Industry Engagement

The SGFIN team has been actively engaged in various initiatives and collaborations with industry partners in the sustainability frontier. Such engagements aim to bridge the chasm between finance and economic theories, pricing models, existing and forthcoming assessment frameworks, and practical business and financial needs from the industry.

SGFIN welcomes discussions with corporations, financial institutions, and other stakeholders to explore how we can work together (in the form of consultations, collaborations, and partnerships) to advance the green and sustainable finance sector in Singapore and in the region.

If you have keen interest to explore collaboration opportunities with SGFIN, please contact us at

Here are some highlights of SGFIN's industry engagements:

GAIL 2023 Sustainability Forum on Greening ASEAN Initiatives & Leadership organized by RHT Law | 20 July 2023

Associate Professor Zhang Weina, Deputy Director of SGFIN, was invited to the Forum to moderate the session on “Green Financing and Investment towards Net Zero”. The panelists covered many discussion points ranging from the definitions, regulations, and opportunities of green financing/investment in the region.

Specifically, Adrian Ow, Managing Director, Head of ESG Solutions, Sector Solutions, from UOB Group shared that UOB focused on four areas of green financing such as green loans, sustainability linked loans, sustainable trade finance, and transition finance. He also shared that banks still need to put risk management as the priority in green financing.

Andy Yap, the partner from ERM, the sustainability consulting company, shared his insights about what are the important reporting frameworks, voluntary or compulsory across different Asian countries. Such a macro trend will affect all companies sooner or later, so he suggested for all to get started with the journey of measuring and reporting as early as possible to stay ahead of the curve. Making the reporting does not have to be a compliance or a mere cost item, but the process can help companies to strategize and create new revenue items under the new sustainable business models. When asked how he thought of carbon arbitrage by companies cross the border, he was pessimistic about such behavior because the macro trend of reporting is very strong.

Leung Pui Yan, Partner, Vertex Venture SE Asia & India shared her insights as the venture capitalist that their stakeholders always look for innovative and promising businesses to invest in. Given such a strong trend in sustainability, Vertex also created an internal assessment framework to add in the consideration of social and environmental impact in their investment decisions. She also shared some successful enterprises that Vertex has invested in with positive impact.

Wang Hao as the co-founder of MetaBank shared his personal journey from traditional finance to FinTech. He saw the great potential in the Blockchain technology to be used to benefit the community and social development because of the accessibility and reliability. He also shared about the examples that some of these apps can allow tourists to donate and contribute financially to the tourist sites in the regional developing countries, which in turn spur the local economic activities and employment opportunities. Interestingly, he also shared his recent involvement of catastrophe bonds issuance in Singapore.

The session ended with the key takeaways that there are plenty of opportunities out there for the businesses to tap into, and strategic planning and innovative business ideas are the keys for the business leaders to lead the sustainability journey while still being able to thrive in the financial returns. Prof Zhang ended the session by highlighting that the degree programme and professional training opportunities in sustainable and green finance are available at NUS and SGFIN.

ESG Conference 2023  | 05 July 2023

Assoc Prof Johan Sulaeman, Director of SGFIN, has been invited to speak at the ESG Conference 2023 organised by ANREV on 5th July 2023 and share his insights on The Rise of Sustainability - Implications for the Real Estate Sector.  The conference brought together industry leaders, experts, and stakeholders to share insights, exchange ideas, and explore innovative solutions to address the challenges and opportunities of ESG integration in private equity real estate investments.

The conference agenda includes keynote speeches, panel discussions, and interactive sessions that cover a wide range of topics, such as:

  • ESG trends and best practices in private equity real estate funds in Asia Pacific
  • Climate risk
  • Regulation and Greenwashing
  • Operational carbon and embodied carbon
  • Green building, health and wellbeing
  • Technology solutions

Please click here for more.


Tech-driven Finance Forum  | 23 June 2023

Assoc Prof Johan Sulaeman, Director of SGFIN contributed to the Tech-driven Finance Forum hosted by NUS Asian Institute of Digital Finance (AIDF) on 23 June 2023.

The forum highlights recent development in the digital finance domain. A/P Sulaeman, who is als a Scientist at AIDF, shared the active tech-based initiative related to “Inclusivity in Sustainable Economy: The Role of Technology in Financing Small Enterprises and the Agricultural Sector” – which aims to promote the use of technology to improve sustainability and financing in the agricultural sector. The forum presented a valuable opportunity to engage with industry leaders, academics, and researchers who share a passion for shaping the future of tech and sustainability finance. More details are available from:

The forum coincides with the signing ceremony of the Digital FinTech PhD Co-Education Scheme between AIDF and GIC (Singaporean sovereign wealth fund), which is intended to foster cutting-edge research and talent development in the digital finance domain.


