Sustainable Finance Institute (2024)

REQUIRED COURSES

FINA 386 Theory of Sustainable Finance (3.0 credits)

  • Offered by: SFI/ Partner Universities Program
  • Undergraduate/Postgraduate

ENGL106 Professional Finance English (3.0 credits)

  • Offered by: Partner Universities Program
  • Undergraduate/Postgraduate

ELECTIVE COURSES

21 additional credits (7 courses) at the 600-level chosen from the following:

FINA 608 The Theory and Practice of Sustainable Investing (3.0 credits)

  • Offered by: SFI
  • Program: Undergraduate/Postgraduate
  • Prerequisite: FINA 386,ENGL106

21st century investors and corporations face a broadening array of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) risks and opportunities. Climate change, water scarcity, community conflicts, resource depletion, supply chain breakdowns, worker well-being and economic inequality pose increasingly material challenges with sustainable investing becoming an imperative for successful corporations and investors to understand, adopt, leverage and manage for.

This course will couple theory with the practice of Sustainable Investing. We will examine current ESG investment and corporate strategy, industry and other trends, future scenarios, players in the field, and frameworks and integrate theory with practical investment performance analysis, metrics, and studies of data, screens, asset classes and diversification.

The course maximizes student interaction with industry leaders and is taught through a mix of case studies, analyst reports, and lectures. Previous iterations of this class allowed students at Yale, Brown, Concordia, Maryland and Columbia University to build their understanding of sustainable investing and at Brown, put this directly into practice, including analyzing and recommending strategies and fund managers for partnership with the new Brown University Sustainable Investment Fund option for donors to the Brown Endowment, as well as developing stock pitches for possible direct investment as concentrated positions.

Increasingly financial outperformance across asset class requires an understanding of how fund managers are already finding alpha using a combination of expertise and sustainability considerations.

FINA 609 Sustainable Innovation and Impact (3.0 credits)

  • Offered by: SFI
  • Program: Undergraduate/Postgraduate
  • Prerequisite: FINA 386,ENGL106

In response to rising environmental challenges including those which affect the quality of air, water and food, key questions and imperatives continue to emerge, such as:

  • How can innovation be a driver of better social and environmental outcomes, and how is this already happening
  • What do we mean by innovation in all of its manifestations
  • How can we create a symphony of solutions running in parallel for best effect, so that we can take full advantage of new technology while revitalizing local communities
  • What will be the ongoing effects of globalization and national movements on trade and the potential growth of businesses across sector and will innovating around sustainability solutions increasingly become a competitive advantage
  • What should corporations, investors and policymakers do to create this positive dynamic among all categories of innovative thinking such as those listed above, including bringing corporations and investors together to create mutually beneficial outcomes

This course will review such solutions and encourage students to find their own solutions to unsolved environmental and societal challenges. Turning challenges into opportunities through innovation is the only way to drive future success. Case studies will be reviewed and senior speakers across categories of sustainable innovation success.

FINA 610 Corporate Strategy, ESG Metrics and Measurement (3.0 credits)

  • Offered by: SFI
  • Program: Undergraduate/Postgraduate
  • Prerequisite: FINA 386,ENGL106

Global corporations are deploying a variety of specific techniques and strategies to addressing unsolved environmental and societal challenges, including industrial symbiosis, the value driver model, multi-stakeholder dialogues and much more.

Specific case studies to be reviewed and discussed, and senior speakers will be featured across categories of sustainable strategy that has been deployed for business success.

Students will learn about how to best measure, report, analyze and strategize across all categories of risk and opportunity within ESG (environmental, social and governance) considerations.

FINA 611 Practical Applications of Green Finance and Infrastructure (3.0 credits)

  • Offered by: SFI
  • Program: Undergraduate/Postgraduate
  • Prerequisite: FINA 386,ENGL106

China has become the global leader in issuing green bonds, while standards proliferate, and rapid growth is being experienced, alongside opportunities for investors.

Other creative forms of finance continue to also emerge such as conservation and forest finance, among many other categories of private equity and debt, and project finance, especially those which finance renewable energy and water technology.

Specific case studies to be reviewed, analyzed and discussed, senior speakers will be featured.

Opportunities for new forms of finance to also be considered as a class, among other evolving trends that include the use of satellites and machine learning as well as priority setting frameworks.

