VACANCY: Could you be a Youth Sustainable Finance Champion?

Are you interested in driving finance for positive change? If the answer is ‘yes’, then we would love to hear from you! 

We are excited to be launching our ‘GEFI Youth Sustainable Finance Champions’ initiative, and warmly invite you to apply. The programme, running between March-December 2022, has been designed to enable Scottish-based students to gain practical experience whilst completing their academic studies. If selected, Sustainable Finance Champions will have the opportunity to learn from experts in the field of ethical finance and help deliver genuine impact within a purpose-driven, globally focused non-profit (and be paid for their time). 

Our plan is to recruit up to 3 Sustainable Finance champions, each being assigned a dedicated sustainable finance theme. We do not expect applicants to have any prior knowledge or expertise as this will be developed over the duration of the programme. Our anticipated themes are as follows:  

  • Financing Nature 
  • Financing Climate and Net Zero
  • The ‘S’ in ESG (social impact) 

We will assign focus areas following consultation with successful candidates. 

What exactly can the programme offer me?

Sustainable Finance Champions will be assigned their own mentor for duration of the programme. They will have regular catch ups throughout the year (in person or virtually) to discuss progress and personal development. Additionally, they will also be given the opportunity to shadow (e.g attend external meetings) GEFI team members throughout the year. 

A 2-day long training and induction programme will be offered to all the Sustainable Finance Champions, as well as 2x 90-minute bespoke training sessions designed and delivered by members of the GEFI team. 

Sustainable Finance Champions will have access to the full GEFI events programme (which features leading experts from around the world), our Efx.Global platform and (where appropriate) external industry events. 

All Sustainable Finance Champions will receive a £1,000 nominal fee for the year

Subject matter expertise:
Sustainable Finance Champions will be focused on a specific theme throughout the year-long programme and, using the knowledge developed, will have their content shared on GEFI’s social media platforms and across our global network. They will also prepare a mini report on their subject matter and deliver an internal training session to colleagues. 

What commitments are required?

We recommend that Sustainable Finance Champions dedicate between 2-4hrs a week/10-15 hrs a month to the Sustainable Finance Champion Programme although they are free to set their own schedule and working patterns to fit around other commitments.

In applying to the programme, Sustainable Finance Champions will agree to produce the following over the course of the programme: 

  • 3 blog posts over the year
  • 3 social media posts a week 
  • Host one event at their university over the course of the year  
  • Author/co-author one ‘mini’ report or ‘mini’ project on focus area

To apply to be an impact champion please send your CV and a 500-word cover letter to with the subject line ‘GEFI Sustainable Finance Champion Programme’. 

Job Vacancy: Could you be our next Event Manager?

About The Global Ethical Finance Initiative

The Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) has become the hub at the centre of the ethical finance movement. We undertake advocacy through curating independent conversations among a broad coalition of financial services stakeholders, as well as research, advisory work and delivering practical projects. We are the partner for action on ethical finance.

From our Edinburgh base we are a non-profit with a global footprint. We are supported by the Scottish Government and a number of major financial institutions including Baillie Gifford and NatWest Group. We also work in partnership with global multilateral organisations, in particular the United Nations. Our wider organisation includes the Ethical Finance Hub, Islamic Finance Council UK, SDG Tartan and

With ethical finance moving from the niche to the norm the level of interest in our work has grown considerably. To meet demand, we are now expanding our team and have an exciting opportunity for an experienced Event Manager to join our growing team to lead on the planning and delivery of our diverse programme for 2022 and beyond.

This is a truly unique opportunity to work in partnership with Governments, regulators, financial institutions, and other financial services stakeholders from across the globe.

Do you have the experience, passion, and drive to make a difference within a high-end purpose-led organisation? If so, read on!

Your Profile And Responsibilities

You will report to our Chief Operating Officer and have responsibility for the management and delivery of high quality in-person and virtual global events, including those listed below, through their full project lifecycle.

  1. Our flagship annual global Ethical Finance Summit;
  2. Our international award-winning Ethical Finance Round Table series;
  3. Our pioneering Radical Old Idea series; and
  4. Our Islamic Finance and SGDs Summit.

