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2021/2022  KAN-CCMVV8003U  ESG and the Transformation of Finance

English Title
ESG and the Transformation of Finance

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 1.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course Spring, Spring, Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 30
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Kristjan Jespersen - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
For academic questions related to the course, please contact instructor (name and personal email address) Other academic questions: contact academic director Martin Jes Iversen at mji.si@cbs.dk.”
Main academic disciplines
  • Corporate governance
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Globalisation and international business
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 14-12-2021

Relevant links

Learning objectives
The course is designed in such a fashion that theory and practice are closely studied. The course will introduce you to existing knowledge in the fields of ESG, Sustainable and Impact Investments. We will explore this dynamic topic through lectures, and class-based debate case exercises and specific sustainable financial mechanisms. The course will adopt an international perspective, illustrating cases from around the world. Such an international perspective will only benefit the learning taking place in the classroom where specific methodologies and organizational innovations will be grounded and contextualized by the cases. The classroom dynamics are managed through a dialogue-based approach to teaching. Students will regularly be tasked to consider tradeoffs and a variety of options so as to devise solutions to complex ‘real-life’ sustainable finance dilemmas/opportunities.
  • The ESG Market – Current trends and challenges
  • ESG Data – inconsistencies and the path forward
  • Governance – Key Governance indicators and ESG Board Alignment
  • Environmental Sustainability – Key Indicators and Green Bonds
  • Social Sustainability – Living wages and human rights
Course prerequisites
This course is a special course limited to cand. merc. students returning from exchange. To qualify for the course you:

1. Enrolled in a cand.merc. programs at CBS
2. Have to have passed 28 ECTS during your exchange
3. Have to submit a motivational statement to outexchange@cbs.dk
Prerequisites for registering for the exam (activities during the teaching period)
Number of compulsory activities which must be approved (see section 13 of the Programme Regulations): 1
Compulsory home assignments
Students will be required to complete a final report summarizing their learnings from the class. The report will be comprised of 10 pages plus appendixes where required. Students may select a theme of a general case and explore it fully.
ESG and the Transformation of Finance:
Exam ECTS 1,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Essay
Duration 2 weeks to prepare
Grading scale Pass / Fail
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Spring and Spring, Ordinary exam: Home Assignment: 21 March - 21 April 2022
Retake exam: 72-hour home assignment: 21 April – 31 April 2022
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Retake exam: 72-hour home assignment: 28 – 31 April 2022
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

The financial world is under increasing scrutiny to “lead” in the service of sustainability. In order to respond to such a calling, financial organizations are tasked to design new and innovative financial mechanisms, that can not only withstand heavy investment and expected returns, but also ensure #thefuturewewant. 


This course is designed to immerse students into the global sustainability challenges embarked upon by institutional investors, investment firms and innovative companies, to develop strategy, management systems, metrics, and financing policies. Strongly grounded in theoretical and empirical studies from various disciplines in the field of finance, economics, development and environmental studies, this course will provide a thorough understanding of the growing field of ESG, sustainable and impact investment. Students will explore the field of sustainable asset management, and the strategies and reporting used by many of the leading organizations in the field. Participants will similarly acquire specific competencies in carbon finance, ecosystem service financing, sustainable real estate, and green bonds. Of particular note, students will learn how to finance new economic and social challenges in a sustainable manner. In addition to the highly qualified faculty leading the class, leading experts in the field, have actively volunteered their time to also relate how experts in this field must be an active leader in the field of sustainable investments. Students will explore the tradeoffs between equity investing with an ownership stake vs. investing without voting power. It is worth noting that students interested in this field must understand that investing in long term value creation is just as much about innovative schemes, as the fostering and development of new indices and metrics for attributing value in their financial dealings. The topic of sustainability is not only emerging as a critical component in these metrics and indices, it is viewed more and more as a competitive advantage.

Description of the teaching methods
This course blends a variety of pedagogical methods. You learn through interactive lectures combined with case study discussions. We will also use some short video supplements to explore selected issues more in depth. It is important that you read case studies prior to the lecture in which they are discussed. Please think about answers to the case questions, which are listed in this syllabus, as these will form the basis of class discussion.
Feedback during the teaching period
Students will be provided feedback throughout the course.
Student workload
In classroom or online learning 25 hours
Preparation for classroom activities 5 hours
Examination 11,5 hours
Further Information

To help students get maximum value from this course, instructors provide a reading or a small number of readings or video clips to be read or viewed before the start of classes with a related task scheduled for class 1 in order to 'jump-start' the learning process.

Last updated on 14-12-2021