Excerpt from course description

Ethics and Sustainability in Finance


Is the finance industry serving the society well? This course aims to help students answer this question by introducing them to the ethical challenges and sustainability issues 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 financial industry and outlines the conditions under which ethical and sustainability considerations may clash with purely financial goals. This discussion centers around the conflicts of interest between the industry and its clients. It also investigates the impact of short-termism on the industry’s behavior.

The course then 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.

Course content

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

  • Ethics and trust in the financial industry
  • Conflicts of interest and short-termism in finance
  • Professional codes of conduct
  • Investor demand for sustainability and the many facets of sustainable investing
  • Pricing of social, environmental, and governance risks
  • Can investors really do well by doing good?


This is an excerpt from the complete course description for the course. If you are an active student at BI, you can find the complete course descriptions with information on eg. learning goals, learning process, curriculum and exam at portal.bi.no. We reserve the right to make changes to this description.