Nikkei Forum: Future of Asia | 26 May 2023

On May 26, 2023, Associate Professor Zhang Weina, Deputy Director of SGFIN, has been invited to speak at the Nikkei Forum “Future of Asia”. The other panellists include Mr. Koichiro Kimura, Chairman and Senior Partner from PwC Japan Group and Mr. Salyadi Saputra, Director of Strategy, Portfolio, and New Ventures of PT Pertamina (Persero) from Indonesia. The host is Mr Kiyoshi Ando, Senior Staff Writer from Nikkei Inc.

The panel has focused on the urgency about business sustainability and mission toward decarbonization that is growing among corporate executives in Asia. Prof Zhang shared how finance can support the decarbonization journey of Asian businesses. She also emphasized that there is a need to nurture and equip a new generation of green finance talents and experts for the transition. Moreover, every firm and country have to identify its own pathway to decarbonization from the lowest cost solution, by mapping out its own marginal abatement cost curve of carbon.

Singapore International Ferrous Week (SIFW) 2023 | Singapore Green Steel Forum | 23 May 2023

On 23 May 2023, Associate Professor Zhang Weina, Deputy Director of SGFIN, joined the panel discussion on “Global Outlook and Trend of Green Steel” at the SIFW Opening Ceremony of Singapore Green Steel Forum. The other panellists included Mr Ian HISCOCK, Head of Consulting and Southeast Asia, from CRU, Mr Mike ZHANG, Managing Director, Global Head of Metals and Mining, from DBS Bank, Mr Dauter OLIVEIRA, Executive Manager of Asian Marketing Development, from Vale, Mr Ted TOTH, Partner, Power & Energy, South & East Asia, from ERM and Mr Seah Kiin Peng, Executive Director and CEO, from BRC Asia.

The panel discussion started with the definition of green steel before moving onto the global trend and outlook for the green transition. Prof Zhang shared her experience in grooming young and passionate talents for the development of green finance. Specifically, her sharing of the Master of Science in Sustainable and Green Finance (MSc SGF) programme has sparked the interests of young people in the audience to better contribute to the sustainable development space. All panellists believed that net-zero transition will continue to generate momentum, and greening the carbon intensive steel industry is a necessary step going forward. Prof Zhang shared her views on three key elements -- “intentional, strategical, and hardworking” for embarking the green transition journey ahead.

Huawei Tech4City Dialogue Session II (Mobility and Finance) | 15 May 2023

Huawei has organised a series of dialogues as part of the Huawei Tech4City Competition. For the Huawei Tech4City Dialogue Session II (Mobility and Finance) on 15 May 2023, Associate Professor Zhang Weina, Deputy Director of SGFIN, was invited to be one of the panellists together with Ravindra Kumar, Head of Emerging Tech and Ecosystem from OCBC Bank, Assistant Professor Kaidi Yang from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at NUS, and Mr Jeffrey Sim, Group CEO of SBS Transit

Prof Zhang shared her insights about sustainable finance and the student experience from the inaugural SGFIN-Fidelity Sustainable Finance Case Competition 2023. To provide tips for competition participants, Prof Zhang dived into the background of the sustainable finance case and the necessity and feasibility of the business solutions for local SMEs to transit into greener business models. She also encouraged the participating teams to be resourceful and critical about their proposed tech solutions for sustainable urban development.

World Bank Group Presentation by Ms. Anshula Kant | 28 April 2023

SGFIN had the privilege of hosting Ms. Anshula Kant, Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer of World Bank Group, at innovation4.0 to discuss the crucial topic of Connecting Investors to a More Sustainable Future in an event moderated by Professor Sumit Agarwal, Managing Director of SGFIN. She shared about the World Bank Group’s mission to reduce poverty and inequality, which is made even more critical by recent shocks including the COVID pandemic and the war in Ukraine. She explained that the World Bank’s support of climate change adaptation and mitigation also supports social sustainability goals, since those that feel the brunt of the impact of climate change-related disasters are often the most vulnerable.

The Role of Financial Institutions in Supporting Net Zero Investments | CIL NUS, 27 April 2023

For the Seminar Series on Climate Change and Investment, Associate Professor Zhang Weina, the Deputy Director of SGFIN, was invited as the panelist along with Sean Kidney (Co-founder and CEO, Climate Bonds Initiative), Kosintr Puongsophol (Financial Sector Specialist, Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department, Asian Development Bank), Stefanie Schacherer (Assistant Professor of Law, Yong Pung How School of Law, Singapore Management University) and Ting Sim (Legal Director, GenZero). 

