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Sustainable Finance and ESG Investments Seed Class

On August 24th and 25th, the Sustainable Finance and ESG Investing Impact Community held the inaugural, first of its kind, Sustainable Finance and ESG Investments Seed Class. This two day Seed Class was designed to explore ways to integrate values and skills associated with ESG investing into curricula. In the past there have been many challenges associated with how to integrate ESG into teaching, research, and operations across our academic communities. Our goal with this initiative was to “plant seeds” around ways to incorporate sustainable finance in a more holistic way. The thought behind this approach was to change the idea of being taught by a “Master of Expertise”, and change it to more of a unique way to “seed” ideas around exploring educational learning around sustainable finance specifically by sharing new ideas, experiences, and future collaborations. We invited academia from around the world and was joined by over 50 participants ranging from over 30 different countries.

We’d like to give a special thanks to the three Lead Chairs of the Sustainable Finance and ESG Investing Impact Community, Felipe Calderon, Aditya Singh, and Viviane Torinelli. Their shared combination of expertise surrounding Sustainable Finance created a space for individuals with similar passions and set the stage for a thought provoking dialogue. Thank you for your time, commitment and leadership.

Lead Chairs of the GBSN for Sustainable Finance and ESG Investing Impact Community

  • Felipe Calderon

    Head, Washington SyCip Graduate School of Business
    Asian Institute of Management (AIM)
  • Aditya Singh

    Athena School of Management
  • Viviane Torinelli

    Co-Founder Brazilian Alliance of Sustainable Finance and Investments (BRASFI)
    Guest Professor FDC for Sustainable Finance and Investment

Session 1: Banks as Drivers of Sustainability

The first session, “Banks as Drivers of Sustainability“, was headed by Felipe Calderon of Asian Institute of Management, where he discussed the following topics:

  • How banks can encourage, if not forced, corporate borrowers to adopt sustainability practices. In Canada, banks take environmental protection into account when making lending decisions. This included site visits, assessment of a client’s environmental record, or third-party reporting on proposals. 
  • Shared practices of other banks in assisting corporate borrowers on their sustainability journey.
  • An article from the International Banker titled, “Is the banking sector adequately supporting the LBGTQ+ community” and how TD Bank of Canada has a business development unity for the LGBTQ2+ community.
  • Increased popularity of sustainability-linked loans and the Global Alliance for banking on Values.

Session 2: From ESG Risk to Sustainable Finance and Investment

The second session, “From ESG Risk to Sustainable Finance and Investment” was headed by Viviane Torinelli of Fundação Dom Cabral, where she discussed the following topics:

  • Climate risks and awareness
  • Understanding ESG risk factors
  • Economic implications and why it maters to the financial community
  • Where finance meets sustainability: sustainable finance and ESG investments and how this discussion changes finance investments

For those interested in continuing the conversation,  we’ve created a LinkedIn group to serve as a space to continue discussions. Please be sure to join this newly created LinkedIn group.

Sustainable Finance and ESG Investment Impact Community

The GBSN for Sustainable Finance & ESG Investment IMPACT Community serves as a forum for taking Sustainable Finance to the next level. The goals of this Impact Community are to improve the perception and the management of risks and opportunities associated with ESG factors, contribute to unlocking sustainable financial flows and positively impact the societies in the developing world, and making local businesses more perennial and sustainable. With the GBSN mission in mind, this Impact Community aims to increase awareness and support from a North to South perspective and to increase cooperation from a South to South perspective.

GBSN Beyond 2022 Seed Classes

Moving forward, our goal with this new initiative is to incorporate Seed Classes throughout our six Impact Communities by running concurrent sessions during our annual, GBSN Beyond 2022 Conference, hosted in the cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam, co-hosted by the Rotterdam School of Management and LUISS Business School. Joining one of these sessions will open the door to other areas of expertise by exploring other channels of educational learning by sharing new ideas, experiences and future collaborations.