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Certified Expert in Sustainable Finance

The global economy has grown rapidly in the last 200 years, but this achievement has come at the cost of climate change and environmental damage. With increased environmental awareness among nations and people, a global strive towards sustainable development is now growing. You may ask yourself what does this have to do with finance? Making the necessary change, transformation of our economies and societies require commitments, innovations and, last but not least, finance and investments.

Sustainable Finance can help steering the global economy towards sustainability and accelerate the necessary change. The financial sector has an important role in deciding where capital flows and by implication where it does not flow to. In this course, you will learn about creating impact, managing sustainability risks, and benefiting from sustainable business opportunities.

Furthermore, it will familiarise participants with the business, regulatory and technical perspective of sustainable finance and will acquaint them to take an active part in the discussion around the topic. The course aims to enable financial professionals to integrate Sustainable Finance related aspects into their work through new knowledge and tools for advising their clients and business partners.

The course provides a comprehensive introduction to the world of sustainability, no prior knowledge of Sustainable Finance or Finance is required.

The online course can be complemented by a classroom component. This is voluntary and not a requirement to get certified by Frankfurt School. You can book the online course and classroom component either individually or as a package.

You want to take the course in German language? No problem, please click on the following link to get access to the website in German: CESFi

What Do We Offer?

  • An interactive e-learning course including video lectures, PDF scripts, examples, practical exercises, online tests and case studies.
  • A discussion forum for course related issues as well as for exchange of opinions and experiences with tutors, peers or the FSDF e-Campus team.
  • Personalised support from your e-Campus team.
  • The possibility to achieve a Frankfurt School certificate after passing the final exam or a confirmation of course completion after completing the course.
  • An international network of institutions hosting our final exam all over the world.
  • Optional: 2-day classroom training in Frankfurt, Germany (for further information see below)

Tuition Fees


Registration Date Fee
Before Jul 15, 2023 EUR 1,485*
After Jul 15, 2023 EUR 1,700*


Registration Date Fee
Before Aug 15, 2023 EUR 1,485*
After Aug 15, 2023 EUR 1,700*

Package (e-learning + classroom)

Registration Date Fee
Before Jul 15, 2023 EUR 2,550*
After Jul 15, 2023 EUR 2,850*

Final exam fee: An additional final exam fee will be charged for the second and third final exam attempt


  • 10% group discount (for 2 or more participants working for the same institution)
  • 10% for FS Alumni
Payment Options
  • Bank Transfer (bank fees to be covered by participants)
  • Credit Card
  • PayPal

Payment in instalments is unfortunately not possible.

*The next classroom training will take place 25 - 26 May 2023. If less than 16 participants register, the classroom training won’t take place and the fee will be refunded.

Target Audience

Finance experts and professionals, including retail bankers, financial advisors, asset managers, risk managers etc., and all other financial industry professionals interested in the topic of sustainable finance.


The course takes approx. 6 months assuming 5-8 hours of self-study per week. It consists of 10 mandatory units, which build upon each other.

You are not sure if you manage to complete the course within 6 months? No worries! You can apply for a course extension (6 more months) against an administrative fee.


Course Start Course End Registration Early Bird
Sept. 1 Feb. 28 Jun. 1 - Sept. 1 by Jul. 15
Mar. 1 Aug. 31 Dec. 1 - Mar. 1 by Jan. 15

Course contributes to UN SDGs

All our courses contribute to the following SDGs


This course will enhance your knowledge in the following SDGs. The SWA offers professional and executive courses dedicated to the advancement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).



Registrations for the programme beginning 1 September 2023 will open on 1 June. 

Course Details - e-learning

The course starts with an introduction to the world of sustainability, going through important sustainability concepts and global initiatives, while also looking into planetary boundaries and the science of climate change.  Next, the participants familiarise themselves with the financial system, involved stakeholders and their interplay in collectively driving the change towards a sustainable finance system. After this broad introduction, the course concentrates on sustainability financial actors. In this block, the importance of regulation and policy for sustainable finance is explained first, complemented by a deep dive into the EU / European policy and regulatory framework. After that, the role of sustainable finance for financial institutions’ strategy lays the ground for assessing risk, impacts, and opportunities through the sustainable finance lens in the following units. Three different institutional perspectives on sustainable finance, namely banking, institutional investors, and insurance are provided before the course concludes with a re-cap and outlook on the current sustainable finance situation.