Prof Zhang presented on the Landscape of Sustainable Finance and discussed sustainable investment strategies like ESG integration and sustainability themed investing. Integration was also raised as a key concept for considering how the social and environmental impacts affect the financial returns.

SGFIN Research Conference on Sustainability | 21 April 2023

SGFIN hosted its inaugural Research Conference on Sustainability on 21 April 2023.  This conference will be held annually, with the aim of being a prominent international forum on sustainability-themed research.  In the inaugural conference, SGFIN had the honour of hosting international researchers who engaged the audience with interesting research presentations and discussions.

The morning sessions explored topics on Climate Policy and Sustainable Supply Chain, while the afternoon sessions involved insightful discussions on Green Instruments and Portfolio Choice. In the afternoon session, Professor Tony Berrada (University of Geneva) presented the Fidelity Best Paper on The Economics of Sustainability-Linked Bonds.

Besides facilitating the exchange of ideas on topics related to sustainable and green finance, this conference also served as a valuable networking opportunity for international researchers, students, and the audience to connect with one another and champion sustainability together.

Policy Panel Sessions | 20 April 2023

On 20 April 2023, the day of SGFIN’s official opening, Professor Sumit Agarwal, Managing Director of SGFIN, hosted a policy panel featuring, Ashwin Balasubramanian (Associate Partner, Sustainability Insights Co-Leader in Asia from McKinsey & Company), Lian Sim Yeo (Special Adviser at SGX and Vice Chair from TCFD), Pin Chuan Loh (AP Treasurer and Singapore Business Services Manager from ExxonMobil Asia Pacific) and Takuya Kamata (Director for Singapore from World Bank), on “Navigating the Changing Landscapes of Sustainability and Climate-Related Policies”.

Associate Professor Johan Sulaeman, Director of SGFIN, also hosted a Technology and Sustainability panel featuring Benjamin Soh (CEO, STACS), David C.Y. Chen (CEO, Agrig8), Sherie Ng (Country Head, Google Cloud) and The Office of Bambang Brodjonegoro on the topic of "Is Technology Complementary or Orthogonal to Sustainability?".

The panellists provided insightful discussions on the role of data, privacy, and responsibility to achieve more inclusive and sustainable ecosystems in various fronts including energy transition, impact bonds, and agriculture development in Asia.

SGFIN-Fidelity Sustainable Finance Case Competition 2023 | 15 April 2023

The inaugural SGFIN-Fidelity Sustainable Finance Case Competition 2023 was organised by the Sustainable and Green Finance Institute (SGFIN) with a focus to encourage NUS students to explore innovative ways to facilitate the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore to transit to more sustainable business models. The students had to consider existing physical and financial resources available for the adoption of renewable energy and prepare business proposals on the feasibility of different adoption options. 40 teams across NUS participated in the Preliminary Round, with 8 teams selected to advance to the Final Round by a panel of judges – Ashwin Balasubramanian from McKinsey, Sylvain Richer de Forges from Bank of Singapore, Lin-Net Koh from Centre for Impact Investing and Practices (CIIP), Sharad Somani from KPMG, Boon Siong Wee from RHT Green, and Zhang Weina from SGFIN.

From banking to consultancy sectors, SGFIN hosted senior sustainability leaders who shared insightful presentations on a range of sustainability and green finance topics and engaged in meaningful discussions with the inaugural batch of students from the MSc SGF programme.

The industry talk series in the first semester began with Ms. Herry Cho, Head of Sustainability and Sustainable Finance at Singapore Exchange, who highlighted the economic and financial implications of sustainability reporting and climate risk management, followed by Mr. Zubin Dabu, Chair of Bank of Singapore (BOS) Sustainability Forum and Mr. Sylvain Richer de Forges, Director of Sustainability at BOS, who provided an overview of BOS’s sustainability approach and the latest sustainability megatrends shaping southeast Asia’s developments.

Next, Ms. Genevieve Soh, Head of Platforms & Ecosystems at Climate Impact X (CIX), was invited to share about how CIX helps businesses to navigate and discover the world of carbon credits and Ms. Esther An, Chief Sustainability Officer of City Development Limited (CDL), emphasised the need for businesses to transition sustainably and work towards a common goal of net-zero at the national and international fronts. Mr. Eric Lim, Chief Sustainability Officer at UOB, explored the key challenges and opportunities for the finance sector in transforming into a greener economy, whereas Mr. Cedric Rimaud, Corporate Bonds and Green Finance Specialist at Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI), introduced various fixed-income instruments in sustainability. Mr. Ashwin Balasubramanian, Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company, ended the industry talk series for the first semester and discussed how Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) is a multi-phase journey in November 2022.

