Research

The Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme 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 currently have five major research themes. We also have several special initiatives that we have created 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.

Research Themes

Spatial Finance

Using cutting-edge geospatial data and analysis to understand environment-related risks, impacts, and opportunities.

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Future of Engagement

Empowering financial institutions to use engagement and stewardship in new ways to achieve the greatest possible impact.

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Sustainable Finance Performance

Assessing empirically how sustainable finance has and is changing financial markets, altering risk preferences, and impacting the real economy.

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Data Science and Artificial Intelligence

Deploying data science and AI to support sustainable finance.

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Stranded Assets and Transition Finance

Using finance to enable the real economy transition and navigate the risk of stranded assets.

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Special Initiatives

Commonwealth Climate and Law Initiative (CCLI)

Examining the legal basis for directors and trustees to consider, manage, and report on climate change-related risk, and the circumstances in which they may be liable for failing to do so.

Global Research Alliance for Sustainable Finance and Investment (GRASFI)

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.

Spatial Finance Initiative (SFI)

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.

2 Degree Pathways

Examines scenario-driven decision making by oil and gas companies in energy transitions. This web tool allows interested parties to roleplay company and investor decision making through the energy transition.