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New executive education program focusing on green bonds and sustainable finance

Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) Executive Education is launching ‘The Green Bonds and Sustainable Finance Executive Program’ – an international executive program focusing on green lending, green bonds and sustainable finance. The program is specifically designed to support banks in emerging markets in their transition to sustainable financing – a must to reach the global climate goals.

Published on 18 June 2019
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Ylva Rylander /

The program is an international collaboration between several of the world’s leading financial institutions: initiated by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, co-developed with International Capital Market Association (ICMA), and featuring program design by the Luxembourg Green Exchange (LGX).

The Executive Education program is initiated and funded under the IFC-managed Green Bond Technical Assistance Program (GB-TAP). The GB-TAP will stimulate the supply of green bonds issued by financial institutions in emerging economies by developing green-bond policies, training bankers and executives, promoting information disclosure by green bonds issuers, and helping countries adopt the Green Bond Principles and other best practices. It will also complement the Amundi Planet Emerging Green One fund – the world’s largest targeted green bond fund focused on emerging markets.

Financing is considered the linchpin for reaching the targets set forth in both the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda. The Green Bonds and Sustainable Finance Executive Program will give participants concrete tools for their organizations to be able to issue green loans and bonds in their markets.

“The finance sector plays a crucial role in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Climate change also entails new financial risks for both banks and other players to relate to, while the demand for green bonds is growing. Therefore, it is important that banks have the know-how to include sustainability criteria in their credit analyses,” said Hanna Setterberg, researcher and lecturer in sustainability and financial economy, as well as Program Director for The Green Bonds and Sustainable Finance Executive Program, which was developed in partnership with the International Capital Markets.

Hanna Setterberg. Photo: Nicklas Gustafsson.

International cooperation

The Green Bonds and Sustainable Finance Executive Program has been developed in collaboration with some of the world’s leading financial actors. The program is financed under the IFC’s Green Bond Technical Assistance Program by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the Luxembourg Ministry of Finance. The program will be offered to select banks from Africa, Asia, South America, and Eastern Europe.

The SSE Executive Education and ICMA will lead on content development and the implementation of the program that will be hosted by the Stockholm Sustainable Finance Center (SSFC). The Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), Stockholm School of Economics’ Swedish House of Finance and Mistra Center for Sustainable Markets (Misum), as well as major Swedish financial institutions will collaborate to deliver the program. Guest lecturers will include key market actors, such as Kommuninvest of Sweden, SEB, Sweden’s national pension funds, the AP funds, CICERO, ISS oekom, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Climate Bonds Initiative, IFC, Amundi, Volvofinans and Nordea.

“Gathering all these leading organizations around this executive program is unique. This creates opportunities for bank employees in developing countries to gain new knowledge and insights about green bonds, green loans and sustainable finance. This in turn gives the banks increased opportunities to contribute to sustainable development in the long term, where green bonds are an important component,” said Magnus Billing, CEO of Alecta and Chairman of the SSFC Advisory Board.

Magnus Billing,

Magnus Billing. Photo: SSE Executive Education.

Stockholm, a natural choice

Sweden is a pioneer in the green bond market, with more than ten years of experience. In 2018, 12 percent of bond issued in Sweden were green, up from 6 percent in 2017.

“Sweden is a well-recognized global leader in sustainability in general, sustainable finance and green bonds. As the financial centre of Sweden, Stockholm combines a critical mass of activity and expertise in green bonds and continues to play a leading role in the development of this market. It represents the perfect setting for this training program, as executive education participants from emerging markets will benefit from knowledge sharing and networking opportunities with the Swedish investment community. The rich expertise gained through this program is expected to enable participants to support a series of this first-time green bond issuers in their respective countries,” said Jean-Marie Masse, Chief Investment Officer at IFC.

“We are proud to be able to contribute to a positive development through such a specific venture like this executive program for those who make crucial decisions for our future. This is fully in line with the school’s strategy, where two of our cornerstones are just finance and sustainability,” said Lars Strannegård, President of the Stockholm School of Economics.

The banks, part of the solution

Today, the demand for green bonds is greater than the supply on the market. Green bonds are an important part of the strategy for sustainable investments, not least for pension and insurance companies. Therefore, banks and other issuers have a clear incentive to change their business.

“Sweden has over ten years of experience with green bonds. In emerging economies, this kind of financing instrument is less established. We see a great potential contribution towards growing this market further. Our contribution can be to inspire program participants, share experiences and give them research-based know-how and practical tools. All with the aim that they can then integrate sustainability into their lending portfolios and issue more green bonds,” said Johan Nordlund, the program’s project manager at SSE.


Aaron Maltais
Aaron Maltais

Senior Research Fellow

SEI Headquarters

Johan Nordlund, Program Director, SSE Executive Education and Project Manager for The Green Bonds and Sustainable Finance Executive Program.
+4670 812 42 44 [email protected]

Hanna Setterberg, Researcher and Lecturer in sustainability and financial economy and Program Director for The Green Bonds and Sustainable Finance Executive Program. +4670 773 70 81 [email protected]

More information

The Green Bonds and Sustainable Finance Executive Program

The Green Bonds and Sustainable Finance Executive Program is developed and specially designed for banks in emerging markets, aimed at professionals working in lending, financing and sustainability in the banking industry. The program is tailor-made for banks to support them in achieving a sustainable transformation.

The focus is on strengthening participants’ competence in sustainable finance, particularly the integration of environmental, social and governance aspects into credit analyses, the identification of suitable customer profiles for green loans, green bond issuance best practices and practical knowledge of reporting, second opinion, and global trends, etc.

Stockholm School of Economics Executive Education

SSE Executive Education is Northern Europe’s leading partner for executive education and ranked best in the Nordic region in leadership and business development according to the Financial Times. At SSE Executive Education, academia and the business sector meet and learn from each other. SSE Executive Education develops leaders with a focus on cutting edge areas such as innovation & entrepreneurship, sustainable growth and financial economy, and increases the competitiveness of companies, organizations and the public sector through powerful transformation.

Stockholm Sustainable Finance Centre (SSFC)

Stockholm Sustainable Finance Centre is a unique collaboration between Stockholm Environment Institute and Stockholm School of Economics. It aims to accelerate and promote the shift in capital investments required to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and climate targets in the Paris Agreement. SSFC performs independent research, knowledge and capacity building on current and future issues on sustainable economy and finance.

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