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Home » Course Catalogue » MBA Electives » RSM2313H – Sustainable Finance (Fall 2022)

RSM2313H – Sustainable Finance (Fall 2022)

General Information


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Applicable Emphases:
(m) = Main, (s)= Supplemental

  • N/A

Applicable Major(s):
(c) = Core, (r) = Recommended

  • Funds Management (c)
  • Social Impact & Sustainability (c)


This course prepares students for the emerging jobs where future leaders must apply their commerce training together with a deep understanding and appreciation for sustainability issues and goals. Examples of these jobs range from finance roles in asset management, where ESG/CSR and other sustainability objectives and measures (e.g. fossil fuel divestment, social justice, development etc.) are fast becoming required currency, to roles inside large and small non-financial corporations and non-for-profit institutions where financial literacy and finance skills are required in the pursuit of goals related to sustainability. The market for these jobs is expanding and they range from opportunities in the traditional financial sector to the corporate sector to small fin-tech firms to the entrepreneurial start-up world. Risk management is another sector that worries about global, national, and local risks arising in fields associated with sustainability like climate change and income inequality.

This is a finance course, but it is not aimed specifically at students with high skills and career goals in finance. We expect students to have a wide range of proficiency in finance skills and diverse career goals often outside of finance. We believe that all students’ personal commitment to understanding sustainability issues will be high, and we encourage everyone to value and appreciate the challenge and rigor of the course in the pursuit of these goals. It will take solid business thinking and advanced business skills to encourage firms and organizations of all types to collaborate to overcome sustainability challenges. We expect students to be literate in basic finance concepts as learned in the core first year MBA courses. A background in sustainability is not required, but an interest is helpful. The course is case and lecture based, includes discussions and guest speakers, and involves hands-on projects.


12 two-hour sessions

Course Mission and Scope

Students who complete this course will have the ability to:

  • Apply financial tools and models to understanding and solving problems generally referred to as sustainability problems (the environment, climate change, poverty, income inequality, etc.)
  • Measure and manage risk and opportunities associated with sustainability factors (ESG/CSR and other metrics) for financial institutions and other corporations.
  • Evaluate the role of financial actors in generating sustainability problems and in solving these problems.
  • Understand the role and impact of financial markets and instruments on sustainability related problems and solutions.
  • Discuss sustainability from the perspective of a financial trained and sustainability-sensitive decision maker who faces audiences that may or may not be trained well in either finance or sustainability.
  • Critically examine government policies & regulations and their impact on sustainability goals using the tools and models of financial economics.
  • Have a broad insight into the opportunities and challenges faced by real companies in the sustainability arena.
  • Appreciate various career opportunities in the sustainable finance sector.

Evaluation and Grade Distribution

Class Participation*15%Quality, not quantity of contributions. Comments that further class discussion
Quizzes (2)15% eachBoth in class (60 minutes)
Individual Paper15%Reflection on a student selected sustainability finance topic – more information in course
Group Project40%Groups of 5 students will develop a “solution” to a sustainability challenge of their choice. This could be a business plan, a new/altered proposal for a government regulation or policy recommendation or taxation, a financial innovation, a new market function/technology, etc. Students submit a short draft proposal and eventually a slide deck and mini-summary paper. Finally, students make a presentation. This will receive peer comments from other students,
but the instructors will grade it.
*Note on class participation: we encourage an inclusive and safe environment in the classroom where everyone is made comfortable regardless of their personal communication style. Students are encouraged to let the instructor know how they think they can be more successful and involved in any conversation.

Last Updated: 2022-04-29 @ 5:19 pm