Sustainable Finance


Case Description

With the UN estimating that nations must raise ambition by five times to meet the 1.5ᵒC target, it is clear that rapid global action is needed.

Teams will be asked to create new and innovative financial products, solutions or mechanisms that scale up sustainable financing. Entries must be commercially viable while generating tangible environmental and/or social benefits.

Models should aim to overcome the challenges and barriers that the financial community is facing in finding viable, smart models that consider ESG (environmental, social and governance) factors. These challenges include demonstrating additionally, measurability and consistency of impact, and high upfront costs.

The financing solutions must be helping to deliver/fund/increase flows of finance towards sustainable business models and innovations that will make a tangible difference on climate change and/or the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Models must be market – not policy – driven, scalable and have a measurable impact on key sustainability outcomes.


Winning Team $10,000

Runner Up $5,000

This year’s competition will provide teams the opportunity to showcase their transformative ideas and associated skills to design new business and financial models that are grounded in sustainable development principles using globally established frameworks to enhance social and/or environmental outcomes. The competition addresses challenges facing today’s business leaders in finance concerning the perceived trade-off between returns and impact, which are increasingly contested, offering a unique opportunity for impactful change.
— Richard Blundell, Managing Director, Cleantech, MaRS Discovery District