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Is your organisation prepared for a green and sustainable future?

A small plant growing from a stack of coins, next to the words Kaplan introduces Green Finance
If you want to save the world don’t join Extinction Rebellion, join a bank.

- Simon Thompson, Chief Executive of the CBI

On 13th October 2021, we hosted a Green Finance webinar with the ACCA and CBI to discuss the importance of ‘green’ education in the Finance and Banking sectors and how it can also support organisations in the Accountancy sector.

As industry leading bodies, they are keen to witness and drive changes to educational content and programmes through new, fundamental principles.

Emmeline Skelton, Head of Sustainability at the ACCA, shared that she felt that bankers and finance professionals need to develop their knowledge of ‘green’ and sustainable finance, so that best practice becomes the standard practice.

Rather than being a deep environmental, social and governance specialist, she believes it’s about holding a sustainability lens over their skills and knowledge instead.

Simon Thompson, Chief Executive of the Chartered Banker Institute (CBI), is the Course Leader for the Certificate in Green and Sustainable Finance - the global benchmark qualification. With this course, he hopes to help others to gain the knowledge and awareness that can help to make real changes.

Additionally, to offer ways for those in the industry to become more environmentally conscious the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) has developed a new Certificate in Climate Risk and the Centre for Responsible Banking.

However, experienced professionals are not the only ones who need to look at developing ‘green skills’. Apprenticeships can also look to integrate the learning of climate awareness and core foundations of sustainable finance for learners.

This will help combat the need to create new and specific roles, and instead embed these skills into existing roles, giving employers more options to train their workforce, either by upskilling existing employees or hiring new talent.

Steps your business and employees can take

Simon suggested that there are 3 practical things you can do right now:

  1. Visit the Green Finance Education Charter site, hosted by the Green Finance Institute, and navigate the wide range of free resources available there from all 12 professional bodies.

  2. Visit the Green Finance Institute’s Centre for Responsible Banking, and take the free online “Foundations of Green Finance” e-learning modules.

  3. Watch the 40 minute WWF film “Too Big to Fail”.

Beyond this, encouraging your teams and colleagues to get on board, get involved in the conversation, and challenge old ways of working will help drive change throughout the Accounting and Finance sectors.

Interested in finding out more?

Check out our sustainability podcast episode where we discuss the strengthening link between sustainability, the environment, and the accountancy profession.