Top 10 Executive Courses in Sustainable Finance and ESG Investing

Sustainable investing is an increasingly hot topic in the financial community. With global environment and social challenges so numerous and so pressing, and with millennials participating more in the markets, there is a huge shift towards ESG (environmental, social and governance) investing. However, there is still a great deal of uncertainty in this area.

As investors shift their focus towards investments that minimize the risks and maximise the opportunities, it has become more important to stay up to date in this novel sector. A number of business schools with strong reputations for finance have started to offer executive education programs in sustainable finance and ESG investing, however course options remain limited, which reflects the burgeoning and fast-changing nature of the field.

The programs cover the foundational knowledge and key concepts and strategies in sustainable investing, in addition to providing insights on the latest market developments and real-world examples that illustrate emerging best practices. Participants will learn the associated investment risks and opportunities across different classes of assets, and learn how to measure and assess their impact.

The courses are taught not just by academics but leading experts from financial institutions. They are highly practical in nature, with participants strengthening their creative problem solving skills through case studies. The executives are also given the opportunity to work on a personal workplace project, so they leave ready to put the academic theory to work in the markets.

New York City, New York

Sustainable Finance and ESG Investing is an executive education program run by NYU Stern, a business school in New York City with close historical ties to Wall Street. Through lectures, discussions and practical exercises, participants learn about financially material ESG indicators, and how to translate sustainability into financial performance. They also develop their own sustainable investment strategies and explore best practices. The course is taught online for four days.

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Edinburgh, United Kingdom

The University of Edinburgh Business School offers the Climate Change Risk in Finance course that is delivered online over 10 days. Led by expert instructors, participants follow live sessions so they have the chance to engage with and learn from other practitioners. The course focuses on understanding the link between the climate and the global economy, and the associated investment risks and opportunities across different classes of assets.

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Oxford, United Kingdom

In the UK, the Oxford Impact Investing Programme helps participants to build their investment skills to maximise both financial and social returns. The five day course, taught at Oxford, helps participants develop a deep and broad understanding of the impact investment sector, and how to make effective investment decisions. They also learn how to measure and assess their impact.

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Stockholm, Sweden

The Stockholm School of Economics runs a two-day executive course called Sustainable Finance, which focuses on how sustainability can be integrated into classic models of investment and lending decisions. Participants, who study in-person, learn about the impact of sustainability integration on financial returns, and how to overcome the practical challenges involved.

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Rotterdam, Netherlands

Participants on the Sustainable Finance course at Rotterdam School of Management in the Netherlands, are taught how finance can be used to shift towards a sustainable economy, without sacrificing returns. The program is about how the financial sector fulfils its role in society by allocating capital towards sustainable companies and projects. The course is taught in Rotterdam over three days.

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Kingston, Canada

The Sustainable Investing course at the Smith School of Business in Canada is about finding opportunities and mitigating risks as the world transitions to a low-carbon economy. The 2.5 day program in Toronto offers the essential knowledge and key concepts and strategies in sustainable investing, along with insights on the latest market developments and real-world case studies to demonstrate best practices.

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Montreal, Canada

The John Molson School of Business offers the Advanced ESG Investing course, a 2.5 day program, delivered online, that focuses on the best practices and latest developments in the sector. Participants complete a deep analysis of ESG investing and the course also touches on topics such as cybersecurity and risk management. Through case studies, the executives also hone their creative problem solving skills and are given the opportunity to work on a personal workplace project.

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Mannheim, Germany

Germany’s Mannheim Business School puts on the Quantifying Sustainable Investment program together with the German Association of Institutional Investors. Delivered over three days, participants learn the foundations of sustainable finance and stakeholder expectations alongside regulation, green bonds and impact finance more widely. The course brings together leading experts from financial institutions who teach alongside academics.

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New Haven, Connecticut

Yale School of Management offers the Sustainable Finance and Investment program, delivered online. This helps participants integrate ESG factors into their investment decision-making in order to achieve longer-term growth in returns.

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Berkeley, California

Berkeley offers the Sustainable Capital and ESG online program. It helps participants to address social and environment issues through a combination of focused lectures, case studies, curated readings and interviews with thought leaders.

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