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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

Sustainable Finance Hub

The finance sector has a critical role in supporting our transition to a sustainable future. However, it's widely recognised that today's system does not reward long term thinking. Often, it can actually work against efforts to build a sustainable economy.

Through our convening, research, education, and innovation we help financial institutions, and businesses, and governments build a more sustainable financial system. Our work is underpinned by insights from CISL’s Centre for Sustainable Finance’s sector groups, made up of leaders from over 50 financial institutions across five continents.


Collaboration for Transformation

Working with over 50 global financial institutions across banking, insurance and investment, the Centre for Sustainable Finance is in a unique position to co-create opportunities to challenge current assumptions and lead change. We work with our members to translate high-quality research into practical solutions to advance both market and regulatory practices. 

Our key collaborations:

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.

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Investment Leaders Group

Leading investment managers and asset owners with over $9 trillion under management working to help shift the investment chain towards responsible,
long-term value creation.

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Comprised of 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.

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Sustainable Finance Insights


Horizon scanning research

Our thought leadership translates high-quality research into
practical solutions and frameworks for the finance sector.

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Insights from sustainable finance experts

Our experts share their thoughts on building a sustainable financial system.

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Exploring new pathways to enabling a net zero, nature positive and just future.

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Education programmes

Our education programmes are designed to help the finance sector support the transition to a sustainable future.

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Focus areas

  1. Integrating nature into financial decision-making: Working with key actors across the finance sector on identifying, assessing and manging nature-related risks (banks, investors, and insurance), addressing financial materiality and catalysing capital (re)allocation that protects and restores nature.  
  1. Climate risk and resilience: Embedding resilience to environmental risk in routine financing decisions, including identifying and incorporating impacts of climate risk and disclosing these to be able to proactively understand and respond to these impacts. 
  1. Enabling a just and equitable transition: Ensuring the transition to a net zero, nature positive economy is inclusive and equitable, including investing in quality jobs, small-medium enterprises, and across supply chains
  1. International financial architecture: Developing an enabling environment to unlock private finance for nature and climate, identifying targeted actions and groups for mobilising public- and private-sector resources, with a special emphasis on Emerging Market and Developing Economies (EMDEs), where the need for such mobilisation is most acute. 
  1. Shaping global frameworks: The Centre for Sustainable Finance is an official knowledge partner and early adopter of the Taskforce for Nature-Related Financial Disclosures, has contributed to the NGFS Conceptual Framework for Nature-Related Financial Risks to guide policies and action by central banks and financial supervisors and is a partner of the Africa Natural Capital Alliance.  



Executive Education

Our education programmes are designed to bring rigour, clarity and confidence for leaders to respond to the sustainable finance challenges within organisations:

Sustainable Finance Foundations: Banking, Investment, and Insurance

This self-paced online course is designed for those working across banking, investment, and insurance looking to develop workplace skills to root their practices in long term, positive impact.

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Sustainable Finance 8-week online course

For professionals within the finance sector,
as well as others interested in harnessing sustainable finance initiatives to bring
about positive change, seeking to unleash transformative change by leading with sustainability-aligned decision-making.

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Custom programmes

Our customised programmes help organisations within the finance sector and beyond translate complex sustainability trends into strategic business decisions, enabling them to lead with purpose and create new forms of value.

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Fostering Innovation for Sustainable Finance

Through our Canopy and Accelerator team, we support groundbreaking innovation that has the potential to accelerate change across sustainable finance systems, from the application of AI to measure climate and nature risk for economic assets, to platforms that enable greener investments. Through convening our network of impact investors, we help high potential startups get the investment they need to scale.

Find out more about how we work with startups


Our experts

Dr Nina Seega, Director, Centre for Sustainable Finance

Sid Miller, Programme Director

Elizabeth Clark, Programme Manager, Investment Leaders Group

Sara Taaffe, Senior Project Manager

Thomas Vergunst, Programme Director, Finance Sector Education

Robert Barker, Programme Director, Sustainable Finance


Contact our press team


Resources and reports

Broadening the horizon: How CFOs and Finance Functions can help drive corporate sustainability

31 January 2024

1 February 2024 - A business briefing produced by CISL and Accounting for Sustainability (A4S) examines the implications for CFOs and Finance Functions in supporting their businesses to become aligned with a sustainable future.

Financing Africa’s Low Carbon Transition

29 January 2024

30 January 2024 - A policy briefing by CISL examines how there is a $1.8 trillion gap to fund the transition to low carbon economies in Africa.

The ClimateWise Principles Independent Review for 2023

5 January 2024

23 January 2024 - The ClimateWise Principles Independent Review for 2023 sees scores continue to increase across the membership, ahead of the introduction of a more ambitious set of Principles for 2024.

Risk sharing for Loss and Damage: Scaling up protection for the Global South

21 November 2023

21 November 2023 - The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) launches a Loss and Damage action plan to scale up protection for the Global South.

Everything, everywhere, all at once: how can private finance be unlocked for nature and climate in the international financial architecture

10 November 2023

13 November 2023 – CISL’s Centre for Sustainable Finance has published a new policy brief that dives deep into how the private sector can scale up finance for both climate and nature.

Bank Action Guide: Towards a just transition for small–medium enterprises (SMEs)

20 October 2023

30 October 2023 - CISL’s Banking Environment Initiative has published a new Bank Action Guide to help banks begin to facilitate a just transition for acutely vulnerable SMEs and assert their role as key partners to communities and civil society, contributing to a more resilient, inclusive and sustainable global economy.

Let’s Discuss Nature with Climate: Engagement Guide

4 October 2023

9 October 2023 – Building on the nature-related finance collaboration between the Banking Environment Initiative (BEI) and Investment Leaders Group (ILG), CISL has published a new Engagement Guide to support the market-wide transformation towards a net-zero and nature-positive economy by evolving the interaction between banks and investment managers and their portfolio clients and investee companies.

Primer on the financial materiality of Nature-based Solutions (NbS)

3 August 2023

8 August 2023 – Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership’s (CISL)’s ClimateWise showcases a new primer on the financial materiality of Nature-based Solutions (NbS).

Planning decisions, adaptive capacity and insurability: Findings from a case study of flooding in Somerset, UK

1 August 2023

1 August 2023 - The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership’s (CISL) ClimateWise has published a new report on planning decisions, adaptive capacity and insurability.

Roadmap: Identification and integration of nature-related risks and impacts in underwriting and insurance brokerage

4 April 2023

12 April 2023 – New roadmap from CISL’s ClimateWise charts a path for the insurance sector towards nature-positive underwriting and explores the industry’s role in supporting the transition of its clients towards a sustainable economy. 

Centre for Sustainable Finance

Sustainable finance online course

Get in touch

If you are a potential research partner, funder or could shape and use the Centre’s outputs, please use this contact form to start the conversation.

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