Course Finder


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.

This course is also offered in German.

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 attain a Frankfurt School Certificate after passing the final exam or a confirmation of course completion after completing the course. After passing the final exam, you will earn 3 ECTS (academic credit points of the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System). The points can be credited to other academic learning programs. 
  • Optional: 2-day classroom training in Frankfurt, Germany (for further information see below)

Tuition Fees


Regular Tuition Fee: EUR 1,900

Early Bird Fee: EUR 1,600  (until July 15)


Regular Tuition Fee: EUR 1,900

Early Bird Fee: EUR 1,600  (until August 15)

Package (e-learning + classroom)

Regular Tuition Fee: EUR 3,150

Early Bird Fee: EUR 2,750 (until July 15)

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

Payment in installments is not possible.

*Subject to change

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.


September Intake

  • Course Start: Sept 1
  • Course End: Feb 28
  • Registration Period: Jun 1 - Sept 1
  • Early Bird Deadline: Jul 15

March Intake

  • Course Start: Mar 1
  • Course End: Aug 31
  • Registration Period: Dec 1 - Mar 1
  • Early Bird Deadline: Jan 15


Registration is open until September 30th. 

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 ( 
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 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 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 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 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 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 7


Diese Unit bietet einen Überblick über das Marktumfeld, das Potenzial, die Entwicklung und eine kritische Betrachtung von Produkten und Dienstleistungen des Großkunden- und Investmentgeschäfts, des Privatkundengeschäfts und des Firmenkundengeschäfts.

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 9


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 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.

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.

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

14-15 November 2024

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 in November 2024 at Frankfurt School Campus (Frankfurt, Germany). Teaching language will be English or English/German, depending of the composition of the participants. Concrete dates will be set in due course.

Course Structure*

Below you find the tentative agenda of the 2-day-training. All sessions take place at Frankfurt School's Campus.

A provisional agenda will follow in due course.

Draft Agenda CESFI_2421

* Subject to change.

Course lecturers


Karsten Löffler

Karsten Löffler is Co-Head of the Global Shield Solutions Platform, one of the financing vehicles under the Global Shield against Climate Risks, managed by the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management. From 2017 to 2022, he was Head of the Frankfurt School - UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance. From 1989 to 2017, he worked for Allianz Group (Dresdner Bank, Allianz Global Investors), most recently as Managing Director of Allianz Climate Solutions. Karsten had been a member of the Executive Board of the Green and Sustainable Finance Cluster Germany from December 2017 until March 2023. From 2019 to 2021, he chaired the Sustainable Finance Advisory Board of the German Federal Government. He represented the Cluster in the Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance of the EU Commission and subsequently in the Platform on Sustainable Finance until 2021. More...


Sebastian Rink

Sebastian is a green and sustainable finance expert and researcher at the Frankfurt School – UNEP Collaborating Centre. He is, among other topics, analysing the question how banks can facilitate the transformation of SMEs’ business models. Additionally, Sebastian is an associate in the Net Zero Banking Alliance Germany by the Green and Sustainable Finance Cluster Germany. His prior work includes co-developing the EU Taxonomy, policy advisory, advisory in the private financial sector, transaction management, and provision of training and education.


Prof. Dr. Ulf Moslener

Prof. Dr. Ulf Moslener is professor for Sustainable Energy Finance at the faculty of Frankfurt School. As Head of Research at the Centre his current fields of research are the economics of climate change, financing sustainable energy systems and climate finance.

He is a board member of the newly founded Green and Sustainable Finance Cluster Germany, which support the process of transformation to a green and sustainable economy through innovative and scalable support from the financial industry.


Further course trainers and experts

Dr. Christine Grüning, Director, FS-UNEP Centre

Frederic Bettini, Project Manager, FS-UNEP Centre

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.

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).


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.

Frankfurt School Summer Academy

Expand your skills and knowledge in risk management with the Frankfurt School Summer Academy. This one-week, on-campus programme allows participants to choose from a selection of specialised technical tracks. 

Read more about our Sustainable Finance Track here

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.

You might also be interested in: