University of Edinburgh: Ethical finance commitment strengthened by new partnership

Bringing about positive change through ethical finance is the aim of a new partnership between the Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) and the University of Edinburgh.

The partnership, announced at today’s launch of the Scottish Taskforce for Green and Sustainable Financial Services, aims to deploy a wide range of resources to make a purposeful impact on countering climate change through a focus on ethical finance.

The collaboration strengthens the University’s commitment to UN Sustainable Development Goals, and aims to make Edinburgh a global Centre of Excellence for responsible and sustainable finance.

Industry partners
University programmes and initiatives will drive a collaborative approach and bring together a consortium of industry partners from the financial services sector, financial regulators and UK government departments.

This data-driven approach to research and innovation by Edinburgh researchers aims to give consumers confidence that financial services products and services have been rigorously assessed and benchmarked to assure they are ethical and sustainable, ultimately helping to counter climate change.

Smart Data Foundry
The University’s Smart Data Foundry will act as the delivery partner for the University, with its mission-led approach to unlocking the power of financial data to improve people’s lives.

The partnership will also engage with FinTech Scotland, hosted by the University and serving the Financial Services sector and FinTech cluster across Scotland, the Centre for Business, Climate Change and Sustainability (B-CCaS) at the University of Edinburgh Business School, the School of Geosciences, the Bayes Centre, Edinburgh Futures Institute, Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security and the Edinburgh Earth Initiative.

From its Edinburgh base the GEFI team has, over a 10-year period, played a significant role in advancing the global ethical finance movement. The partnership will enable students and staff to engage with the sustainable finance sector, providing access to thought leadership platforms and informing research.

GEFI is a non-profit organisation based in Scotland, dedicated to advancing the ethical finance movement and positioning Scotland as a global centre of excellence for responsible and sustainable finance.

In recent years GEFI has developed a strong working relationship with the University having supported several events including the Future Economy Conversation event with Gordon Brown as well as creating internship opportunities for undergraduate and PHD students. Core partners include Scottish Government, Baillie Gifford, Chartered Banker Institute, NatWest Group and the United Nations.

Using real financial data for social good and allowing governments, companies and people to make better economic and financial decisions is at the heart of this collaboration. Never has there been a time of greater need for data-driven insights into the economy, and we welcome this partnership with the Global Ethical Finance Initiative.

Professor Peter Mathieson
Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh said:
The University’s values-based approach to investing in people, research, teaching and learning and social and civic connections shines through and aligns perfectly with GEFI’s focus on unlocking finance to achieve the SDGs. With green and sustainable finance now a top priority for the financial services sector this partnership is an unique and exciting opportunity for GEFI and the University to work together to build capacity and mobilise local expertise to develop Edinburgh as a global centre for excellence.

Chris Tait
Chief Operating Officer for the Global Ethical Finance Initiative

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