Insight and Oxford University unveil green finance research prize

£50,000 for those 'paving the way for the entire finance sector to raise ambition'

Insight Investment has teamed up with the University of Oxford to launch an annual prize of up to £50,000 for research on greening finance.

The Insight Investment – University of Oxford Prize for Greening Finance, which is open for nominations, has two categories, both open to individuals and research teams.

The first category is for outstanding research contributions that help society better understand how environmental change influences finance and investment, and how economic and financial systems can contribute to achieving global environmental sustainability. The second is to recognise outstanding service from individuals or not-for-profit organisations who have made a special contribution to the furtherance of greening finance.

Judges include Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change and Mindy Lubber, CEO and president of Ceres, among others.

Lubber said: “Science and economic realities have converged. Every financial actor around the globe must address the world’s most pressing issues – climate change, water scarcity and quality, biodiversity loss and human rights. This prize will highlight and support those bold academic thought leaders and financial innovators who are paving the way for the entire finance sector to raise ambition and accelerate action.”

The prize will be awarded in a ceremony at Oxford University with the winners given the opportunity to give a public lecture at the university. A judging panel will review nominations and select the winners. The panel will be chaired by Dr Ben Caldecott, director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Group and director of the UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment.

Caldecott said: “Green finance is a necessary condition for tackling climate change and meeting the other UN Sustainable Development Goals. This prize will be an important way to both recognise and support outstanding contributions to furthering the goal of greening the global financial system. By celebrating, showcasing, and financially rewarding world-leading research, we can help to drive its adoption and use across the financial system. The prize is endowed in perpetuity, and so we expect the prize’s significance and reputation to grow even further over time.”

Abdallah Nauphal, CEO of Insight Investment, added: “It is crucial to advance collective understanding of the relationship between commercial activity and environmental change. We have forged this partnership with the University of Oxford to encourage more academic research to be done on the effects of incorporating environmental considerations into investment solutions. To support the goal of greening the global financial system, more academic research is needed across asset classes. The industry needs novel ideas with practical applications for the finance industry, such as exploring the development of new financial instruments and ways in which markets should evolve to protect the environment.”

Nominating partner organisations include the Carbon Disclosure Project, CFA Institute, Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, Science-based Targets Initiative, UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association, UN Principles for Responsible Investment and more.