sustainable finance

Time: August 21-25, 2023

Place: Otaniemi, Espoo, Aalto University School of Business

Instructor: Professor Philipp Krüger (University of Geneva)

NFN Travel Grant: NFN offers Travel Grants for attending PhD students in finance coming from Nordic institutions outside of Finland. To apply for the Travel Grant, please use this this form, and send it to nfn (at)

Lectures: 20 h of lectures (20 x 45 minutes)

Monday 21.8.2023 12:00-13:30 & 14:30-16 U006, Ekonominaukio 1
Tuesday 22.8.2023 11:00-12:30 & 13:30-15:00 U006, Ekonominaukio 1
Wednesday 23.8.2023 10:00-11:30 & 12:30-14 U006, Ekonominaukio 1
Thursday 24.8.2023 10:00-11:30 & 12:30-14 U006, Ekonominaukio 1
Friday 25.8.2023 10:00-11:30 & 12:30-14 V001, Ekonominaukio 1

Course description: This PhD course will provide an introduction to the dynamic and fast expanding research area of sustainable finance. We will start by discussing data and measurement related issues. In doing so, we will cover common ways of quantifying the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) profiles of firms, challenges regarding current data and measurement approaches, and also zoom in on the important topics of ESG reporting standards and disclosure requirements. The second part of the course will focus on the abundant research concerned with the financial performance implications of ESG. We will consider performance issues from both the firm and the invstor perspective. The third part of the course will address the topic of greenwashing and more generally institutional investor behavior when it comes to ESG and sustainability considerations. The fourth part will provide an overview of issues related to GHG emissions and discuss climate finance more generally. In the last part of the course, we will study ESG and sustainability considerations in other asset classes (e.g., fixed income or private equity).

Syllabus and reading list: PDF

Access to the articles is subject to your home institutions' subsciptions to the databases. Hard copies of all readings are available for consultation at GSF office (Ekonominaukio 1, room T317)

Lecture notes:

Introduction and overview

Lecture notes 1

Lecture notes 2

Lecture notes 2 Appendix

Lecture notes 3

Lecture notes 4

Lecture notes 4 Appendix

Lecture notes 5

Lecture notes 6

Credit units: 6 ECTS cr.

List of Participants: PDF

Participants: Doctoral students in Finance, Economics and related disciplines. The course is also open for KATAJA as well as FDPE and Helsinki GSE students with sufficient background in finance and/or economics. The course is also open for foreign doctoral students given that there is space in the course.


Grading: The grading is based on two compulsory parts of the course: a closed book written exam and a term paper. The total points of the course are 100, and in order to pass the course, one needs at least 50% of the points. In addition, one has to get at least 50% of the points from each part.

  • Exam weight 50 %

  • Term paper weight 50 %  

That is, to reach a minimum acceptable grade 1, you must get 25 points from the exam and 25 points from the term paper.  

Term paper deadline: Sunday, October 22 by midnight. Please return the assignments to GSF coordinator via email at reetta.ali-alha (@) Please respect the deadline promptly.

Term paper instructions

Examination date and time: Friday, September 22, at 10:00-12:00 in V001, Ekonominaukio 1, Espoo. Please register for the exam through this link. The registration link will be closed one week prior to the exam

If you wish to take the exam in your home university (other than GSF member university), please see instructions below.

Examination places:

  • In Otaniemi: Aalto University School of Business
  • In Oulu: University of Oulu
  • In Vaasa: University of Vaasa
  • In Lappeenranta: Lappeenranta University of Technology
  • In Turku: Turku School of Economics
  • In Jyväskylä: University of Jyväskylä
  • Other locations: Doctoral students in other universities are requested to inform GSF by sending an e-mail to if they wish to take the exam in their home universities. Please note that the exam must be written in presence of an exam supervisor. Thus, please submit the name of the exam supervisor at least 14 days before the examination.

Please note: No retake exam will be offered for any reason (beyond your control or not). However, the exam can be taken abroad where suitable exam supervision can be arranged. Possible payment and arrangements for supervision should be made by the student. In case you wish to take the exam abroad, please contact GSF by sending an e-mail to at least 14 days before the examination. 



Registration / Application

  • Doctoral students of GSF, FDPE and Helsinki GSE: Please register through this link.
  • Doctoral students in related fields and doctoral students at foreign universities: Application form can be found here: PDF file or Word file. Please, send in addition to your complete contact information, a report on the status of your doctoral studies, and a brief CV. Please ask also your thesis advisor to send us a short letter of recommendation by-email. All the required documents should be sent by e-mail to All students will be informed of their acceptance soon after the deadline.


The deadline for registering for this course is August 6, 2023.