Coronavirus COVID-19 information:
Owing to the global health crisis the 2020 iteration of the Sustainable Finance Foundation Course has been postponed. Whilst unfortunate we have made this decision with the safety and security of students, staff and faculty in mind.

Aligning finance with sustainability is a necessary condition for tackling the environmental challenges facing humanity. It is also necessary for financial institutions (and policymakers and regulators) to manage environment-related risks, as well as capture opportunities associated with the transition to global environmental sustainability.

The Sustainable Finance Foundation Course (SFFC) was launched in 2016 and is the premier short-course on sustainable finance globally. We aim to attract the best and brightest current and future leaders and deliver a unique experience that equips participants with the knowledge and networks required to undertake significant future work on sustainable finance. The course is centred around a five-day residential workshop held at the University of Oxford.

The course has been designed and developed by the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme as an introduction to sustainable finance for professionals working in a range of sectors, for example: executives working in financial institutions that need to understand how sustainability, the environment, and climate change relates to finance and investment; civil servants, regulators, and central bankers working to develop policies that can foster the development of sustainable finance; staff at environmental NGOs who would like to help the global financial system create better environmental outcomes; philanthropic funders looking to navigate sustainable finance topics so as to support the most impactful activities; and trustees or company directors that want to understand how sustainable finance relates to their fiduciary duties.

Participants will engage critically with systems and theories in sustainable finance and investment such as: active ownership, the carbon bubble, climate finance, conservation finance, disclosure, divestment, engagement, ESG, green banks, green bonds, green benchmarks and indices, impact investing, public private partnerships, reporting, responsible investment, stranded assets, and green taxonomies.

The SFFC is the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme's flagship executive course. Participants will become part of our growing alumni community and receive invitations to our events and conferences. All alumni also receive a 15% discount on all other Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme open enrolment executive courses.

The Oxford Residential

The residential workshop is held over five consecutive days at the University of Oxford.

Through the course participants will:

  • Develop a foundational knowledge in the emerging theories and practice of sustainable finance and investment.
  • Become confident in navigating and critically analysing the key aspects and developments in sustainable finance, as well as how to engage with different financial sector stakeholders for collaboration.
  • Study how different policies, regulations and supervisory expectations related to sustainable finance are evolving in different jurisdictions, their direction of travel, and opportunities for influence.
  • Become part of a global network of like-minded professionals that are approaching sustainable finance from different angles and professional perspectives.
  • Learn from, challenge, and engage in conversation with leading Oxford faculty and expert practitioners who blend research with experience. Cutting edge theory on sustainable finance and investment will be examined using a combination of real world case-studies, presentations, and Oxford Union-styled debates.
  • Embark on the unique 'Oxford experience' and explore first-hand the richness that the city has to offer including candlelit college dinners and the opportunity to immerse themselves in one of the global homes of education.

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.

Capstone Projects

Over the subsequent six months after the residential participants will engage in an extended learning exercise implementing a project related to finance and sustainability. It is intended to demonstrate application and growth from course learning.

The capstone project will need to be related to sustainable finance. It can be a personal project, a project as part of your job, a campaign, a commercial venture, a research project, or something else.

The Course Directors will help you along the way, for example, by providing feedback and introductions to people that might be able to help. You will also be supported by the network of peers from your cohort.

Examples of projects include:

  • An investment case or business model to present to an investment institution;
  • An advocacy campaign or strategy to leverage the influence of markets and finance for environmental benefit; and
  • Or a substantive alternative project of relevance to the participant's work (subject to faculty approval).