CESFI Curriculum

Through the mandatory assignment exercise, participants get to implement their newly acquired knowledge while benefitting from support and feedback from our experenced trainer team.

General information for the online course and classroom training

  • Each of the courses (online or classroom) can be booked individually or as a package.
  • You will receive the certificate only after successful completion of the e-learning course. The participation in the classroom training is voluntary and does not affect the participation of the e-learning course.
  • However, the classroom training is closely related to the contents of selected units of the e-learning course.
  • For further questions, please contact the e-campus team ( 

Suggestions & Recommendations

While you decide on the timing and pace of your learning experience we would like to give you some recommendations on how to get the most out of this course:

Your schedule: We will provide you a course schedule including voluntary and mandatory deadlines. The course schedule serves as guideline for your personal learning schedule and will help you completing the programme within the given time frame.

Assignments: With the assignments you will learn how to apply the knowledge learned during the course. It is important that you take time to read the necessary material and to solve the assignment.

Networking Opportunities: Use the forum to introduce yourself to your peers and start interesting discussions.

Course Structure

Unit 1: The World of Sustainability

This first unit sets the scene and introduces participants to the world of sustainability by explaining the key factors that underpin the science of climate change and global warming, including climate diplomacy. It also provides an overview of the different rationales for why integrating sustainability considerations into to financial market is important and discusses the role of the financial system in the transformation to a low-carbon and more sustainable economy.

Unit 3: The Role of Regulation and Policy

Unit 3 demonstrates and explains through detailed examples of the role and rationale of regulation and policy in sustainable finance. There is also a “deep dive”, a closer look, at the EU sustainable finance regulatory and policy landscape provided in this unit.

Unit 5: Impact through finance

Unit 5 discusses how to create impact through finance. It will deepen the participants’ knowledge of the impact perspective. The importance of impact measurement and its methodological concepts are introduced in the unit together with a step-by-step process on how to align a financial institution’s portfolio with the Paris Climate Goals and the UN SDGs.

Unit 7: Banking

This unit provides an overview of the market environment, potential, development, and criticism for wholesale and investment, retail, and corporate banking products and services.

Unit 9: Insurance

The role of insurance in mitigation sustainability is discussed in unit 9. Participants will learn what role insurance plays within the wider financial system and build an understanding on how climate-related financial risks are impacting the finance sector.

Unit 2: Towards a Sustainable Financial System

The institutional setup is important for mainstreaming sustainability in the financial system. In Unit 2, participants are introduced to the role of the financial system, involved stakeholders, and their interplay, especially in the context of driving the transition towards a sustainable financial system. The specific roles of the different financial actors are explained, accompanied by practical exercises in an interactive learning environment.

Unit 4: Sustainability risks

Unit 4 discusses how to implement and manage sustainability risks in financial institutions. It will deepen the participants’ knowledge of the risk perspective. An overview of necessary steps to integrate sustainability risks into the risk management process will be provided.

Unit 6: Sustainable Finance Opportunities

Unit 6 provides an overview of sustainable finance related opportunities. It focuses on debt and equity-related sustainable products, especially green bonds, and is complemented by a section on additional services.

Unit 8: Institutional Investors

Unit 8 provides an overview of the institutional investors, their mandates as well as implementation methods. Furthermore, the unit discusses the role and construction of benchmarks.

Unit 10: Recap and Outlook

The course concludes with a re-cap of the learning materials from unit 1 to unit 9, while also making an outlook of ongoing and upcoming developments in the sustainable finance sector. 

Training Approach

The flexibility of our courses offers you the opportunity to follow your own schedule and to combine daily work with professional development.

The high quality offered will immediately improve your daily job performance as well as the performance of your institution.

Training Material

Video Lectures

  • Introvideos: After viewing the lectures, participants will have a basic understanding of each topic and will be able to classify importance and relevance of different techniques and aspects in a broader context.
  • Web-based Presentations: Web based presentation complement the scripts and give additional input on important topics.

Online Tests

Each unit ends with an online test comprising a set of 10 - 15 multiple choice questions. Only after having successfully completed an online test you will gain access to the next unit.

Reading Material

A PDF script is for most of our courses the main studying material. This reading material provides basic concepts and principles applicable to the subject of each unit.


