Coronavirus COVID-19 information:
We are still planning for all of our Summer 2020 courses to be held in Oxford to go ahead. However, in light of coronavirus (COVID-19) we will not require successful applicants to pay the course fees until the situation becomes clearer and would advise them not to commit to other related expenses (i.e. travel). We aim to confirm and re-confirm courses by the end of April 2020. It is possible that courses may need to be postponed, but we will continue to monitor events and follow UK Government guidance. We will also be providing successful applicants for 2020 courses with the option to defer their enrolment to 2021 should they prefer to do so. Please contact: for any queries in relation to this.

Engagement and stewardship are fundamental to achieving sustainable finance. The positive influence that financial institutions can have on the companies and governments they finance is essential for the successful realisation of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. Engagement and stewardship are also fundamental to improving the practices of investee companies, particularly in terms of the systematic management of environment-related factors, including climate-related physical and transition risks.

Yet there are pervasive collective action problems in effectively executing concerted and coordinated engagement strategies with other like-minded financial institutions. Further, influence on companies and their environmental footprints differs enormously by asset class, sector, and geography, as well as by the strategies and tactics employed by financial institutions and their effective execution.

These are familiar problems and much progress has been made to improve engagement and stewardship. But more needs to be done and done quickly. This three-day course will provide participants with the latest theories and knowledge, as well as the networks and confidence, to enhance engagement and stewardship practices related to the environment.

During the course we will examine engagement and stewardship across different asset classes, sectors, and geographies; explore current and emerging engagement strategies; scrutinise the data and analysis that can inform engagement; investigate developments in regulation and technology that create opportunities for engagement; and consider the role of policymakers, regulators, companies, and civil society in enhancing (or frustrating) effective engagement.

The course is centred around a three-day residential workshop held at the University of Oxford from Wednesday 23rd to Friday 25th September 2020, with accommodation provided from Tuesday 22nd September 2020.

The ESSC is one of three Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme open enrolment executive courses. Alumni will become part of our community and receive invitations to our events and conferences. There is also a growing alumni community. All alumni also receive a 15% discount on all other Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme open enrolment executive courses.


Day I: The state of engagement
  • Engagement and stewardship: the story so far
  • The purpose of the company
  • Divestment vs engagement and the role of civil society
  • The view from the engaged and the investor relations profession
Day II: The future of engagement (part 1) and Oxford Union Debates
  • Legal and regulatory developments: from expectations to practice
  • Fintech and the democratisation of engagement
  • Oxford Union Debates
Day III: The future of engagement (part 2) and towards implementation
  • Data and analysis for engagement
  • Engagement beyond listed equities
  • Changing economic and financial geographies of engagement
  • Measuring engagement performance
  • Place-based engagement and new coalitions

Our courses are designed to equip participants with essential foundational knowledge of core principles and concepts in sustainable finance, as well as an advanced understanding of the very latest developments. They are the ideal preparation for current and emerging professional examinations in sustainable finance and related areas.