You will contribute to planning our events including input into the agenda, potential speakers, delivery format, and lead on all practical execution matters. Technical content input for planning and curating events will be provided by GEFI technical team members.

With overall responsibility for event, you will manage relationships with external venues and have responsibility for online delivery platforms. You will help to develop the event branding, set up and manage the ticketing process, detail the event on our website and support the identification and acquisition of high-profile international speakers.

A key requirement will be for you to manage speaker on-boarding (i.e updating tracker documents and collating biographies) as well as organising and delivering planning calls, pre-recording sessions, technical checks and live event participation. As part of this you will own and update our speaker briefing documents. We have developed a first-class reputation for speaker management and take great pride in ensuring our speakers get to the right place, at the right time to talk about the right thing!

You will also lead on event marketing and promotion and will be expected to manage mailing lists and keep websites and social media channels updated before, during and after events. To optimise awareness and registrations you will build and maintain relationships with promotional partners. There will also be scope to contribute to event-related media activity.

For live events, as well as assigning internal roles and responsibilities across the team, you will develop and own the real time run of show and, having assessed risk (such as speaker withdrawals, technical failures etc), have contingency plans in place to enable us to overcome issues and deliver high quality events.

Post-event, you will develop and manage all closing procedures including speaker, participants and partner follow-ups, supplier invoicing, event reporting and web updating.

This is a critical role within the GEFI operation as you will act as the central point of coordination between the GEFI team, external suppliers, speakers, delivery, and promotional partners.

Who We Are Looking For?

We are looking for an enthusiastic candidate who has experience in planning and delivering a wide range of in person and virtual events. You will have worked with senior level stakeholders, ideally within a financial services or corporate environment, and have a commitment to driving finance for positive change. You must have first class communication skills, a pedigree for planning and organising, proven delivery skills and an ability to work accurately at pace and independently.

Pre-requisites for the successful candidate will be experience in event delivery and a competence in using MS Office, ticketing platforms (e.g. EventBrite), video teleconferencing platforms (e.g Zoom), web content management systems (e.g. WordPress), e-marketing platforms (e.g. MailChimp) and social media channels (e.g. LinkedIn and Twitter).

Your Skills And Qualifications

  • Degree in marketing, business, or related field or equivalent in experience
  • A high standard of literacy and numeracy
  • A genuine passion and authentic commitment to the social purpose underpinning GEFI
  • Strong project management, multitasking, and decision-making skills
  • Interpersonal skills with an ability to deal sensitively with a wide range of stakeholders at all levels and from across the globe
  • Ability to develop, manage and build relationships with a wide network of organisations
  • Strong attention to detail with the capability to develop / follow processes and procedures to maximise efficiency
  • Proven ability to liaise, co-ordinate and disseminate quality information
  • Ability to deliver under pressure and work to targets and tight deadlines
  • Self-motivated with the ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Ability to work on own initiative and solve problem quickly and efficiently
  • Committed to and have the flexibility to work hours as determined by the business
  • Enthusiastic and responsible team player with the ability to work with limited supervision

In Return, We Will Offer:

  • Full Time and will consider flexible working (such as reduced working day or 4-day week)
  • Attractive salary of FTE £30k - £35k depending on experience
  • Initially home-based with weekly in-person team meet-ups in Edinburgh / Glasgow (requirements will be reviewed considering changing circumstances)
  • 28 days annual holiday (including bank holidays)
  • NEST pension
  • Opportunity to grow and develop your career

How To Apply

Closing date for the applications is: Wednesday 5th January 2022

All individuals are encouraged to apply to this post regardless of race, age, disability, ethnicity, nationality, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, religion or belief, marriage, and civil partnership.

To apply, please send your CV and a covering letter outlining your suitability for the role to

For further details of the role, please contact: Chris Tait, Chief Operating Officer, 07931 103573

Path to COP26 videos available on EFx

After a successful COP26, all of the videos from our events in and around Glasgow are now available at

Across the 2 weeks, we organised a series of events covering climate finance, looking at nature, economics, faith and pensions in detail.