The key to successful learning is the immediate use of newly acquired knowledge and the transfer of theory into practice. Our online courses are therefore supplemented by mandatory assignments.

Discussion Forum

A course discussion forum enables the interaction between participants and trainers and facilitates the exchange of experiences as well as possibilities to ask questions or get clarifications.

Final Exam

Passing a final examination is a requirement for obtaining your certificate.

  • Location: The final exam takes place online
  • Duration: The final exam takes 2 hours.
  • Costs: An additional final exam fee will be charged for the second and third final exam attempt

If you do not wish to take the final exam, you will receive a confirmation of course participation after completing the course.

Course Details - classroom training

25 - 26 May 2023

The e-learning course units are complemented by two elective classroom training days at Frankfurt School in Frankfurt, Germany. These days provide the opportunity for participants and trainers to meet in real life for reflection, discussions and deep dives into current trends as well as tailored training sessions.

The next classroom training will take place 25 - 26 May 2023 at Frankfurt School Campus (Frankfurt, Germany). Teaching language will be English or English/German, depending of the composition of the participants.

Course Structure*

Below you find the tentative agenda of the 2-day-training. All sessions take place at Frankfurt School's new Campus, Adickesallee 32-34, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

CESFI Classroom Agenda 2022

* Subject to change.

Course lecturers


Karsten Löffler

Karsten Löffler ist Head am FS-UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance. Er vertrat die GSFCG in der Technischen Expertengruppe (TEG) der EU-Kommission für nachhaltige Finanzen, wo er die EU-Taxonomie mit seiner umfangreichen Erfahrung im Bereich der Finanzierung erneuerbarer Energien aktiv mitgestaltete. Im Oktober 2020 wurde er Mitglied der neu gegründeten Plattform der Kommission für nachhaltige Finanzen. Mehr...


Sebastian Rink

Sebastian Rink ist Experte für grüne und nachhaltige Finanzen und Wissenschaftler an der Frankfurt School - UNEP Collaborating Centre. Er beschäftigt sich unter anderem mit der Frage, wie Banken die Transformation der Geschäftsmodelle von KMUs unterstützen können. Darüber hinaus ist Sebastian Rink Partner in der Net Zero Banking Alliance Germany des Green and Sustainable Finance Cluster Germany. Zu seinen früheren Tätigkeiten zählen die Mitentwicklung der EU-Taxonomie, Politikberatung, Beratung im privaten Finanzsektor, Transaktionsmanagement sowie die Durchführung von Schulungen und Trainings.


Prof. Dr. Ulf Moslener

Prof. Dr. Ulf Moslener ist Professor für Umweltökonomie & Sustainable Energy Finance sowie wissenschaftlicher Leiter des FS-UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance an der Frankfurt School of Finance & Management.

Er ist Vorstandsmitglied des neu gegründeten Green and Sustainable Finance Cluster Germany, das sich für eine innovativer und skalierbare Unterstützung der deutschen Finanzwirtschaft für eine nachhaltigere Wirtschaft einsetzt. Mehr...

Further course trainers and experts

Dr. Christine Grüning, Senior Project Manager, FS-UNEP Centre

Dr. Alexander Lehmann, Head of the Sustainable World Academy at Frankfurt School.

Menglu Neupert-Zhuang, Sustainable Finance Expert & Project Manager

Dr. Anne Michaels, Luiza Linton, and Urata Biqkaj-Müller, Magnolia Consulting GmbH

The FS-UNEP Centre

The content of this course was developed by the Frankfurt School - UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance ( The Centre is a strategic cooperation between Frankfurt School and the UN Environment programme. Its vision is to advance transformation to resilient low-carbon and resource-efficient economies by attracting new types of investors, in particular catalysing the financing of clean energy by the private sector. The Centre is UNEP’s major knowledge hub for climate finance related aspects.


Beyond your Certificate:

Master of Leadership in Sustainable Finance

The Certified Expert in Sustainable Finance is an Elective Module of the  Master of Leadership in Sustainable Finance. Join our Master programme after completing the CESFi course and waive one elective module. Also, the amount you paid for the course will be deducted from the final tuition fee of the Master programme.

Diploma in Green Finance

The Certified Expert in Sustainable Finance is part of the curriculum of our Diploma in Green Finance. Enroll to our Diploma  after completing the CESFi course and waive one module. Also, the amount you paid for the course will be deducted from the final tuition fee of the Diploma.