FIN 454: Sustainable Investing

What can investors do against global warming and for gender equality? Whereas in the beginning sustainable investing was a press subject mostly, it emerged to be a widespread approach in the investment industry. However, along with the success came accusations of “greenwashing”. Does sustainable investing fulfill its promise? And what exactly is it, given the wide zoo of buzz words, i.e., “green investing”, “carbon neutral investing”, “socially responsible investing”. When even the European Commission classified nuclear energy as sustainable, at least part of the public got additionally irritated.
The course is systematically building the foundation for understanding and assessing sustainable investing. To do so, the investment eco­system as a whole and the fundamentals of the portfolio management process and theory will be introduced. Active and passive asset management will be explained and compared. In parallel, different approaches and concepts for sustainability will be categorized and their inclusion in the asset management process discussed.

Learning outcomes
After participating in this course, students should be able to:

  • Describe the main relevant players and their roles in the investment management industry.
  • Explain the basic concepts of the portfolio theory as well as structures, processes and the respective financial products in asset management.
  • Identify and critically discuss the differences between active and passive asset management.
  • Understand the players and stakeholders in the wider sustainability eco­system and describe their contribution.
  • Analyse and assess different concepts for sustainable investing and apply knowledge to different schemas and case studies.

Necessary prerequisites
semester 4 or higher

Recommended prerequisites
Introductory course in finance and econometrics is strongly recommended.

Forms of teaching and learningContact hoursIndependent study time
Lecture2 SWS4 SWS
Exercise class1 SWS2 SWS
ECTS credits3
Graded yes
Form of assessmentWritten exam (60 min)
Restricted admissionyes
Further informationStudent Portal
Performing lecturer
Prof. Dr. Alexandra Niessen-Ruenzi
Dr. Hartmut Graf
Frequency of offeringSpring semester
Duration of module 1 semester
Range of applicationB.Sc. BWL
Preliminary course work