Quantifying Sustainable Investment

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Understanding and Evaluating ESG Concepts and Data

The world is facing unprecedented sustainability challenges such as climate change, rapid species extinction, and overall resource scarcity. Meeting these challenges requires effective cooperation between all social actors. Here, the financial sector in particular is called upon.

Together with Bund Institutioneller Investoren bii (German Association of Institutional Investors), we have designed a three-day online open course to cover the foundations of sustainable finance as well as related aspects such as stakeholder expectations and regulation, potential consequences of future regulation for financial markets, approaches and data sources for evaluating investment decisions on the basis of ESG criteria, green bonds, or impact finance.

The course consist of lectures, group work, case studies, and discussions, bringing together world-renowned experts from financial intitutions, organizations, and universities.

The Challenge

An estimated €70 billion investment volume is needed in Europe alone to achieve the sustainability goals of the international community. The European Action Plan for Financing Sustainable Growth, or Sustainable Finance Action Plan, focuses on the Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) fields of activity in order to achieve sustainability goals together with the financial sector. This is also accompanied by binding legal requirements for companies. The EU taxonomy, for example, represents a uniform classification system for sustainable economic activities and investments for six defined environmental objectives. The Disclosure Regulation requires companies in the financial sector to be transparent in dealing with environmental risks and to disclose their sustainability strategy at the company and product level. All index providers must disclose information on the consideration of ESG factors for the respective index.

Quantifying Sustainable Investment

For institutional investors, these developments create a situation in which the risk-return profile of investments has to be evaluated according to new criteria. Specifically, they are facing the following challenges: 

  1. Disagreement still exists on the exact definition of ESG domains and the relative importance of the dimensions;
  2. Especially with regard to the measurement of ESG criteria, there is currently a confusing variety of data sources and data sets and a lack of integration and standardization - first studies show significant discrepancies, e.g., in the area of ESG ratings;
  3. Investors often lack the methodological skills to work with the complex data sets (large samples, large number of indicators, longitudinal data, etc.) and draw valid insights from them.

Faculty and Guest Speakers

  • Prof. Dr. Oliver Spalt, Chair of Financial Markets and Financial Institutions, University of Mannheim
  • Prof. Dr. Laura Marie Edinger-Schons, Chair of Sustainable Business, University of Mannheim
  • Dr. Jörg Kukies, State Secretary, German Federal Ministry of Finance
  • Dr. Thomas A. Jesch, Managing Board Member, Bund Institutioneller Investoren (German Association of Institutional Investors) bii
  • Dr. Harald Glander, Partner, Simmons & Simmons
  • Dr. Peter Brodehser, Head of Infrastructure Investments at Talanx Group (Ampega Asset Management GmbH)
  • Sir Ronald Cohen, Chair, Global Steering Group for Impact Investment
  • Margarita Pirovska, PhD, Director of Policy, Principles for Responsible Investment
  • Jan Rabe, Co-Head Sustainable Investment Office, Director ESG Strategy & Integration, Metzler Asset Management
  • Martin Ewald, Lead Portfolio Manager Impact Investments, Managing Director, Allianz Global Investors
  • Florian Berg, PhD, Researcher, Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Sloan School of Management
  • Janina Lichnofsky, ESG Specialist, Senior Specialist Sustainability, MEAG
  • Kate Murtagh, Managing Director Sustainable Investing and Chief Compliance Officer, Harvard Management Company
  • Anne Simpson, Managing Investment Director, Board Governance & Sustainability, CaIPERS
  • Prof. Dr. Aaron Yoon, Assistant Professor, Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management
  • Judith Stroehle, PhD, Senior Research Fellow and Programme Lead, Oxford Rethinking Performance, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford
  • Dr. Erwin Stahl, Managing Director, BonVenture
  • Paul Garte, Investment Analyst, High Impact Investing, BonVenture
  • Prof. Samuel Hartzmark, PhD, Associate Professor of Finance, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
  • Chris Addy, Managing Partner, The Bridgespan Group

Contact Person

MANNHEIM BUSINESS SCHOOL (MBS)

Located in the heart of the German and European economy, Mannheim Business School (MBS), the umbrella organization for management education at the University of Mannheim, is considered to be one of the leading institutions of its kind in Germany and is continuously ranked as Germany’s #1.

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