Upskilling in green finance

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The Institute of Banking and Finance Singapore (IBF) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) have set out 12 technical skills and competencies that individuals need in order to perform various roles in sustainable finance.

They are encouraging financial institutions to design training programmes around the key skills, although many could be applied across other industries as well.

According to the report, the skills apply to finance sector professionals in roles within sales, distribution and relationship management, product solution and management, operations, risk compliance and legal; and sustainable finance professionals, such as chief sustainability officers, sustainability reporting and investor relations, advocacy and stewardship, and sustainability product specialists.

‘The COP26 climate conference in November last year emphasised the crucial role business have in helping countries decarbonise their economies,’ says ACCA head of sustainability Emmeline Skelton. ‘Green job creation will be a huge part of this net-zero transition, with the finance community enabling business to kickstart the processes.’

The 12 skills and competencies are outlined below.

All sectors

  • Carbon markets and decarbonisation strategies management: Lead organisation’s strategy and policies in response to carbon policy, market developments and decarbonisation strategies; provide support for the organisation and clients in their efforts to decarbonise and become net-zero.
  • Climate change management: Synthesise information on climate change and climate policy developments to shape the organisation’s strategies and policies, products and/or services.
  • Natural capital management: Develop market research on natural capital and lead the organisation’s strategies and policies in response to natural capital policy and market developments.
  • Taxonomy application: Analyse and shape organisation’s strategy, policies, practices and relevant business activities in response to key domestic, regional and global taxonomies that classify green and transition economic activities.
  • Impact indicators, measurement and reporting: Analyse, monitor and report impact of sustainability actions, and lead the organisation in setting impact mission and targets for the organisation or customers.
  • Sustainability reporting: Lead development of organisation’s sustainability reporting and accounting policies and processes in line with regulatory requirements and international best practices.
  • Sustainability risk management: Develop frameworks, strategies and policies for managing sustainability risks for the organisation to minimise and mitigate risks, and the impact of both upon and by the organisation.
  • Sustainability stewardship development: Lead the development of the organisation’s stewardship strategy, focus areas, policies and practices, and implement stewardship to achieve organisation’s investment and sustainability goals.

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Financial services 

  • Non-financial industry sustainability developments: Synthesise sustainability-related risks, opportunities and market developments of the non-financial industries, and their impact and application to the organisation and the financial sector.
  • Sustainable insurance and reinsurance solutions and applications: Develop new and/or existing sustainable insurance and/or reinsurance solutions, which are aligned with international best practices and support customers in improving their sustainability performance over time.
  • Sustainable investment management: Lead organisation’s strategies on sustainable investment and implement sustainable investment concepts and approaches on portfolio management.
  • Sustainable lending instruments structuring: Structure key sustainable lending instruments, which includes bonds, loans, project and trade financing, derivatives, blended finance and developing incentive mechanism to encourage adoption of these instruments.

More information

Register to attend the ‘What are the skills and education needed for finance professionals to play their part?’ webinar from ACCA, IFAC and Green Finance Platform on 17 May

See ACCA Careers site for more resources, including job vacancies

Look out for further insights from ACCA on green finance in the coming months

This article was first published in the April 2022 edition of AB magazine

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