The UPF Barcelona School of Management (UPF-BSM) and Triodos Bank, an ethical banking credit institution, sign an agreement for the creation of the Chair in Sustainable Finance (CSF), an international research center, exchange of experiences, dissemination and training in this area.
According to Professor Marcos Eguiguren, director of the chair, “the CSF wants to be an advanced opinion leader in the development of ethical and sustainable finance, to support and guide the financial sector and its stakeholders towards an evolution of finance as a disruptive force determining towards a more just and sustainable economy, in which human dignity and the conservation of the planet are at the center of economic activity and, therefore, of business objectives ”.
The chair's vision is to achieve "a stable and resilient financial sector that contributes to a people-centered economy and the maintenance of life on the planet," with a founding mission focused on fostering and contributing to the debate on sustainable finance with a theoretical-practical approach, and independently ”.
In the words of Mikel García-Prieto, CEO of Triodos Bank, “the CSF will be based, in the hands of Professor Marcos Eguiguren and with the members of the Academic Council, on the strength of the UPF Barcelona School of Management, in its academic resources, their teachers and researchers, as well as in their international network and their capacity for alliances with other academic centers. Triodos Bank, the initial promoter of the chair, and UPF-BSM share the same vision, and its corporate missions focus on aligning its teaching, research and dissemination activities and its contribution as an institution to the health of the planet”.
The Director General of the UPF Barcelona School of Management, José M. Martínez-Sierra, values this alliance very positively: “As I have said on several occasions, UPF-BSM is a business friendly school with companies that represent the best side of every business sector. In this context, Triodos Bank is the paradigm of what I like to define as a business with a human face, given that beyond betting on sustainable finance it is embodied as a comprehensive model at the service of these. We want our students to understand that with the privilege of training and leadership in the private and public sector there is a social responsibility that goes beyond individual and sectoral interests and these are the ones that add value to society as a whole and the economic system ”.
The CSF was born from the previous work carried out by the Academic Forum on Sustainable Finance, an initiative set up by Triodos Bank and International Financial Analysts (AFI) in 2019, and aims to expand this work to a new dimension. The intention is to position itself as a leader in ethical and sustainable finance in southern Europe and contribute to a change in the finance sector in Spain.
Finance and SDGs
The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund argue that achieving the SDGs will require huge growth in sustainable financing of between $ 5 trillion and $ 7 trillion. Conventional finance is not the most appropriate model for this financing and therefore “the creation of a chair, the most relevant in this field established in Spain, with the support of one of the world's leading banks in sustainable finance, can contribute to create the knowledge and the culture that animate the will of change that requires the sector, the legislative and regulatory organisms and the society ”, adds Eguiguren.
Sustainable finance has come to stay and transform the dominant model. Social pressure, accompanied by governments, forces the financial sector to take steps in this direction, which must involve a profound change in the way insurance companies, banks, fund managers and other financial intermediaries guide and define their activity. The chair aims to help this transition from its capacity for knowledge generation and dissemination.