Our mission

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Our mission is to bring a transdisciplinary approach to financial research balancing the environment, equity and economics. We do so through co-creation with industry partners, combining diverse theories and methods with practice for transformative change. 

Vision

Financial markets that promote and maintainsocial and environmental sustainability by:

  • Developing sustainability standards in investment practices that account for social and environmental impacts of investments and that are comparable and streamlined across the financial ecosystem (i.e. from financing of start-ups, to syndicated loans, and regulators)
  • Taking action to deal with the complexity of the current risk landscape, and adjusting risk assessment approaches to help mitigate risks both to, and from, investments.
  • Identifying and acting on opportunities to invest in innovations that support a more sustainable and inclusive society.
  • Initiating the re-shaping of norms and policies that present a barrier to more inclusive, sustainable and efficient financial markets.

How to get there – Developing an ecosystem for change

Our approach aims to strengthen the transformative force of the financial market to contribute to sustainable development. We pursue this goal by conducting rigorous, high-impact, transdisciplinary research and by providing an interactive hub to promote transformation and innovation among actors in the financial market ecosystem.

The power of financial markets to support sustainability rests on their ability to align norms and practices. For example, by aligning investment criteria with the purpose that drives sustainable businesses, thus enhancing their social license to operate. Financial services that allow companies to prosper vary across the different phases of the corporate life-cycle; from public finance and business angels during early stages of developing start-ups, to corporate loans and equity investments as firms become established. Yet regardless of investor type, the norms that shape how risk and opportunity is evaluated, and the criteria used to assess the sustainability and impact of investments need to be congruent across actors, and be integrated as central decision criteria in parity with financial criteria.

The Sustainable Finance Lab will work to develop an ecosystem of both incumbent and non-traditional actors to facilitate development of innovative and sustainable, yet commercially viable, business ideas and financial practices that align with broader societal sustainability goals. Our ambition is for this ecosystem to include institutional investors and financial regulators as well as new disruptive fintech actors, and both private and public stakeholders.

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