Starting of the industry talk series in the second semester, Ms. Priyaka N Dhingra, Associate Director, ESG (Sustainable Finance) at KPMG, shared various sustainable finance frameworks and interesting statistics on carbon emissions. Next, Ms. Lin-Net Koh, Director of the Centre for Impact Investing and Practices (CIIP), presented on the impact investing landscape in Singapore and Asia and Mr. Helge Muenkel, DBS Chief Sustainability Officer, shared on DBS’s sustainability journey and their net-zero pathways. Ms. Bee Lay Tan, Chief Sustainability Officer of SDAX Exchange, shared valuable insights on sustainable investing that SDAX is facilitating and Mr. Benjamin Soh, Managing Director of STACS, discussed the exciting development and growth of ESGpedia - an all-in-one platform to bridge the gaps in ESG-related data collection and reporting. Last but not least, Ms. Rehmat Johal, Sustainable and Transition Solutions Strategist of BlackRock, ended the industry talk series in the second semester with her sharing on BlackRock’s sustainability and transition investing.

As a result of the whole year’s industry talk series by these senior leaders, our MSGF students and researchers at SGFIN have benefited tremendously from the shared insights and discussions. We look forward to a continuing close collaboration with the industry to nurture new talents for the emerging sustainable and green finance sectors.

Sustainable and Green Finance Institute (SGFIN) hosted the IMF Seminar on “Scaling Up Private Climate Finance in Developing and Emerging Economies” and had the pleasure of inviting IMF speakers Torsten EhlersCharlotte Gardes-Landolfini and discussant Vinod Thomas from NUS (Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy) who shared interesting insights about climate finance. International Monetary Fund described potential issues with ESG scoring features and highlighted challenges in scaling up private financing such as the lack of effective carbon pricing, still-strong fossil fuel investment and underdeveloped climate information architecture. IMF’s Global Financial Stability Report (Chap.2) describes a series of innovative financial instruments that could help overcome some of these challenges. Aiming to facilitate global transition to net zero, International Monetary Fund is playing an increasingly pivotal role in reducing the climate financing gap through its new Resilience and Sustainability Trust (RST).

SGX-NUS Case Competition: Green Badge, March 2022

In March 2022, Associate Professor Zhang Weina (SGFIN Deputy Direct) served as a judge for the SGX-NUS Case Competition 2022 along with other judges Professor Lawrence Loh from NUS Business School and Michael Tang from RegCo and SGX.

The three winning teams presented impressive frameworks and methodologies on how to certify Singapore firms with “Green Badge” to encourage sustainable business models and solutions. Students also drew valuable lessons from London Stock Exchange in its way of granting green certification to the listed companies. The competition has attracted 27 teams in the first round and six teams made it into the final round.

Social Innovation Challenge 2021, October 2021

In October 2021, Prof Weina Zhang (SGFIN Deputy Director) served as a judge in the Social Innovation Challenge 2021 along with Mr Ghislain Devouge, Senior Vice President of Consumer TIC from UL, Ms Sok Mei Wong, Vice President from UL ASEAN/ANZ, and Mr. Jochen Lorenz, Head of ASEAN Region of grow Innovation Hub, A Bosch Company. The finalist teams from NUS, NTU, SMU and INSEAD explored potential models for successful integration of the informal sector to tackle plastic waste / ocean-bound waste, address potential safety, labor, and human rights issues, and enhance community development.

As a part of the MBA Dean’s Challenge, SIC is an annual event that aims to promote the understanding of sustainability, ethics, and impact-related issues to business school students by solving cases having a high impact. It also builds an ecosystem and fosters relationships among B-schools in Singapore and corporate partners.


In March 2021, Prof Weina Zhang (SGFIN Deputy Director) served as a judge for the SGX-NUS Case Competition 2021 along with other judges from DBS, SGX, and Carbon Care Asia.

The finalist student teams analyzed suitable carbon trading platforms for Asian firms, including Singaporean firms. The teams explored and discussed the rationale, challenges, opportunities, technologies, and the implementation details of the carbon trading platform. This competition is held in aiming for an official establishment of a carbon trading platform by SGX and local partners. The winning team was given the opportunity to implement the proposed idea along with an internship opportunity with SGX.

If you have keen interest to explore collaboration opportunities with SGFIN, please contact us at