UK must make its Green Finance ambition work for the whole planet

The UK government has committed to establishing the UK as a global green finance hub, and to propagating consistently high standards around green finance globally. This is a very encouraging move ahead of COP26. At GEFI, we believe very strongly that international cooperation and, in particular, engaging with the global south will be key to developing credible plans for a global net zero economy.

As our co-founder and director Omar Shaikh said:

We welcome the ambition to make the UK a leader in green finance. But Net Zero is a global game and we must use the UK’s financial services position as a global leader to take the opportunity of COP26 to make the green transition fair for every citizen of our shared planet.

Our recent flagship Ethical Finance summit saw a full day devoted to a series of global showcases, bringing in perspectives on sustainable finance from regions including South Asia, West Africa and South East Asia; see our EFx platform to watch all of these and more.

The development and implementation of TCFD and TNFD frameworks must play a crucial role in government and regulatory strategies to ensure climate and biodiversity risks are not only recognised but are measured and reported on by financial institutions. Such developments will drive green finance globally as capital is diverted towards mitigation and adaptation investments.

The emergence of global frameworks provides best practice standards, consistency and transparency the finance sector has been seeking and, in so doing, reduces the threat of greenwashing. You can watch the new TNFD Co-chair Elizabeth Mrema and Mikkel Larsen of DBS Bank, one of the key institutions developing TNFD explain the new nature-focused framework at Ethical Finance 2021.

Ultimately, the financial sector must play a pivotal role in delivering a Net Zero economy, but it cannot do so without international collaboration.

COP26 represents the perfect opportunity for the finance sector to work with governments on a global stage. As the curtain gets set to rise in less than 17 weeks, the UK government must lead from the front to inspire others to commit to a Net Zero and nature positive economy that guarantees both the survival and prosperity of the whole planet. The need to raise awareness and inspire practical action has driven GEFI to convene a powerful group of financial services institutions and stakeholders through our Path to COP26 campaign.

Alongside programmes driving Finance for Nature, and integrating faith perspectives with the SDGs, the campaign aims to unlock the power of ordinary people’s pensions to deliver a better future for everyone, and position both Scotland and the UK at the heart of a global Green Finance that works for the whole planet, ensuring that people (and not simply profit) are allowed to prosper.

Financing A Sustainable Future- Global Ethical Finance Summit Speakers Revealed

The Earth Day Summit convened by President Biden has put delivering finance front and centre of the world’s efforts to deliver climate change. Countries and companies not only need to make commitments but also must have clear plans in place to deliver them.

A major UK summit on climate finance this summer will bring together global finance leaders, the head of the European Investment Bank, CEOs of major banks and UN chiefs ahead of COP26 The summit builds on ten years of work by the Global Ethical Finance Initiative to reshape the finance sector for a sustainable future.

Ethical Finance 2021, to be convened virtually in Scotland, will include leadership showcases from fourglobal financial centres with more than 3000 delegates from over 100 countries expected to participate in the three-day event. Free registration is now open.

The Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) summit is hosted by NatWest Group, and supported by Chartered Banker and the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment, as well as the Scottish Government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Keynote speakers include:
• Dr Werner Hoyer, president of the European Investment Bank.
• Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator
• Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF’s climate and energy global practice leader, a former Environment Minister of Peru and chair of COP20.
• Hiro Mizuno, UN special envoy on innovative finance and sustainable investments, and former executive management director of the Government Pension Investment Fund of Japan – the largest pool of retirement savings in the world.
• Bill Winters, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank
• Inger Anderson, executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme.
• Dora Benedek, deputy division chief, fiscal affairs department of the International Monetary Fund.
• Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta, the Frank Ramsey Emeritus Professor of Economics at Cambridge University and author of The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review.
• John Glen MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury and City Minister.

With a global footprint and Scottish roots, GEFI is leading a ‘Path to COP26’ campaign which has united major financial services institutions representing over £2 trillion in assets to help build more resilient economies which support the transition to a greener, net-zero planet.
The finance sector needs to act together to achieve decisive action at COP26, the most important climate summit since Paris, and the campaign will deliver a series of over 30 events and projects leading up to Glasgow.
This includes Ethical Finance 2021, the flagship global summit to be convened in June.

