Leaders from the world’s largest financial institutions have gathered in Edinburgh to address the climate emergency and other pressing global challenges; presenting the city as a center for sustainable finance education.
The Ethical Finance Global Summit 2022 was held in Edinburgh this week.
Organized by Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI), the summit is the largest gathering of financial services in the country on sustainability since COP26, bringing together of THE WORLD Bank, of Bank e Englandgovernment ministers and many of the planet’s leading firms.
Sarah Breedenchief executive at the Bank of England, gave a keynote speech at the event on ‘the nature of risk’ in what is the institution’s first major announcement on nature-based finance.
In her speech, Breeden said: “Tackling the loss and degradation of nature is important to all of us on the planet. And in the round, this work will allow us to define the nature of these risks, and thus enable the Bank and the financial system to play their part in the collective response to this critical challenge.”
Omar Sheikh, managing director of GEFI, added: “When we come together to share knowledge and commit to action, we really can change the world. Alongside governments, private financial institutions must step up to help build a responsible, inclusive, sustainable and green future.
“This week, Scotland again takes center stage in the battle against climate change by bringing together professionals and experts to shape a better financial system. The biggest financial services firms will need to show real leadership if ethical finance is to trickle down to smaller companies, through the supply chain and into the wider economy.
“The challenge of climate change is daunting – but giving up is simply not an option. Banks and financial institutions hold the key to building a more sustainable world.”
The summit produced an international prospectus to target students and professionals seeking a career in ethical, green and socially responsible financial services.
More than 160,000 people are employed in finance-related jobs and around £9.5bn of responsible funds are already managed in Scotland.
GEFI evaluated more than seven courses, including master’s programs, against ANDsustainable development goals before including them in its 18-page prospectus.
Topics include climate change finance and investment and environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing.
Regarding the summit, University of Edinburgh Business School (UEBS) hosted 30 delegates on an executive education course, having recently partnered with Asian Banking School (ABS), which is located in Kuala Lumpur.
Professor Colin Gardner, chief executive of ABS, said: “The Asian School of Banking is well positioned to be on the pulse of the industry’s training needs and where it is going. We ensure that our courses are innovative, cutting-edge and relevant.
“That’s why, when looking to partner on a new executive education program for banking executives covering the latest industry topics, we looked to UEBS to collaborate.
“The collaboration has produced a stellar program that has been warmly welcomed by the Malaysian banking industry. We were especially excited when our program dates coincided with the summit.”
“We all depend on global finance making the right choices to deliver positive change and achieve the UN’s sustainable development goals,” Shaikh continues.
“Ethical finance offers the opportunity to learn how finance can serve the economy without forgetting its impact on society and the environment.
“Scotland has a culture conducive to sustainable funding. Our new guide will help full-time students and busy professionals find the right opportunity on their journey to sustainable finance.
“The partnership between ABS and UEBSl is a testament to an inherent culture of research that can once again shape the world.”