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Centre for Sustainable Finance

A ‘quiet revolution’ is underway in the global financial system as its leaders wrestle with the implications of global sustainability. Expectations from clients and regulators are climbing steadily, causing financial institutions to rethink current operating practices, and adopt longer term, more forward-thinking strategies. This trend is set to continue as sustainability issues translate into ever more substantive risks and opportunities.

Through a unique combination of deep industry collaboration, high-calibre research, and exceptional education programmes, the Centre for Sustainable Finance is helping financial institutions to play a leading role in building a more sustainable economy.

to find out more.

 

Collaboration


Working with over 50 global financial institutions across banking, insurance and investment, we provide the insight needed to challenge current assumptions and lead change.

ClimateWise (global insurance)

ClimateWise comprises 30 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.

Interaction with policy

The Centre bridges the worlds of business, finance and policymaking in order to enable the transition to a sustainable economy, facilitating stronger mutual understanding between financial institutions, their clients in the real economy and the institutions which govern them. For example, the Centre is academic visitor at the Bank of England helping to support its work in leading the sustainable finance agenda. It has worked with De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) on the financial impact of disruptive energy transition, collaborated with the South African National Treasury and Banco de Mexico on embedding environmental scenarios into financial risk frameworks and was the knowledge partner for the G20 Green Finance Study Group in 2016 and 2017. Finally, as a founding member of the Global Research Alliance for Sustainable Finance and Investment, the Centre is an official research stakeholder for the Network for Greening the Financial System

 

Research


We have a particular reputation for translating high-quality research into practical solutions to advance both policy and market practices.

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 and financial innovation to direct capital to sustainable business models.

Current research

The Centre conducts research on mainstreaming environmental and social scenarios into financial risk analysis; measuring ‘asset stranding’ effects under future technology transitions; understanding the role of the financial system in financing a sustainable, zero carbon economy; science-based measures to quantify non-financial outcomes of investment; innovative financing of sustainable infrastructure; and consumer demand for sustainable investment funds.

 

Education and advisory


Financial institutions increasingly recognise the benefits of aligning their commercial strategy with the sustainable economy. Leading organisations, especially banks and insurers, are already seeking new financing opportunities, engaging clients to develop new products, and developing new policies and metrics to understand the implications of sustainability.

Despite this realisation, many senior decision-makers are struggling to respond. Board and executive team members often lack the relevant knowledge about how quickly sustainability issues are changing. Senior client, portfolio and product leaders are often unaware of emerging commercial opportunities from new technologies or the risks associated with supporting traditional industries. Many organisations are struggling to develop clear, long-term positions to finance the transition of key sectors such as transportation, energy and agriculture.

Our education programmes are designed to bring rigour, clarity and confidence for leaders to respond.

Find out how we can help your organisation.

 

Latest sustainable finance publications


Bank 2030: Accelerating the transition to a low carbon economy

30 January 2020 – This report authored by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership’s (CISL) Banking Environment Initative (BEI) highlights the need for banks to develop an ‘active mindset’ in order to accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy.

Bank 2030: Accelerating the transition to a low carbon economy - Read More…

Dr Nina Seega appointed as Academic Visitor at the Bank of England

18 December 2019 – The Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) is delighted to announce that Dr Nina Seega, Research Director for CISL’s Centre for Sustainable Finance, has been appointed as academic visitor at the Bank of England.

Dr Nina Seega appointed as Academic Visitor at the Bank of England - Read More…

ClimateWise publish their annual Principles review

18 December 2019 – This year’s ClimateWise Principles Review is the first since the framework was aligned with the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and reflects the ambition of our members to be accountable on their climate response.

ClimateWise publish their annual Principles review - Read More…

Walking the talk: Understanding consumer demand for sustainable investing

22 October 2019 – This study, commissioned by the Investment Leaders Group (ILG), provides insight into how decision-making behaviour is influenced by the availability of information on the environmental and social impact of funds alongside standard financial data.

Walking the talk: Understanding consumer demand for sustainable investing - Read More…

Financing sustainable hydropower projects in emerging markets: an introduction to concepts and terminology

30 September 2019 – This working paper is the first in a series of working papers emerging from the CISL’s contribution to the FutureDAMS project, with a specific focus on the questions around sustainable finance for sustainable hydropower projects in developing countries.

Financing sustainable hydropower projects in emerging markets: an introduction to concepts and terminology - Read More…

Multi-sector collaboration between blue chips, start-ups and banks delivers new model to improve the sustainability of global supply chains without increasing production costs

17 September 2019 – A successful experiment by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), bringing together Sainsbury's, BNP Paribas, Unilever, Barclays, Standard Chartered and Rabobank, has shown how a new model of blockchain and other data sharing technologies can enhance the sustainability of global supply chains without increasing production costs.

Multi-sector collaboration between blue chips, start-ups and banks delivers new model to improve the sustainability of global supply chains without increasing production costs - Read More…