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Award-winning course

A course taught at Cambridge Judge Business School focusing on the purpose of the finance industry, and hence its critical role in promoting sustainability, wins the annual Page Prize for Sustainability Issues in Business.

Gold trophy against a soft focus green nature background.

A course designed at Cambridge Judge Business School by David Pitt-Watson and Ellen Quigley was named grand prize winner of the 13th annual Page Prize for Sustainability Issues in Business by the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina.

The course, entitled Purpose of Finance, was designed for the Master of Finance (MFin) programme at Cambridge Judge.

The award reflects the course’s focus on sustainability through a “finance lens” and its “efforts to introduce or substantially upgrade sustainability courses or associated coursework into national and international business school curricula,” the Moore School said.

The award citation said the recipients “set themselves apart by focusing on topics that have not been well-represented in business curricula”. Specifically, the course highlights why the finance industry exists, and its role as an agent of environmental and social change, as well as its more traditional functions. It helps students step back and recognise the many different influences which create a productive finance industry, including the tools to consider effective sustainability strategies.

Dr Ellen Quigley is a Senior Research Associate in Climate Risk & Sustainable Finance at the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk at the University of Cambridge and Advisor to the Chief Financial Officer (Responsible Investment) at the University of Cambridge. David Pitt-Watson has been Pembroke Visiting Professor of Finance and Visiting Fellow at Cambridge Judge.

“Covered less frequently in business education despite the increasing role sustainability plays in finance, the graduate course offers deep, thought-provoking questions and challenges students to rethink traditional theory,” the award announcement says.

Ellen and David said: “The study of finance must surely begin with an understanding of the purpose of the industry. Only with that in mind can we understand how markets, institutions, competition, regulation, cultures and technology can be combined to create an effective financial eco-system that serves the outside world.”

The award committee made its decision based on course content, originality and ability to replicate across other universities and programmes.