Columbia University’s Certification of Professional Achievement in Sustainable Finance provides sophisticated training at the nexus of sustainability and financial management through the concepts of sustainability economics, investment, accounting, risk management, and communication. The program provides interdisciplinary training and a comprehensive understanding of corporate sustainability and financial principles, including green accounting and carbon accounting, environmental markets, project finance, sustainability investing and the impacts of environmental, social, and governance issues on capital markets.

Developed by The Earth Institute and Columbia’s School of Professional Studies, the certification gives students a foundation in the core concepts of corporate finance and an understanding of how environmental commodities markets regulate polluting industries and provide incentives for encouraging desired behaviors. Students will also analyze the non-financial metrics that accompany sustainability efforts.

The program is offered on Columbia’s campus in New York City on both a part-time and a full-time basis. Students customize their study by choosing four courses from a possible eight, representing a blend of courses from the Master of Science in Sustainability Management program and courses developed specifically for the certification program.

Upon successful completion of the program, you will be prepared to:

  • evaluate corporate sustainability risks and opportunities from a financial perspective, and understand how to manage/mitigate those risks
  • articulate why standard financial reporting does not adequately account for how corporate sustainability performance can enhance both shareholder and stakeholder value
  • employ alternative methods of calculating, interpreting, and reporting non-financial indicators
  • analyze the monetary value of sustainable investing
  • examine the potential and pitfalls of the standard measures of growth, risk, and return
  • understand how policy structure, policy changes, and the prospect of policy changes impact decisions in the investment sector

Who Should Apply

Applicants should have a strong academic and/or professional background in quantitative fields related to finance, accounting, and economics. Ideal candidates include:

  • professionals with some experience in the financial services or investment industry who want to incorporate sustainability initiatives into their existing practice or to manage sustainability initiatives within or on behalf of their organization.
  • financial services advisors, capital markets specialists, account managers, and investment consultants who want to better understand corporate sustainability and finance.

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