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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)


The finance sector is under increasing pressure to respond to
the social and environmental challenges we face globally.
Financial institutions looking to meet those challenges, and harness the opportunities of changing consumer trends, need
to embed sustainability and resilience into their practices.

This online course supports finance professionals to develop a crucial foundational understanding of the risks of the global sustainability crisis and opportunities for a sustainable transition.

The learning is rooted in the latest sustainability thinking and
can help learners to embed impact and sustainability risk mitigation into their practice.




Online, asynchronous

Learning time

Self-paced, typically 8-10 hours


£139 + VAT, discount available for bulk purchase

Materials & equipment

  1. sufficient internet speed and stability for video streaming (2 Mbps up/down)
  2. a compatible web browser

Assessments & retakes

The course is assessed through in-learning quizzes and an end-of-course survey. Learners can retake all assessments as required throughout the 12-month licence period.

Course access

Learners have access to the course for 12 months from the date of purchase.



I am an individual

If you are looking to book for yourself or
up to five learners on Sustainable Finance Foundations: Banking, Investment and Insurance.

I am an organisation

If you are a group or organisation looking
to book more than five learners on Sustainable Finance Foundations: Banking, Investment and Insurance.


I want more information

Find out more about how we support organisational transformation through digital learning.




Who is this course for?

This course is designed for individuals working across banking, investment and insurance who are looking to understand the risks of the global sustainability crisis and identify the opportunities for a sustainable transition in the finance sector.

It provides crucial foundational sustainability knowledge and supports professional development, decision-making and strategic planning for financial institutions seeking to embed impact and sustainability risk mitigation into their practice, today and in the long term.

  • Individuals looking to start their sustainable finance journey, refresh their understanding with the latest knowledge in sustainable finance practices, and who want to drive sustainability and deliver impact within their organisation and across the finance sector.
  • Organisations looking to upskill their staff by building a foundational understanding of sustainable finance practices in specific teams or across the business.
  • Financial institutions looking to transition to a sustainable economy.


What will I learn from the course?

Through 6 modules delivered by experts from industry and academia, this course enables you to:

  • Understand global pressures and trends, their commercial implications, and why business as usual is no longer viable.
  • Evaluate the role of business in society and explore what leading practice looks like within financial institutions and the future direction of travel.
  • Assess how financial institutions can support the transition to a more sustainable economy and compare their practical actions on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and sustainability.
  • Create a personal action plan to contribute to the necessary change in your organisation or sphere of influence.


Key modules

This course supports professional and personal development, equipping you with an introductory understanding of essential finance sustainability themes, across 6 core modules:

  1. Global pressures and trends
  2. Commercial implications 
  3. Business leadership and action
  4. Good practice principles
  5. Sustainable finance in practice
  6. Taking action

Learning Experience

Over a 12-month period, you can complete the course in your own time, progressing through modules which contain videos, notes, case studies, quizzes and self-assessments. Benefits of the self-paced learning course includes: 

  1. Flexible learning throughout the year, with recommended reading and optional content available to supplement your learning.
  2. Access to course content for the full 12-months, allowing you to revisit the learning even once your course is complete. 
  3. Development of a Foundational Action Plan to determine the steps needed to contribute to change in your role and organisation.
  4. Award of a digital badge from the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, upon successful completion of the course.



Meet your subject matter expert

This online learning course has been created in collaboration with leading finance sustainability experts from across a range of finance institutions, regions and areas of expertise, led by a Course Convenor and lead Subject Matter Expert.

Financial institutions and the countries, companies, and households that they support are facing into a whole host of environmental and social risks, but also opportunities. It is incumbent upon these institutions to get ahead of these trends and understand the commercial implications for the organisation, and how they can start responding proactively.

Thomas Vergunst
Course Convenor and Subject Matter Expert, Sustainable Finance Foundations



Ready for your next steps

To book up to 5 learners onto the course, or to request a quote for
up to 100 learners

To speak to a member of the CISL team about upskilling your organisation 

Find out more about how we support organisational transformation. 


We work with organisations looking to develop core sustainability skills within their teams, unlocking innovation, and supporting their existing and future business challenges. Get in touch with the team to find out how we can help.

CISL’s self-paced online courses are delivered in collaboration with the University of Cambridge Online, a digital education provider. The FAQ button will take you to their website.

Sustainable Finance

For professionals working within or with the finance sector interested in harnessing sustainable finance initiatives to bring about positive change.


Sustainable Business and Finance bundle

For professionals who want to deliver impact and create resilience in a changing environment.


Sustainable Business Foundations

For organisations of all sizes looking to understand global sustainability trends and effective business responses and actions.