Introduction to Sustainable Finance (NEW) (2024)

Introduction to Sustainable Finance (NEW) (1)


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Green economy

Self-paced courses

10 hours

With certification


The e-learning course provides technical knowledge on the contribution that sustainable finance can make to sustainable development, and on how sustainable finance may be deployed in the real-world policy or business context.

Welcome to Introduction to Sustainable Finance!

This interactive and practice-oriented course, originally developed in 2018 and comprehensively updated in 2021, covers the basics of Sustainable Finance while providing several opportunities to dive deeper. The course covers sustainable finance instruments, methodologies and frameworks for integrating sustainability into financial decisions, key global sustainable finance initiatives, and sustainable finance regulations. It is designed for interested participants from governments, academia, the financial sector, businesses, and civil society.

Introduction to Sustainable Finance (NEW) (2)

Support climate change literacy

We want to continue our crucial journey to equip people with the skills and knowledge needed to make informed decisions, to act and to fight climate crisis.


Learning Objectives

  • Explains thepotential contribution of sustainable finance to achieving the SustainableDevelopment Goals and the goals of the Paris Agreement on ClimateChange;
  • Explains the core concepts of sustainable finance andthe relevance of sustainability considerations for the key actors in thefinancial system;
  • Describes the role that regulation and industryinitiatives (self-regulation) play in shaping sustainable finance;
  • Describesdifferent sustainable finance products, such as bonds and loans, that may beavailable to provide the capital needed to support the delivery of theSustainable Development Goals and the goals of the Paris Agreement on ClimateChange.

The course at a glance

This course is presented in four modules:

  • 1. Sustainable Finance in Context

    Two lessons describing the role that sustainable finance can play in deliveringglobal goals on climate change and development.

  • 2. Fundamentals of Sustainable Finance

    Five interactive lessons explaining the core concepts of sustainablefinance and the relevance of sustainability to finance sector decision-makers.

  • 3. Sustainable Finance: Regulation and Self-regulation

    Three interactive lessons analysing the role that regulation and industryinitiatives (self-regulation) play in shaping sustainable finance.

  • 4. Sustainable Finance Products

    Six interactive lessons describing some of the products, such as bonds and loans, that may beavailable to provide the capital needed to support the delivery of theSustainable Development Goals and the goals of the ParisAgreement on Climate Change.

Get your UN certificate!

To complete the course and get your certificate, you will need to:

1. Take and pass four quizzes with minimum 70%
2. Download your certificate directly from the 'Certification' page

This course was originally developed in 2018 by Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, as part of their Strategic Alliance (STA) on Green Bond Market Development in G20 Emerging Economies, and the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE), a One UN initiative bringing together five UN agencies.

Introduction to Sustainable Finance (NEW) (3)

In 2021, the course was comprehensively updated with funding support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). We would further like to acknowledge STA and PAGE funding partners who made the development of the initial course possible:

A special thanks to the following institutions for their technical contributions, review, time, and commitment:

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)GmbH

GIZ is a Germanpublic-benefit federal enterprise that works jointly with governments,international organisations, businesses, civil society actors and researchinstitutions worldwide to foster international cooperation for sustainabledevelopment. Through programmes, GIZ works, on behalf of theGerman Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, with theprivate sector to support innovative projects in developing and emergingeconomies for sustainable development. In the field of sustainable finance,GIZ’s approach is to help create enabling framework conditions through policyand reform processes to promote the development of sustainable financialproducts, and to raise awareness and capacities through training, research andpeer learning.

Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (SEB)

In 2007/2008, the Nordic financial services group SEB AB collaborated with the World Bank and a number of other institutional investors to develop the World Bank’s first green bond. SEB subsequently led several innovative Green Bond issuances, including the first municipal green bond, the first non-supranational green bond and the first corporate green bond. SEB is one of the founding banks of the Green Bond Principles and is a member of the Green and Social Bonds Executive Committee. In addition, SEB has played an active role in the development of other sustainable finance instruments, such as social bonds and loans, and sustainability-linked products. Both SEB and SEB’s clients have received a large number of awards for their sustainable finance instruments from institutions such as Global Capital, Environmental Finance and IFR.