Omar Shaikh, co-founder of the Global Ethical Finance Initiative, said:

“Today’s Earth Day Summit shows that the financial services sector has a fundamental role to play in delivering targets such as the Paris Agreement and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal to fix our planet. However, despite its potential, the current financial system can be a cause, rather than a solution, to some of the pressing challenges our planet and its people currently face.

“Ethical Finance 2021 will show how financial services can support inclusive economic growth without depleting natural resources or leaving anyone behind. We’re very proud to have convened so many leading professionals from across the world, bringing them together virtually in Scotland to address the pressing issue of climate finance and turn talk into action.”





The Scottish Government has announced it will be a campaign partner for the ‘Path to COP26’ campaign to demonstrate to the world that Scotland is playing a leading role in the shift towards more environmentally responsible and sustainable finance. Led by the Global Ethical Finance Initiative, the campaign has united major financial services institutions representing over £2trn in assets for a programme including over 30 activities ahead of COP26.

This includes Ethical Finance 2021, a flagship global summit to be convened virtually from Scotland in June, with confirmed speakers including a former COP President, head of the UN Environment Programme and CEOs and financial services leaders from four continents.

Held in conjunction with the Scottish Government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the summit will explore the long-term future of ethical finance, looking at the climate finance challenge, financing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and leadership in finance for the challenges ahead.

NatWest Group is the host partner, and the global event is supported by Chartered Banker and the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment. Confirmed speakers include Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Climate and Energy Global Practice Leader at WWF, COP20 President and a former Peruvian environment minister, Inger Andersen, executive director of the UN Environment Programme and David Pitt-Watson who co-chaired the finance discussions at the Paris climate summit.

The announcement comes after the Scottish Government yesterday unveiled its global capital investment plan, which aims to build a pipeline of ESG-ready (environmental, social and governance) projects that deliver for people and places in Scotland.

Ivan McKee, Minister for Trade, Innovation and Public Finance, said:

“The Scottish Government is delighted to further strengthen its relationship with the Global Ethical Finance Initiative.

“By providing support for a series of events on the road to COP26 showcasing Scotland’s investment opportunities, GEFI will help signal to the world that Scotland is leading the global movement towards investment which is socially and environmentally responsible.

“Scotland is already in a strong position in attracting ethical investment and GEFI, along with Scotland's outstanding financial sector, is paving the way in this developing field of green finance.

“Our global capital investment plan reemphasises our commitment to Net Zero and a wellbeing economy, and we will continue to work with partners and investors who share our values as a nation, making Scotland the destination of choice for ESG investment.”

Omar Shaikh, co-founder of GEFI, said:

“We welcome the Scottish Government’s support for the Path to COP26 campaign. The flagship summit at the heart of this, Ethical Finance 2021, will be a crucial milestone for the finance industry ahead of COP26.

“We’ll be convening leading professionals from across finance, from banking, to asset management, to asset owners, so that we drive further action ahead of the UN summit in Glasgow in November.

“It’s time to move from talk to action.

“We have been working with Scottish Government, the UN and global financial institutions to position Scotland as a leader in ethical, sustainable finance to attract the global capital needed to support a successful and fair transition.”



More information on Path to COP26 is available here:

Ethical Finance 2021 – #EthicalFinance2021 will be held between Tuesday 8th – Thursday 10th June 2021 and is themed “Financing a Sustainable Future: Climate and Beyond”.

The world depends on global finance making the right choices to deliver positive change and achieve the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. To deliver this change, we need to connect people and ideas, and the Ethical Finance Summit has a six-year history of driving action through frank, honest debate among a global coalition across financial services.  Previous speakers have included First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Archbishop Justin Welby, NatWest Group CEO Alison Rose and UK Committee on Climate Change Chief Executive Chris Stark. The 2020 summit attracted over 1500 delegates from 96 countries.

Register free or find out more at

GEFI is a non-profit based in Scotland with a global footprint. We are dedicated to enabling finance to deliver positive change and help achieve the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Our core team has expertise in corporate finance, ethical finance, faith-based finance, sustainability, economics, banking law & governance and communications.

