Insegnamento a.a. 2023-2024


Department of Finance

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 26
TS (6 credits - I sem. - OB  |  SECS-P/09)
Course Director:

Classes: 26 (I sem.)

Mission & Content Summary


This course aims to introduce students to the sustainability issues and ethical challenges facing today's financial industry. The course leverages the joint expertise of the class to help understand the entire sustainable finance universe, from shareholder engagement to constructing innovation driven ESG portfolios. Through lecture formats, data-driven workshops, hands-on team projects, and real case studies of innovative financial players, you will be exposed to the methods, contexts, and insights that enable providers and seekers of financing to create value.


  • Principles of sustainable finance

  • Measuring sustainability: ESG data and its challenges

  • Investor engagement and activism

  • Measuring ESG performance and pricing of risks: Can investors do well by doing good?

  • Investor demand for sustainability and the many facets of sustainable finance in public and private markets

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...

Understand and explain core investment and financing techniques concepts; understand and explain the foundations of sustainable finance


At the end of the course student will be able to...

Apply the key concepts of sustainable finance and critically assess the incentives and actions of firms, investors, and other stakeholders regarding ESG, as well as their outcomes.

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Exercises (exercises, database, software etc.)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Individual assignments
  • Group assignments
  • Interactive class activities on campus/online (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)


  • Guest speakers: The course will feature guest speakers that are experts in sustainable finance.
  • Exercises: Students will work on numerical exercises and data exercises covering multiple databases (Bloomberg, Refinitiv, Sustainalytics, CRSP/COMPUSTAT, among others).
  • Case studies: Students will work on their favorite case studies, assigned in a competitive bidding process; the cases are assigned to give a sense of solving allegedly real problems facing a firm
  • Individual assignments: Students work through individual assignments (quizzes) throughout the course, helping students to synthesize the material.
  • Group assignments: Students will work on both case studies and self-chosen team projects in groups, with the latter assigned in a competitive bidding process.
  • Interactive class activities: The course will include a keystone online simulation, role playing during case discussions, and live polling during classes.


Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  • Individual assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)


Course assessment is identical for attending and non-attending students. Your course grade will reflect your performance, with weights determined as follows:

  • 0-10% Online participation        
  • 0-20% Quizzes (4 quizzes, 5% each)
  • 0-30% Team projects (3 cases 5% each, 1 presentation 15%)  
  • 40-100% Final exam


Online participation Active online participation will be required to be a successful participant in the course. There is one online participation grade. The weight is 10% if better than the final exam, and 0% otherwise.

Quizzes They are aimed at helping synthesize the course material and assessing one’s ability to apply analytical tools and institutional knowledge. Each student hands in all the quizzes. You are allowed, and encouraged, to work on the quizzes with other class members, this significantly increases learning. You are not allowed to use answers obtained from outside the class, for example from online sources—this is cheating, it is unethical, and it violates the Bocconi Honor Code. There is one individual quiz grade. The weight is 20% if better than the final exam, and 0% otherwise.

Team projects Team projects include case writeups and a presentation. Teams are formed in the first session. There is one team projects grade. The weight is 30% if better than the final exam, and 0% otherwise.

  • Cases: They are designed to give students a sense of solving allegedly real problems facing a manager. Each team hands in write-ups of three of the cases that we cover, cases are allocated in a bidding process in the first session (3 cases 5% each).
  • Presentation: Topics will be self-chosen and be presented by all teams in dedicated sessions.

Final exam The final exam will cover all course material. We will discuss the precise format during the course. There is one final exam grade. The weight of the exam grade depends on the quality of the other components, and ranges from 40 to 100%.


Non-exam grade components have expiration conditions, the details are covered in class.

Teaching materials


  • Course note packet (on Blackboard): The online course pack contains video materials, syllabus, class lecture notes, technical documents, journal articles, and data files.
  • Cases (on Blackboard): a set of cases we work through in class.
  • FAQ (on Blackboard): an up-to-date guide to Frequently Asked Questions about the course.
  • Textbook: There is no textbook for the course.
  • Pre-readings (on Blackboard): See the course notes for pre-reading to be done before the course formally begins.
Last change 25/05/2023 11:23