Lingnan University and Friends of the Earth (HK) launch higher education sector’s first Executive Certificate in Sustainable Finance & ESG Analytics, integrating AI and big data analytics

5 Jun 2024

On the occasion of World Environment Day today (5 June), the Science Unit of Lingnan University and Friends of the Earth (HK) (FoE (HK)) have signed a partnership agreement to launch the first Executive Certificate in Sustainable Finance & ESG Analytics for executives of higher education institutions in the Greater Bay Area (GBA), and aligned with the CESGA global certification. Acting in response to our era of digital transformation, this executive certificate training programme not only explores the concepts of Sustainable Finance, but also incorporates Lingnan’s expertise in Artificial Intelligence (AI) analytics, reflecting the global shift towards Sustainable Finance and the increasing integration of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors in financial decision-making.


The partnership agreement was signed by Prof Lau Chi-pang, Associate Vice-President (Institutional Advancement and External Affairs) of Lingnan University, and Mr Plato Yip, Chairperson of Friends of the Earth (HK), on behalf of both parties. According to the agreement, the Executive Certificate in Sustainable Finance & ESG Analytics programme launched by Lingnan and FoE (HK) aligns with the Certified Environmental, Social, and Governance Analysts (CESGA) examination. The programme is designed to equip professionals, ESG practitioners, and interested parties with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the complex landscape of ESG factors in the corporate sector by leveraging cutting-edge technologies such as AI and big data analytics.


The programme includes lectures by experienced instructors from the finance and business sectors, and aims to develop students' understanding of the evolving requirements of capital markets regarding ESG & Sustainable Finance. It provides foundational knowledge in the use of contemporary data analytics approaches to support Green Financing and ESG analysis, thereby facilitating effective ESG integration. Successful students will be awarded the Executive Certificate in Sustainable Finance and ESG Analytics, issued jointly by Lingnan University and FoE (HK).


In his speech, Prof Lau Chi-pang expressed enthusiasm, saying "Lingnan University has always emphasised professional teaching and research, and we are proud to be at the forefront of ESG professional education. This partnership underscores our commitment to equipping the next generation of leaders with the skills to address pressing challenges through advanced AI and big data analytics. By integrating data science with our whole-person education approach, we foster interdisciplinary collaboration to tackle some of the most pressing issues in the industry."


Mr Plato Yip emphasised the significance of this partnership, and noted "On this special World Environment Day, we are proud to announce our collaboration with Lingnan University. This programme not only meets the growing societal demand for ESG talent, but also strengthens public awareness and concern for environmental issues, and represents a milestone in our mission to promote environmental sustainability. By equipping professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate the complex ESG landscape, we empower them to drive positive change and create a greener future for all."


Applications for the programme’s first cohort may be submitted from now until 31 August 2024. The comprehensive curriculum will include topics such as ESG trends and development, ESG integration, reporting, the carbon market, investment strategy in ESG, and data-driven ESG analysis. The course assessment combines multiple-choice questions and case studies, ensuring students acquire a solid grasp of ESG analysis skills and knowledge, alongside proficiency in applying AI and big data techniques. Participants are eligible to claim Continuous Professional Development (CPD) hours from their affiliated professional institution, and may also apply to take the Certified ESG Analyst® (CESGA) exam set by the European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies (EFFAS).


Mr Anthony Cheung, EFFAS Representative in Asia, highlighted the importance of the programme, saying "This Executive Certificate programme in Sustainable Finance is a testament to our commitment to foster climate finance and responsible investment best practices in Asia. Through this partnership, we aim to provide professionals and interested parties with the ESG analytics tools that they need to integrate sustainability into their decision-making process.”


Acknowledging the strong impact of climate change on life and the economy, Prof Paulina Wong, Head of the Science Unit at Lingnan University, said "Through our executive certificate programme, we aim to nurture talents with expertise in ESG and data analysis. This will help investors and institutions smartly incorporate smart ESG principles into their decision-making, and promote sustainable development, inclusive growth, and carbon neutrality with the aid of data and technology."


Under the Pilot Green and Sustainable Finance Capacity Building Support Scheme, eligible applicants may apply for the reimbursement of fees upon the successful completion of programmes, subject to a ceiling of HK$10,000 and other specified conditions. For detailed information about the programme and application procedures, please click HERE to visit the website.


In addition to their brand new ESG programme, Lingnan University’s Science Unit has also launched a Master of Science in Sustainability and Environmental Analytics (MScSEA), aimed at cultivating talents with both ESG and environmental analyst skills.