Supporting research that could lead to a more sustainable world
BNP Paribas Asset Management is to become the asset management sponsor of the Global Research Alliance for Sustainable Finance and Investment (‘GRASFI’), the network of leading research universities around the world established to promote rigorous and impactful academic research into sustainable finance and investment.
Sponsorship will take the form of financial support for the annual academic conference held by GRASFI members. BNPP AM will also consider providing grants to designated PhD students to fund discrete research projects.
Jane Ambachtsheer, Global Head of Sustainability at BNP Paribas Asset Management and Adjunct Professor, University of Toronto, comments: “We are very pleased to embark on this partnership with the Global Research Alliance for Sustainable Finance and Investment. Issues such as climate change, population growth and social inequality pose new and complex risks, and it is our duty to address these on behalf of our clients, society as a whole and future generations .
“Accessing emerging academic research and hosting academic interns within our organisation will inform and support this aim. It will also help us to solve complex issues such as how to measure the social and environmental impact of investments. In addition, asset managers must actively engage  in public debate to help create a global economy that is more equitable and more respectful of the environment, and our sponsorship of GRASFI will help to support research that could lead to major progress towards a more sustainable world.”
High-quality academic research can inform developments in both the theory and practice of sustainable finance and investment, helping to align the financial system with global environmental sustainability. This is a necessary condition for the implementation of the Paris Climate Change Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals.
Rob Bauer, Professor of Finance, Maastricht University and Co-Chair of GRASFI, comments: “The value of GRASFI will be greatly enhanced through active engagement with investment practitioners, and BNP Paribas Asset Management ’s leadership on sustainable investing makes them an ideal partner. We look forward to a collaborative and dynamic relationship.”
Ben Caldecott, Director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme at the University of Oxford and Co-Chair of GRASFI, comments: “There is significant and growing interest in sustainable finance and investment among practitioners, policymakers and civil society, and the breadth and depth of academic research needs to keep pace. GRASFI aims to nurture the emerging academic field, including by supporting PhD students and early career researchers. BNP Paribas Asset Management’s sponsorship will help us do that.”
Founded in 2017, GRASFI now consists of 19 global research universities with expertise in sustainable finance and investment, and aims to promote multi-disciplinary research by developing collaboration between academic researchers, as well as fostering the development of graduate students and junior academics.
GRASFI will hold its inaugural conference on 5-7 September 2018 at the European Centre for Corporate Engagement (‘ECCE’) at Maastricht University School of Business and Economics. The conference, entitled ‘Managing and Financing Responsible Businesses’, will host researchers from around the world who will present peer-reviewed academic papers on areas including finance, accounting, management, strategy, law and development economics.
 For more on BNP Paribas Asset Management’s approach to environmental, social and governance issues, click here
 For more on BNP Paribas Asset Management’s approach to engagement, click here