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Regular version of the site

Sustainable Finance

Academic Year
Instruction in English
ECTS credits
Course type:
Elective course
1 year, 3, 4 module


Course Syllabus


Existing economic models were developed in the age of resources abundance, when natural resources were plenty and carbon emissions were limited. No environmental concerns were factored into these models; only labour and capital. Likewise, financial theory does not account value to natural resources beyond their near-term cash flows. These models are still widely used, but no longer tenable. Sustainable development is an integrated concept with three aspects: economic, social and environmental. Sustainable finance looks at how finance (investing and lending) interacts with economic, social, and environmental issues. This course is aimed on learning the principles of Sustainable finance and their application in taking financial decisions at different levels – from corporate to individual decision-makers. It is a blended course based on Rotterdam Management School MOOC (https://www.coursera.org/learn/sustainable-finance) and on the real-life assignments that the students are proposed to fulfill.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • To understand sustainability challenges in a global economy
  • To learn the linkage between finance and sustainability challenge
  • To understand how companies and financial institutions can agjust their strategies and business models to a more sustainable business environment and economic policies
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Analyze how finance plays a role in the sustainability transition
  • Define integrated reporting
  • Demonstrate the key characteristics for succesful ESG integration
  • Distinguish between different ethical theories of companies' purpose
  • Explain how companies can create long term value
  • Explain how finance can steer the sustainability transition
  • Explain the difference between efficient market hypothesis and adaptive market hypothesis
  • Know mechanisms of integration of social and environmental factors
  • Recall the characteristics for long-term value creation
  • Recall the most important obstacles in sustainable banking
  • Recognize the most important trends in weather related catastrophes
  • Recognize the relationship between sustainability and corporate strategy
  • Select the most crucial steps that firms have to take to create positive impact
  • Understand the basic concepts of climate stress testing
  • Understand the engagement obstacles in bonds
  • Understanding the reasons to integrate social and environmental factors in the economic system
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • The sustainability challenge
  • Dealing with Sustainability Challenge
  • Companies purposes
  • Sustainable Business Models
  • Climate risk & insurance
  • Sustainable Asset Management
  • Sustainable banking
  • Steering the transition
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • Partially blocks (final) grade/grade calculation Tests
    The students may retake the tests during the course if they missed them because of the respectful reason. Once submitted, the test may be re-taken only once. If the students got a 'fail' grade for the tests as a whole control element, they can be re-submitted in the period beyond the course (additional examination period)
  • Partially blocks (final) grade/grade calculation Project
    A real-life project devoted to green transition
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • 2021/2022 4th module
    0.6 * Tests + 0.4 * Project


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Dirk Schoenmaker, & Willem Schramade. (2019). Principles of Sustainable Finance: Vol. First edition. OUP Oxford.

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Ataur Belal, & Stuart Cooper. (2018). Sustainability Accounting : Education, Regulation, Reporting and Stakeholders: Vol. First edition. Emerald Publishing Limited.
  • Botzen, W. J. W. (2013). Managing Extreme Climate Change Risks Through Insurance. Cambridge University Press.
  • Garrido Azevedo, S., & Matias, J. C. O. (2017). Corporate Sustainability : The New Pillar of the Circular Economy. Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
  • Keucheyan, R. (2018). Insuring Climate Change: New Risks and the Financialization of Nature. Development & Change, 49(2), 484–501. https://doi.org/10.1111/dech.12367
  • Lee, J., & Kwon, H.-B. (2019). The synergistic effect of environmental sustainability and corporate reputation on market value added (MVA) in manufacturing firms. International Journal of Production Research, 57(22), 7123–7141. https://doi.org/10.1080/00207543.2019.1578430
  • Schönborn, G., Berlin, C. 1981, Pinzone, M., Hanisch, C., Georgoulias, K., & Lanz, M. (2019). Why social sustainability counts: The impact of corporate social sustainability culture on financial success. Sustainable Production and Consumption, 17, 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.spc.2018.08.008