Published 2019-10-07This post is also available in Swedish
Misum a key component of international training initiative
Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) is launching the Green Bonds and Sustainable Finance Executive Programme, an international educational initiative focusing on green lending, green bonds and sustainable finance.
The programme will support banks in emerging markets in their transition to sustainable financing. Misum’s experience will be an important part of the initiative.
Financial markets have immense power when it comes to influencing developments in the areas of environment and climate. To educate those who have, or will one day take up, leadership roles in commerce and financial companies, the Green Bonds and Sustainable Finance Executive Programme has been created.
‘Just over two years ago, we started discussions with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which is part of the World Bank. The study programme ended up in Sweden partly because we, through Misum, had built a broad skills base in sustainability and finance,’ says Hanna Setterberg, a researcher in Misum, lecturer in sustainability and finance and Programme Director of the Green Bonds and Sustainable Finance Executive Programme.
In June, the first programme was held. Some 30 participants from 10 banks in Nigeria, Thailand, Turkey and Georgia were on the spot in Stockholm for five days.
Each bank sent at least three representatives, and the requirement was that there should be one head of sustainability, a second person from the finance side and a third in charge of lending.
‘Our idea was that each bank should send several people and that they’d have different skills. That’s because we believed you need a team for them to be strong enough to push through the changes required when they get home,’ Setterberg says.
Today, the demand for green bonds is greater than the supply on the market. Especially for pension and insurance companies, green bonds are an important part of the sustainable investment strategy. The aim of the training is therefore to give participants the tools they need to advance green loans and issue green bonds in their respective markets.
‘The finance sector plays a crucial role in enabling us to achieve the global Sustainable Development Goals. Climate change also brings new financial risks for banks and other players to relate to, while demand for green bonds is growing. So it’s important for banks, especially in emerging economies, to know how to include sustainability criteria in their credit analyses.’
The plan is to implement two programme sessions a year for seven years, but a green bond has already been launched, just a few months after the first session.
SSE Executive Education and the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) have primary responsibility for the content development and implementation of the programme, which is hosted by the Stockholm Sustainable Finance Centre (SSFC). Also included in the project are Misum and a several other players from the Swedish financial market.
‘We’re proud to be able to contribute to positive development through a specific venture like this study programme for people who make crucial decisions for our future. This is fully in line with the School’s strategy, two cornerstones of which are finance and sustainability,’ says Lars Strannegård, SSE’s President.
Sweden has more than ten years’ experience of green bonds and, in terms of total volume issued, has the highest proportion of green bonds in the world. In emerging economies, this type of financing is much more unusual, and the programme enables banks to send people here to get both inspiration and knowledge so that they can then integrate sustainability into their lending and issue more green bonds. The hope is that the programme will help to ensure that more sustainable projects in developing countries receive financial support.
The programme is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the Luxembourg Ministry of Finance.
Hanna Setterberg, researcher at Misum, lecturer in sustainability and financial economics, and Programme Director for the Sustainable Finance Executive Programme
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