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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 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.

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 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


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…

Trado: New technologies to fund fairer, more transparent supply chains

17 September 2019 – There is a growing understanding of the transformative potential of harnessing digital innovation and financial technologies to improve the sustainability of global supply chains. This report details the learnings and methodology of the collaborative project Trado, convened by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL).

Trado: New technologies to fund fairer, more transparent supply chains - Read More…

CISL’s Centre for Sustainable Finance welcomes the UK’s Green Finance Strategy

2 July 2019 – Today the UK government has launched its Green Finance Strategy, setting out its green finance objectives and ambitions.

CISL’s Centre for Sustainable Finance welcomes the UK’s Green Finance Strategy - Read More…

New report indicates locally-owned model of insurance protection helps vulnerable communities recover from natural disasters

21 June 2019 – A new study from the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership has, for the first time, analysed how mutual microinsurance, a community-owned model of insurance, contributes to the recovery outcomes of low income households following a natural disaster.

New report indicates locally-owned model of insurance protection helps vulnerable communities recover from natural disasters - Read More…

Centre for Sustainable Finance chairs discussion on the challenges facing hydropower in Africa

28 May 2019 – Last month, the Centre for Sustainable Finance chaired a panel discussion on attracting private finance into sustainable infrastructure, with the focus on hydropower, at the “Africa 2019” Water Storage and Hydropower Development for Africa conference in Windhoek, Namibia.

Centre for Sustainable Finance chairs discussion on the challenges facing hydropower in Africa - Read More…

Centre for Sustainable Finance hosts the FRANTIC consortium's first workshop

27 May 2019 – Earlier this month, the Centre for Sustainable Finance hosted a workshop on quantifying climate-related transition risks to the UK financial system. The workshop was organised by the consortium behind the project FRANTIC – Financial Risk and the Impact of Climate Change.

Centre for Sustainable Finance hosts the FRANTIC consortium's first workshop - Read More…