership groups across the financial system; bringing together our research and education programme on sustainable finance. We work long term with over 50 financial institutions from across five continents. With support from academics and expert practitioners, we develop solutions to challenges firms cannot tackle alone and impact both policy and market practice.

Across our leadership groups in insurance, banking and investment, we have developed particular expertise in three key areas of sustainable finance:

Risk and resilience

Embedding resilience to environmental risk in routine financing decisions.

Positive impact

Enabling investors to achieve positive impact against the Sustainable Development Goals.

Harnessing the digital revolution to direct capital to sustainable business models.

Sustainable finance leadership groups

ClimateWise (global insurance)

ClimateWise comprises 25 leading insurers, reinsurers, brokers and industry service providers who share a commitment to reducing the impact of climate change on society, as well as the insurance industry.

Banking Environment Initiative

Some of the world’s largest banks working to lead their industry in directing capital towards environmentally and socially sustainable economic development.

Leading investment managers and asset owners with over US $5 trillion under management working to help shift the investment chain towards responsible, long-term value creation.

 

Latest news and thought leadership


Closing the protection gap: ClimateWise Principles Independent Review 2016

December 2016 – The ClimateWise Principles Independent Review 2016 of the six ClimateWise Principles finds a second year of improved scores for members of the insurance industry leadership group. Members have demonstrated their ongoing support for the zero carbon, climate-resilient transition yet the report finds a need for the industry to do more within its investment activities.

Closing the protection gap: ClimateWise Principles Independent Review 2016 - Read More…

Greening the finance of China’s commodity imports: Lessons from practice

September 2016 – At the invitation of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) and the Banking Environment Initiative worked with the Chinese banking industry to ask whether it is possible to green the finance of China’s commodity imports, and thereby address the risks associated with unsustainable agricultural production.

Greening the finance of China’s commodity imports: Lessons from practice - Read More…

Environmental risk analysis by financial institutions – a review of global practice

September 2016 – The G20’s new Green Finance Study Group asked the Cambridge Centre for Sustainable Finance to serve as Knowledge Partner and make recommendations on how to integrate environmental risk into mainstream financial decision-making.

Environmental risk analysis by financial institutions – a review of global practice - Read More…

In search of impact: Measuring the full value of capital

May 2016 – As fiduciaries, investors gain by helping beneficiaries make informed choices about the management of their savings and investments. This report aims to help the investment industry empower savers to understand the impact of their investments on the critical challenges of our generation and to invest in line with their world views.

In search of impact: Measuring the full value of capital - Read More…

Taking the long view: A toolkit for long-term, sustainable investment mandates

May 2016 – Short-termism in financial markets has been widely identified as a cause of underinvestment, economic inefficiency and poor decision-making by corporations, that undermines long-term value creation. This report provides a toolkit for investors who wish to design investment mandates that can help shift the investment chain towards responsible, long-term value creation.

Taking the long view: A toolkit for long-term, sustainable investment mandates - Read More…