Find out more at

Chartered Banker have designated Ethical Finance 2021 for continuous professional development to enhance the learning content for their 30,000 members after completion of professional qualifications. See more at:

GEFI founder appears on Real Leaders podcast

GEFI founder Omar Shaikh joined Kevin Edwards for Episode 108 of the Real Leaders podcast to to interpret Milton Friedman’s essay on the Social Responsibility of Business, explore Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations and how it applies to unchecked capitalism today, and ultimately discuss the humbleness and bravery that is needed to rethink today’s GDP construct and enter into the world of the unknown.

Listen now on Apple Podcasts or your favourite podcast provider!


A pilot scheme is being developed to massively increase the flow of private sector capital to achieve the United Nations’ sustainable development goals.

A major new report has concluded that ‘business-as-usual’ in the financial services sector will not deliver the 2030 target to achieve the Global Goals.

With sustainability and impact quickly moving from being specialist subjects to being core drivers of investment strategies worldwide the report calls for a ‘step-change’, identifying a private equity fund-of-fund solution that provides the required scale to attract new capital from institutional investors. The new independent managed platform, a global impact fund-of-funds, will fill the gap between specialist impact fund managers and mainstream investors.

The proposal is designed to attract global institutional investors who otherwise would not deploy tens of millions of dollars in this space, ensuring they receive a financial return at the same time as delivering an authenticated positive social and environmental impact.

Detailed due diligence for a pilot scheme will now take place following a virtual workshop held this week organised by the Global Ethical Finance Initiative and UNDP and involving fund managers, asset owners and specialist impact investors.

The pilot is due to be launched at the COP26 climate summit, currently scheduled to be held in Glasgow in November.

The project comes after a two-year collaboration between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Scottish Government, with work led by the Edinburgh-based Global Ethical Finance Initiative and analysis in the report conducted by merchant banking group R.J. Fleming & Co.

A copy of the report, ‘Mobilising Private Sector Capital in Support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals’, can be read here.


Omar ShaikhOmar Shaikh, managing director of the Global Ethical Finance Initiative, said:

“Having consulted almost 100 representatives from a cross-section of investment professionals and asset owners, representing total assets under management of over US$21.5 trillion, we have undertaken one of the most comprehensive contemporary reviews of the appetite amongst the global investor community for supporting the SDGs and ESG aligned investing.”

“By developing a deep understanding of the challenges investors face in this space we have identified a long-term, private markets solution that we believe will remain attractive despite the economic downturn. Current market conditions present significant opportunities as cash is at a premium, especially for small to medium-sized businesses.”


Jamison Ervin, Manager from United Nations Development Programme, said:

“There is an asymmetry between the availability of supply of private sector finance and the supply of investment-ready projects.”

“Our goal in this partnership is therefore to explore and test new ways of channelling finance to focus on inclusive, nature-based, SDG-aligned enterprises.”

“We are excited to support the development of a new, innovative finance instrument that will help accelerate the deployment of private sector financing where it is most needed.”


James Dauman, Managing Director from R.J. Fleming & Co. said:

“In these uncertain and troubled times, the need to support the SDGs has perhaps never been greater. We are remain fully focused on delivering capital towards making a meaningful positive impact whilst at the same time generating market-rate investment returns.”

Global action on climate adaptation

This article originally appeared on the blog at

Road surfaces that don’t melt during hot summers and drought-resistant seeds are the kind of solutions needed as the world adapts to climate change, according to the Global Commission on Adaptation.

The Commission, which is backed by more than 20 countries, including the UK, Germany and China, is running a Year of Action ahead of its Climate Adaption Summit in the Netherlands in October 2020.

Patrick Verkooijen, CEO, the Global Center on Adaptation, and Co-managing Partner of the Global Commission on Adaptation, said the initiative was about “implementing real solutions around the world which show that adaptation is not just the right thing to do but the smart thing to do.”

