The Oxford Sustainable Finance Group undertakes pioneering multidisciplinary research. We seek to deeply understand the challenges and opportunities across different areas of sustainable finance. As researchers, we have both the privilege and the responsibility to think about these issues profoundly and over the long-term.
Our research is always forward-looking. We don't focus on documenting the past or replicating research that is easily done from within financial institutions. We don't think that the genuinely interesting questions in sustainable finance reside largely in the regression analysis of ESG scores and the financial performance of US listed securities. Nor do we think that the scope of sustainable finance research should be limited to private financial institutions in a limited number of contexts. We draw on a range of disciplines and traditions, as well as methods and technologies. In other words, we aren't hammers and we don't just see nails. We also always have a preference for transparency and creating public goods and as a result we also don't do black boxes.
As a result of our scale, networks, reputation, and experience, we are uniquely placed to identify the important research questions and to turn our research into real change that actually improves the efficacy of sustainable finance, whether that is through changes in financial practice, policy, supervision, or client demand.
We have research clusters to develop and nurture deep capabilities in four specific areas: climate and environment analytics, stranded assets and transition finance, spatial finance, and machine learning and data science. Researchers and research students operate in one or more clusters, while working in multidisciplinary project or programme teams across the Group. We also have several special initiatives that we have created independently or with other organisations. These are not the limits of our work and you can find out more, including about how to work with us, by contacting the Director, Dr Ben Caldecott.
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Projects, programmes, and special initiatives
The UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment (CGFI) is a national centre set up to accelerate the adoption and use of climate and environmental data and analytics by financial institutions. We are a multidisciplinary team with a track record of delivering high-impact research, tools, analytics, and information relevant to a range of financial institution needs.
The UK Transition Plan Taskforce (TPT) was launched by HM Treasury to develop a gold standard for climate transition plans. The TPT’s work will help to drive decarbonisation by ensuring that financial institutions and companies prepare rigorous plans to achieve net zero and support efforts to tackle greenwashing.
Established to bring together research capabilities in space, data science, and financial services to make them greater than the sum of their parts. The Initiative is designed to be a funnel, undertaking and coordinating world-leading academic research and channelling these into real-world finance-related applications.
The Leverhulme Centre for Nature Recovery (LCNR) will draw on and consolidate the world-leading expertise of Oxford University and its partners to address the challenge of delivering effective and socially inclusive nature recovery at scale, in order to support goals of reversing national and global biodiversity decline by the end of this decade.
The Alliance was founded in 2017 by a network of global research universities in order to promote rigorous and highly impactful academic research on sustainable finance and investment.
Global Resilience Index Initiative (GRII) will provide reference data on climate and natural hazard risks to inform and protect populations and economies, particularly in emerging and developing countries, form a basis for mobilising the trillions of investment needed to meet the Paris goals on climate-resilient development. This information will be open, accessible to all using shared standards and consistent metrics at local to global scales.
Beginning with the energy sector, the Energy Transition Risk and Cost of Capital Project (ETRC) explores how to rebalance the cost of capital in favour of clean rather than polluting assets. The cost of capital is a critical transmission mechanism between the financial and real economies as it drives capital allocation. To shift capital flows across the global economy as part of the net-zero carbon transition, the cost of capital for dirty assets needs to increase substantially and it needs to fall for clean.
Our Sectoral data quality and integrity project (SDQI), co-hosted with the UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment, analyses and provides sector-specific insight into the quality of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission data for use by financial institutions.