Singapore’s First Centre of Excellence to Drive Asia-focused Green Finance Research and Talent Development
Singapore, 13 October 2020… Imperial College Business School and the Lee Kong Chian School of Business at Singapore Management University (SMU) today launched the Singapore Green Finance Centre (SGFC). This is Singapore’s first research institute dedicated to green finance research and talent development.
The SGFC is supported by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and nine founding partners: Bank of China Limited, BNP Paribas, Fullerton Fund Management, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Schroders, Standard Chartered Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and UBS AG. It will be jointly led by Professor David Fernandez, Director of the Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics at SMU, and Dr Charles Donovan, Professor of Practice and Executive Director of the Centre for Climate Finance and Investment at Imperial College Business School. An advisory board, comprising MAS, both academic institutions, and the nine founding partners, will provide guidance on the strategic direction of the SGFC.
The SGFC will draw on the respective strengths of Imperial and SMU in climate science, financial economics, and sustainable investing – equipping professionals with new skills and developing a strong pipeline of green finance talent. Its multi-disciplinary research and training will enable financial institutions, corporates, and policymakers to improve the management of environmental risks, develop financial solutions to promote environmental sustainability, and design policies for a sustainable future.
The SGFC will pursue foundational and multi-disciplinary research to help develop strategies for policy makers and financial institutions to support Asia’s transition to a low carbon future. The research will be co-created with industry to ensure applicability and relevance, and will cover three key themes:
a. transforming businesses by integrating climate-related data and environmental, social & governance (ESG) considerations into decision-making
b. designing policies and new initiatives that can improve the efficiency of green finance markets; and
c. catalysing the development of green finance solutions.
To equip professionals with skills in climate finance and applied knowledge in Asian markets, the SGFC will offer an array of courses across various levels – undergraduate, post-graduate, continuing and professional education. This will develop a strong pipeline of green finance talent which financial institutions and service providers can tap as they expand teams and deepen green finance capabilities to serve the growing needs of Singapore and the region.
Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director of MAS, said, “MAS is committed to developing a vibrant green finance research and talent ecosystem in Singapore, to support Asia’s transition to a low carbon future. The SGFC will be an important part of this ecosystem, bringing together two leading academic institutions in environmental science and financial economics. We are especially heartened by the strong industry support for the SGFC, which will be key to its success.” Mr Menon announced the SGFC during his keynote speech at the Financial Times’ Investing for Good Asia conference today.
Professor David Fernandez said, “Asia must find a balance between sustainability and growth. The SGFC will act as a catalyst for embedding climate change into business strategy. We will quickly establish the new centre as the leading resource for financial education and impact research in the ASEAN region.”
Dr Charles Donovan said, “Asia could lead the world into a low carbon future. Asian capital markets need to grasp the opportunity. The SGFC will bridge the gap between investors and policymakers on climate change. The world’s leading financial institutions see this opportunity – that’s why they are backing us.”
MAS announced the launch of the Transition Credits Coalition (TRACTION) and two pilot projects to test the use of high-integrity transition credits in transactions for the early retirement of coal-fired power plants.
MAS launched the Singapore-Asia Taxonomy for Sustainable Finance (Singapore-Asia Taxonomy) – which sets out detailed thresholds and criteria for defining green and transition activities that contribute to climate change mitigation across eight focus sectors.
MAS has launched Gprnt, an integrated digital platform that harnesses technology to simplify how the financial sector and real economy collect, access and act upon environmental, social and governance (ESG) data to support their sustainability initiatives.