A holistic view of sustainable investing

There has been a strong movement in the last few years towards a model of investing that takes into account not only financial returns, but also environmental, social, ethical, and governance considerations.  A Canadian business school in collaboration with finance, investment and industrial companies created the first online sustainable investment certification awarded through a university business school. The certification equips professionals with the tools required to understand the rapidly emerging sustainable finance sector and be able to offer sustainable investing advice to clients and within their own organizations.

John Molson School of Business at ConcordiaThe recent economic collapse and growing resentment towards shortsighted, business-as-usual practices on Wall Street has caused increased global disillusionment toward the financial industry and its investing culture which is focused on short-term profit at any cost. There has been a strong movement in the last few years towards a model of investing that takes into account not only financial returns, but also environmental, social, ethical, and governance considerations.

Finance programs in management education have been slow to recognize this seismic shift in the industry. Consequently, they are left scrambling to provide the skills and knowledge necessary for students to understand and practice sustainable investment initiatives. This means that the advantages and opportunities that encompass this newly evolving concept can also escape the full attention they deserve. Traditional commerce, MBA and EMBA finance programs are not preparing or equipping the next generation of financial business leaders to tackle the emerging global societal and environmental issues that will increasingly affect how business and investment play out.

The Sustainable Investment Professional Certification is the first online sustainable investment certification awarded through a university business school. Designed for finance and investment professionals in the field of sustainable investing, the SIPC course has been developed by The David O’Brien Centre for Sustainable Enterprise (DOCSE) at Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business (JMSB) in collaboration with finance, investment and industrial companies.

The SIPC was created to equip professionals with the tools required to understand the rapidly emerging sustainable finance sector and be able to offer sustainable investing advice to clients and within their own organizations. The goal of the program is to produce globally responsible finance leaders who understand and practice investments that positively impact the bottom line and the natural and human world around them. The SIPC curriculum takes a holistic view of sustainable investing. By providing a solid educational foundation in environmental and social sustainability, corporate governance, business ethics, and environmental policies, regulations and best practices, students can clearly understand and see the link between the environment, society and business.

The SIPC realized the importance of a trans-disciplinary approach to education. An advisory council – consisting of practitioners from social and green finance and business, the mainstream finance and investment community and academia – guides the program and curriculum. This coming together of professionals from a wide variety of key disciplines has been imperative in developing students’ understanding of the larger picture of the state of the financial industry. More than this, it shows them what is needed to transform the current, broken economic system into one that can help to serve the common good.

Filed in: Issue-centered learning, Open access between academia and practice
Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Trackback URL | RSS Feed for This Entry

You must be logged in to post a comment.