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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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ClimateWise

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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Innovation

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


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. 

The ClimateWise Principles Independent Review for 2022

20 January 2023

23 January 2023 – The ClimateWise Principles Independent Review for 2022 sees scores continue to increase across the membership.

Financial innovation for SME net zero transition: Role of banks and buyers

6 January 2023

17 January 2023 – The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), We Mean Business Coalition (WMB) and the SME Climate Hub have published a new report highlighting the role of commercial banks and multi-national corporations in helping small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) reach net zero.

Integrating climate and nature: The rationale for financial institutions

26 September 2022

27 September 2022 – Building on the nature-related financial risks collaboration between the Banking Environment Initiative (BEI) and Investment Leaders Group (ILG), CISL has published a new report detailing the importance of an integrated approach to addressing environmental challenges, encompassing climate and other nature-related issues.

Investing in quality jobs for a just transition

13 September 2022

22 September - Building on the ILG's Sustainable Investment Framework, the group have published two reports exploring the key concepts, initiatives, and investment impacts on decent work. This paves the way for the development of a simple, robust, and transparent metric for investors to measure and report both the quantitative and qualitative information about their investment impacts on decent work.

Why nature matters: Nature-related risks and opportunities for insurance underwriting

30 August 2022

5 September 2022 – The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership’s (CISL) ClimateWise has published a new report on Nature Insurance.

Modelling it all: Secondary Perils in a warming world

27 June 2022

29 June 2022 – The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership’s (CISL) ClimateWise has published a new white paper on secondary perils.

Land degradation, UK farmers and indicative financial risk - Nature-related financial risk use case

6 April 2022

April 2022 – The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) in collaboration with NatWest Group has published a use case about the indicative financial risk from farming degraded land.

The EU Farm to Fork Strategy and Fertiliser Companies – Nature-related financial risk use case

6 April 2022

April 2022 – The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) in collaboration with Deutsche Bank and Union Bancaire Privée (UBP) has published a use case on how the transition to a sustainable and resilient food system impacts fertiliser company valuations.

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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