GRA 6556 Sustainable Finance

GRA 6556 Sustainable Finance

Course code: 
GRA 6556
Course coordinator: 
Stig Roar Haukoe Lundeby
Course name in Norwegian: 
Sustainable Finance
Product category: 
MSc in Finance
2024 Spring
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

This course aims to introduce students to the sustainability issues and ethical challenges facing today’s financial industry. It argues that the industry’s ability to generate long-term sustainable returns depends on well-functioning and well-governed markets that correctly account for ethical issues and societal and environmental risks.

This course starts with a discussion of the purpose of the company and outlines the conditions under which sustainability and ethical considerations may clash with purely financial goals. The course further asks why clients of the financial industry are increasingly demanding sustainable investment opportunities. These opportunities intend to offer competitive financial returns over the long term while also advancing sustainability goals through those investments. The course explains the strategies used to pursue sustainability goals, including negative and positive screening, ESG integration, thematic investment, corporate engagement, and impact investing.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

By the end of the course, students will

  • Comprehend the role and value of finance in the modern global economy and society
  • Become familiar with the institutional landscape of sustainable investing
  • Become familiar with the various strategies investors deploy to pursue sustainability goals
  • Develop an understanding of the reasons put forward for sustainable investing and will be able to critically evaluate the merits of this investment approach
Learning outcomes - Skills

Upon completion of the course, students should be able to

  • Formulate and critically assess arguments for and against different strategies related to sustainable finance
  • Understand the sometimes confusing vocabulary of this new field
  • Read and understand scientific articles related to sustainable finance
General Competence

The course provides ample opportunities to gain general competence in understanding the purpose of the financial industry as a part of the wider societal and environmental context. This competence provides important insights into the student’s career plans and working methods in professional life.

Course content

The course will cover, among others, the following topics (content may vary from year to year):

  • Purpose of the company
  • Investor demand for sustainability and the many facets of sustainable investing
  • Pricing of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risks
  • Can investors really do well by doing good?
  • Ethics in the financial industry
  • Professional codes of conduct
Teaching and learning activities

Lectures and class discussions. Students are expected to prepare for the lecture by reading assigned materials and participate actively in the discussions. There will be various assignments throughout the course. Most learning will take place through student discussions of papers, cases, and other assignments.

Software tools
Additional information

The exam for this course has been changed starting academic year 2023/2024. The course now has two exam codes instead of one. It is not possible to retake the old version of the exam. Please note new exam codes in the Exam section of the course description. 

It is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class.

Honour Code
Academic honesty and trust are important to all of us as individuals, and represent values that are encouraged and promoted by the honour code system. This is a most significant university tradition. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the ideals of the honour code system, to which the faculty are also deeply committed. Any violation of the honour code will be dealt with in accordance with BI’s procedures for cheating. These issues are a serious matter to everyone associated with the programs at BI and are at the heart of the honour code and academic integrity. If you have any questions about your responsibilities under the honour code, please ask.


All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have specific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.


Deviations in teaching and exams may occur if external conditions or unforeseen events call for this.

Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Written submission
Group (1 - 6)
1 Semester(s)
Group project on a topic in sustainable finance
Exam code: 
GRA 65562
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Written submission
Support materials: 
  • BI-approved exam calculator
  • Simple calculator
  • Bilingual dictionary
3 Hour(s)
Written examination under supervision
Exam code: 
GRA 65563
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
All exams must be passed to get a grade in this course.
Total weight: 
Student workload
36 Hour(s)
Prepare for teaching
44 Hour(s)
Group work / Assignments
40 Hour(s)
Student's own work with learning resources
40 Hour(s)
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of at least 160 hours.