Sustainable Finance will fundamentally change the financial services sector having made a permanent shift from being ‘niche’ to ‘mainstream’, according to the Sustainable Finance Deep Dive Skills Report, which was launched in Dublin during Climate Finance Week.
The report, commissioned by Sustainable Finance Skillnet and Sustainable Nation Ireland and researched by Deloitte, says third-level institutions and professional bodies will have to introduce sustainability and environmental, social and governance (ESG) modules to business and finance degree and master’s programmes and in professional finance qualifications to address sustainable finance skills gaps within the sector.
While it shows that Sustainable Finance is now core to any business strategy in the financial services sector, the report reveals that training in baseline knowledge is a key short-term skills priority; with the main challenges limiting the development of Sustainable Finance skills and talent in Ireland being competing internal priorities and lack of available talent. In particular, it identifies significant demand for skills in data management and measurement.
The report found a high level of overall Sustainable Finance awareness and perception in the asset management sub-sector in Ireland and noted that regulation will be key to plugging the skills gaps; with 60% of respondents saying their organisation would give training and skills development a higher priority if regulation is implemented.
It identifies the most important drivers of investment in Sustainable Finance skills and talent up to 2025 as: improved long-term returns; brand image and reputation; decreased investment risk and/or underwriting risk; regulatory/disclosure demands; and external stakeholder requirement (e.g. clients, government, society at large).