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Department of Finance

Launch of the "Initiative in Sustainable Finance" by the Department of Finance at the University of Zurich

This new initiative builds bridges between academia and industry, policymakers, and society

Switzerland is one of the world's leading financial centers, managing approximately a quarter of the world's cross-border assets, and Zurich ranks among the top financial centers in the world. 

The first sustainable financial products were launched in Switzerland as early as the 1980s, making the Swiss financial center a pioneer in the field of sustainable finance. 

Switzerland is rapidly gaining a reputation as a global hub for financial innovation due to its achievements in both sustainability and technology. At the heart of this hub is the University of Zurich. 

Initiative in Sustainable Finance 

The Department of Finance at the University of Zurich has recently decided to launch an Initiative in Sustainable Finance. This lighthouse project spans multiple disciplines within academic finance and aims to tackle current and pressing issues in sustainable finance making use of a wide range of methods, including novel applications of artificial intelligence techniques. These issues range from climate change and biodiversity conservation to social and governmental concerns.  

The new initiative builds bridges between academia and industry, policymakers, and society. By fostering collaboration among diverse stakeholders, we are committed to making sustainable finance not just an abstract concept, but a tangible reality.  

The initiative is organized around four focus areas: 

  • Financial Institutions and Sustainability 
  • Artificial Intelligence and Sustainable Finance
  • Private Wealth and Sustainable Investing
  • Climate and Biodiversity Finance 

Academic Excellence in Sustainable Finance 

This initiative of the Department of Finance is led by Prof. Zacharias Sautner and Dr. Falko Paetzold. Current active members include Prof. Steven Ongena, Prof. Markus Leippold and Dr. Chiara Colesanti Senni. In the coming years, the group of researchers will grow. 

Our ambition is to develop the Department of Finance into Europe's leading research institution in sustainable finance by 2030. Based on excellent academic research, we will generate and regularly share in-depth knowledge, insights, and data in sustainable finance. The academic output will enable industry leaders, policymakers, and other key stakeholders to make research-based decisions in sustainable finance related questions. 

We invite you to join us for the launch of our Sustainable Finance Initiative on March 5, 2024. At this event, you'll have the opportunity to explore our initiative, gain new insights, and connect with our experts. 


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