More about the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE)

The Partnership forAction on Green Economy (PAGE) seeks to put sustainability at the heart ofeconomic policies and practices to advance the 2030 Agenda for SustainableDevelopment. It supports nations and regions in reframing economic policies andpractices around sustainability to foster economic growth, create income andjobs, reduce poverty and inequality, and strengthen the ecological foundationsof their economies. PAGE brings together five UN agencies – the UN EnvironmentProgramme, the International Labour Organization, the UN Development Programme,the UN Industrial Development Organization and the UN Institute for Trainingand Research – and offers integrated and holistic support to countries onbuilding inclusive green economies. PAGE’s funding partners include theEuropean Union, Germany, Finland, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Sweden andSwitzerland.

More about the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI)

The United NationsEnvironment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) is a partnership betweenUNEP and the global financial sector to mobilise private sector finance forsustainable development. UNEP FI works with more than 450 members, includingbanks, insurers, investors, and over 100 supporting institutions, to helpcreate a financial sector that serves people and planet while deliveringpositive impacts. By leveraging the UN’s role, UNEP FI accelerates sustainablefinance.

More about the Strategic Alliance on Green Bond Market Development (STA)

The Strategic Alliance on Green Bond Market Development in G20 Emerging Economies was a partnership between SEB AB and GIZ, with technical support from CICERO. From 2016 to 2019, the STA supported the development of robust and sustainable green bond markets in emerging economies.

Legal Disclaimer

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of SEB, GIZ and PAGE concerning the legal or development status of any country, territory, city orarea or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The mention of specific companies or products of manufacturers, whether or not these have been patented, does not imply that these have been endorsed or recommendedby SEB, GIZ and PAGE in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned. The views expressed in this information product are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of SEB, GIZ and PAGE. Third partycontent—SEB, GIZ and PAGE do not necessarily own each component of the content contained within this document. SEB, GIZ and PAGE therefore do not warrant that the use of any third party-owned individual component or part contained in the work will notinfringe on the rights of those third parties. The risk of claims resulting from such infringement rests solely with you. If you wish to re-use a component of the work, it is your responsibility to determine whether permission is needed for that re-useand to obtain permission from the copyright owner. Examples of components can include, but are not limited to, tables, figures, or images.

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As an expert and enthusiast, I don't have personal experiences or expertise. However, I can provide you with information on the concepts mentioned in the article you shared. Here's a breakdown of the key concepts mentioned:

Sustainable Finance:

Sustainable finance refers to financial activities that integrate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria into investment decisions and promote sustainable development. It aims to support economic growth while addressing environmental and social challenges. Sustainable finance can contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change [[1]].

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

The SDGs are a set of 17 global goals established by the United Nations in 2015. They aim to address various social, economic, and environmental challenges, including poverty, inequality, climate change, and sustainable development. Sustainable finance can play a role in supporting the achievement of these goals [[1]].

Paris Agreement on Climate Change:

The Paris Agreement is an international treaty adopted in 2015 under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Sustainable finance can contribute to the goals of the Paris Agreement by financing projects and initiatives that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote climate resilience [[1]].

Sustainable Finance Instruments:

Sustainable finance instruments are financial products and services that incorporate sustainability considerations. Examples include green bonds, social bonds, sustainability-linked loans, and impact investments. These instruments provide capital for projects and initiatives that have positive environmental or social impacts [[1]].

Sustainable Finance Regulations:

Regulations play a crucial role in shaping sustainable finance. Governments and regulatory bodies develop policies and frameworks to encourage sustainable finance practices and ensure transparency and accountability. These regulations may include disclosure requirements, reporting standards, and guidelines for sustainable investments [[1]].

Global Sustainable Finance Initiatives:

There are various global initiatives focused on promoting sustainable finance. These initiatives bring together governments, financial institutions, and other stakeholders to collaborate on advancing sustainable finance practices. Examples include the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and the Green Bond Principles [[1]].


The course mentioned in the article offers a UN certificate upon completion. To obtain the certificate, participants need to pass four quizzes with a minimum score of 70% and download the certificate from the 'Certification' page [[1]].

Please note that the information provided above is based on the content you shared. If you have any specific questions or need further clarification, feel free to ask!

Introduction to Sustainable Finance (NEW) (2024)


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