UBC Sauder is offering a new course in January – “Impact Investing: Social Finance in the 21st Century.” It’s the second class focused on responsible business that the school has added to its curriculum since September.

Impact Investing is an emerging sector that now represents between $9 and $12 billion of investment capital. Instead of a bottom line focus on financial gains, Impact Investing is guided by the triple bottom line, which weighs financial, social and environmental gains.

Students will learn how financial tools affect the world economically, socially and environmentally. They will walk away with the tools and methodologies to evaluate social ventures and make impact investment decisions.

In September, UBC Sauder also launched “Strategies for Responsible Business,” a class about the long-term impacts of business decisions. Students will learn the planning involved in building more sustainable business models that can adapt to the demands of new evolving markets.

The class also features prominent guest speakers. This year, students heard from Giacomo Bove, an Account Executive with Interface, who discussed his company’s commitment to sustainability and their progress towards their “Mission Zero.” They also heard from Jamie Bonham – manager of extractives research and engagement at NEI investments – on shareholder engagement, and from Christie Stephenson, Director of the Peter P. Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics, on responsible investing. 

Another new offering this year came from a fourth year finance student. BCom Albina Gibadullina is leading the student directed seminar “Examining the Role of Finance in Society.” Students will analyze the role of financial systems within the broader economy and study the ethical arguments for and against these systems.  

Together, these classes are part of UBC Sauder’s continuing commitment to training responsible business leaders through ethics and values-based curriculum.  

“There are, of course, some who believe that the increasing focus on environmental, social, and governance-related aspects of business practices is a passing fad,” said Dale Griffin, Interim Academic Director of the Peter P. Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics. “But in our eyes–and I believe, in the eyes of our student–this is the ‘new normal’ for business and management across the globe. And we don’t expect that to change.”

To learn more about Responsible Investing, join Christie Stephenson for “How to Become a Responsible Investor,” a workshop co-hosted by the SFU Beedie Centre for Corporate Governance and Sustainability on November 19 that will teach participants to navigate evaluations approaches and issues so they can leverage the core component of responsible investing.