Sustainable finance academy launches in Singapore
Online courses for Asia-based professionals aim to build expertise, focus on latest science, tech
20 Sep 2021 | The Asset

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Singapore and its partners in the Asia Sustainable Finance Initiative (ASFI) have launched the ASFI Academy – a suite of accessible, practical and technology-enabled sustainable finance e-learning courses based on the latest sustainability science and designed specifically for Asia-based finance professionals.

The online academy’s suite of courses have been developed in collaboration with Singapore’s leading finance sector industry associations and have been accredited by the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF) under the Skills Framework for Financial Services (SFwFS).

The courses are launched in collaboration with WWF partners – the Association of Banks in Singapore, the Institute of Banking and Finance Singapore (IBF), the Investment Management Association of Singapore, the Life Insurance Association Singapore, and the Singapore Exchange, with the Bank of Singapore being the first bank in Asia to roll out the courses to its 2,200-plus staff.

The academy’s launch comes amid growing momentum around sustainable finance in Singapore and the region. Since 2019, IBF Singapore has launched its SFwFS, which includes a set of environmental, social and governance (ESG) skills and competences; the Monetary Authority of Singaore issued Guidelines on Environmental Risk Management for banks, insurers and asset managers and established a Green Finance Industry Taskforce. Further, Singapore unveiled its Green Plan 2030, which includes ambitions for the country to become a leading centre for green finance in Asia and globally.

To ensure that a significant portion of Singapore’s 170,000-plus 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 like ASFI Academy will be critical to upskilling the sector at scale.

“Singapore is emerging as a regional leader in sustainable finance, and is well placed to help scale global efforts to shift finance to low-carbon and sustainable activities,” says Anders Nordheim, WWF-Singapore’s senior vice-president of Asia sustainable finance. “Financial professionals around the world are increasingly looking to Singapore to offer expertise in this area, and those that are able to offer up-to-date advice will lead the way when it comes to capturing this segment of the market. 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.”