The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Singapore and its partners in the ASFI Academy have created a suite of sustainable finance online courses based on the sustainability science and designed specifically for Asia-based finance professionals, according to a statement from the WWF today.
The Singapore-based ASFI is a multi-stakeholder forum, incubated by WWF-Singapore that aims to harness the power of the finance sector to create low-carbon, climate resilient economies that deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement.
“The launch of courses on ASFI Academy is a big step forward in plugging the knowledge gap and upskilling Singapore’s finance professionals with the knowledge they need to talk about sustainable finance with confidence,” said Anders Nordheim, senior vice president of Asia sustainable finance at WWF-Singapore.
The courses have been developed through multi-stakeholder collaboration between ASFI Knowledge Partners including WWF, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, and EDHECinfra, among others. ASFI Advisory Group Members including Association of Banks in Singapore, IBF, IMAS and Singapore Exchange.
They have been pilot-tested by financial professionals across the region. They are short in length (30 minutes – 4 hours), and incorporate interactive activities and Asia-specific case studies. For example, the course series on agriculture, forestry and fisheries includes a case study co-developed with BNP Paribas Asset Management.
The courses have been accredited by the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF) under Singapore’s skills framework for financial services (SFwFS).
Bank of Singapore is the first bank in Asia to roll out ASFI Academy’s courses to its staff; and asset management professionals can access the courses through the Investment Management Association of Singapore (IMAS) iLearn.
Singapore’s green commitment
The Academy’s initiative comes amid growing momentum around sustainable finance in Singapore and the region.
The IBF Singapore’s SFwFS includes a set of ESG skills and competences, while the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued guidelines on environmental risk management for banks, insurers and asset managers and established a green finance industry taskforce (GFIT).
Furthermore, Singapore unveiled its “Green Plan 2030”, which includes ambitions for the country to become a leading centre for green finance in Asia and globally.
In order to ensure that a significant portion of Singapore’s 170,000+ strong finance sector workforce develops the ESG skills and competencies necessary to implement the new guidelines and achieve the objectives of the Green Plan, digital learning resources such as the ASFI Academy will be “critical to upskilling the sector at scale,” according to the statement.