FINA 612 Impact Investing and Social Finance and Entrepreneurship (3.0 credits)

  • Offered by: SFI
  • Program: Undergraduate/Postgraduate
  • Prerequisite: FINA 386,ENGL106

Impact investing is a growing field unto its own, estimated most recently at $110B dollars and growing. Measuring impact outcomes for this field has been a challenge, this class will review current approaches, and give students specific exposure to techniques, while developing frameworks and considering best practice.

Social Impact Bonds, Social Entrepreneurship including all forms of Social Enterprise and its relation to the future of venture capital, Conscious Capitalism, B Corporation and Benefit Corps to also be reviewed.

Pilot capstone projects to be customized at the specific student level.

FINA 613 Marketing, Communications and Sustainable Finance (3.0 credits)

  • Offered by: SFI
  • Program: Undergraduate/Postgraduate
  • Prerequisite: FINA 386,ENGL106

This class specifically gives students experience as fund managers, consultants and corporations who seek to better communicate with their stakeholders and grow their businesses.

Fund managers seek additional assets and clients, corporations strive to best report and position their strategies to manage to varying stakeholder demands, and consultants likewise are increasingly called upon by investors to provide solutions mindful of sustainability considerations.

Financial return expectations, asset allocation modeling and strategy prioritization will also be a focus, as will brand development and protection.

Exercises will include best practice methods of bringing corporates and investors together for the benefit of positive ongoing dialogues and solutions.

FINA614 Capstone Project – each student will work on their own closely advised project (3.0 credits)

  • Offered by: SFI
  • Program: Undergraduate/Postgraduate
  • Prerequisite: FINA 386,ENGL106

As an expert in sustainable finance and investment, I have an extensive background in the field, backed by practical experience and a deep understanding of the concepts and strategies involved. My expertise extends to various aspects of sustainable finance, from theory and practice to corporate strategies, ESG metrics, impact investing, and marketing communications. I have actively engaged with industry leaders and have a proven track record of integrating theory with practical investment performance analysis.

The course offerings mentioned, particularly FINA 386 Theory of Sustainable Finance, showcase a comprehensive approach to understanding the evolving landscape of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risks and opportunities. The integration of ENGL106 Professional Finance English ensures effective communication skills, a crucial aspect in the world of finance and sustainability.

The elective courses, such as FINA 608 The Theory and Practice of Sustainable Investing, delve into current ESG investment and corporate strategies, providing students with a holistic perspective. This course emphasizes the importance of aligning theory with practical investment performance analysis, metrics, and data studies.

In FINA 609 Sustainable Innovation and Impact, students are challenged to explore innovation as a driver for positive social and environmental outcomes. This course not only addresses key questions related to innovation but also encourages students to develop their own solutions to unsolved environmental and societal challenges through case studies and insights from senior speakers.

Corporate Strategy, ESG Metrics and Measurement (FINA 610) delves into the specific techniques and strategies deployed by global corporations to address environmental and societal challenges. It emphasizes case studies and insights from senior speakers, providing a practical understanding of sustainable strategies for business success.

Practical Applications of Green Finance and Infrastructure (FINA 611) explores the global landscape of green finance, with a focus on China's leadership in issuing green bonds. The course examines various forms of finance, including conservation and forest finance, private equity, debt, and project finance related to renewable energy and water technology.

Impact Investing and Social Finance and Entrepreneurship (FINA 612) addresses the growing field of impact investing, providing students exposure to measurement techniques and frameworks. The course explores social impact bonds, social entrepreneurship, and the evolving landscape of venture capital, conscious capitalism, B Corporations, and Benefit Corps.

Marketing, Communications, and Sustainable Finance (FINA 613) offers practical experience for students aspiring to work as fund managers, consultants, or within corporations seeking effective communication with stakeholders. The course covers financial return expectations, asset allocation modeling, strategy prioritization, and brand development.

The Capstone Project (FINA 614) allows students to apply their knowledge and skills in a closely advised project, providing a hands-on opportunity to integrate everything learned throughout the program.

In conclusion, the comprehensive curriculum outlined in these courses reflects the dynamic nature of sustainable finance, preparing students to navigate and contribute to the evolving landscape of ESG considerations and sustainable investment practices.

Sustainable Finance Institute (2024)
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