“Adaptation not only has economic benefits, but it is also essential if we are to avoid climate apartheid — a world in which the wealthy pay to escape from the worst impacts of climate change, while the poor are left to suffer,” Verkooijen added

International support

More than 75 governments, institutions, civil society organisations, and private sector players are helping to advance eight ‘Action Tracks’. These are focused on: finance and investment, food security and agriculture, nature-based solutions, water, cities, locally-led action, infrastructure, and preventing disasters.

As part of the finance and investment stream, the private-sector led Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment has been launched by London-based insurance broker and advisory business Willis Towers Watson in partnership with the governments of the UK and Jamaica, the Global Commission on Adaptation and the World Economic Forum.

It will focus on developing data and analytical tools to better understand the risks posed by climate change and to align investment flows towards infrastructure capable of withstanding a changing climate.

Resilient infrastructure

John Haley, CEO of Willis Towers Watson, said: “Pricing the risks posed by climate change will create opportunities to build a network of resilient infrastructure in high, medium and low-income countries, enabling us to better prevent future human and financial disasters.”

A report on climate resilient infrastructure from the OECD lists a range of impacts to infrastructure from temperature changes, rising sea levels, changing rainfall patterns and storms. These include melting road surfaces and buckling railway lines; damage to bridges; port and airport disruption and disruption of energy supply due to flooding.

The Global Commission on Adaptation is based in the Netherlands and led by Ban Ki-moon, 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations, Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Kristalina Georgieva, CEO of the World Bank. It is guided by 33 commissioners and 19 convening countries, representing all regions of the globe, and co-managed by the Global Center on Adaptation and World Resources Institute.

The Chartered Banker Institute’s Green Finance Certificate™ is the first global, benchmark qualification for the growing Green Finance sector.

A new dawn for green bonds

This article originally appeared on the blog at

The green bonds market is expected to reach new highs this year after more than $200bn in green bonds and loans were issued in 2019 – a new global record.

Green bonds – also known as climate bonds – are fixed-income investments issued by governments and corporations as debt capital to fund climate and environmental projects.

“Green bonds are those where the proceeds raised are allocated to environmental projects or uses,” explained Simon Thompson, Chief Executive, Chartered Banker Institute. “They might be used to raise capital for a wide variety of purposes, including renewable energy projects, clean transport infrastructure, sustainable buildings, flood defences, or sustainable forestry and agriculture.”

The Climate Bonds Initiative – which promotes and tracks the green bond market internationally – reported in October that $202.2bn in green bonds and loans had been issued in 2019 – an all-time high for the green market.

The US issued the most bonds, followed by France, China, Germany, Netherlands and Sweden. Energy dominates overall use of proceeds at 33%, followed by low carbon buildings on 29%, low carbon transport 20%, water 9%, with waste and land use each at 3%.

Green trillions

In 2020, the initiative forecasts global annual green bond issuances to hit between $350-400bn. But to make a real impact, ‘green trillions’ is the goal.

“New sovereigns are entering the market and pioneers like France, Poland and Nigeria are now repeat green issuers,” said Sean Kidney, CEO and co-founder of the Climate Bonds Initiative.

“Bond size and diversity of issuers is increasing, and noteworthy is the presence of leading European and Chinese banks amongst the largest issuers.

“But $200bn or $400bn a year is not enough to address the climate emergency and provide the capital at the scale urgently required for large scale transition, adaptation and resilience.

“Generating that first $1tn in annual green investment by 2021/22 is now critical. It’s the benchmark from which to measure year on year growth in climate-based investment towards 2030.”

Critical role

In the UK, there are more than 100 green bonds from 16 countries listed on the London Stock Exchange, with the amount raised more than doubling since 2017 from $10.5bn to $26bn.

Globally, green bond issuance has climbed from $45bn in 2015 and $168bn in 2018.

The Institute’s Simon Thompson predicts that debt capital through green bonds will play an increasingly important role in financing the world’s shift to a low carbon economy.

“The scale of investment needed to finance the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon world – $6tn per year – will exceed both the capabilities of the post- financial crisis banking sector and the constrained balance sheets of utility companies,” Thompson said. “This is why the debt capital markets will be significant in facilitating the continued operation of existing projects via refinancing, and the development and construction of a wide range of new projects supporting climate change mitigation and adaptation.”