Imperial College London

Imperial launches green finance student competition to tackle climate change



The Business School is calling on postgraduate students from across the UK to come up with business solutions for mitigating climate change.

The Climate Investment Challenge, run by the Centre for Climate Finance and Investment at Imperial College Business School, asks students to develop and describe creative financial solutions and innovations that will help businesses to address climate change, in a bid to win a prize worth £7,500.

The importance of climate finance 

Climate finance refers to local, national or transnational financing, drawn from public, private and alternative sources, that seeks to support mitigation and adaptation actions that will address climate change. Schemes could span everything from large and small scale renewable energy projects that offset fossil-fuel power generation, to land-reclamation projects that reduce the risk of flooding or forest fires. 

The competition is open to all current postgraduate students (Masters or PhD-level) studying at a UK university and is open to students from all academic backgrounds.

Participants will be judged for their submissions against the following criteria: 

  • The degree of innovation – the level of originality in the proposal, whether or not it taps an unexplored climate opportunity or potential for generating new sources of capital.
  • Feasibility – the credibility of the idea and its potential to materialise, the financial and non-financial risks involved and the level of complexity involved with the proposal.
  • Scalability – the potential for being used more than once, how rapidly and economically the proposal can be used again and any specific requirements to scale-up investment.
  • Climate impact – whether the climate impact is near-term or long-term, impact on stakeholders after implementation, measurements and KPIs involvement in measuring the impact (e.g. emissions reduction, energy savings, reduced flood risk, land value.)

Dr Charles Donovan, Director of the Centre for Climate finance and Investment said: “This competition is a unique opportunity for postgraduate students from all parts of Imperial and across the UK to play their part in coming up with innovative solutions to help businesses tackle the global climate crisis and realise the abundance of green investment opportunities available to them.  This exciting initiative reflects the important work we’re doing to help create the next generation of responsible business leaders through our teaching and research.”

To participate in the Climate Investment Challenge, students must form teams of between two and five participants. The deadline for submissions is February 9, 2020 and more details can be found on the Climate Investment Challenge website

Funding support

The competition has been made possible through support from three corporate sponsors. These companies include Candriam, an asset management company that specialises in sustainable investing, Standard Chartered, an international bank with a commitment to addressing climate change and Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners, a specialist investment company that focusses exclusively on low-carbon and renewable energy infrastructure investment and asset management in the UK, US and Australia.

Quinbrook is also the founding donor of the Centre for Climate Finance and Investment and has renewed its sponsorship for a further three years to help the Centre generate better understanding of investment opportunities in areas such as renewable energy, clean technologies and climate-resilient infrastructure, through collaboration between academics and practitioners.



Laura Singleton

Laura Singleton
Communications Division


Comms-strategy-Learning-and-teaching, Comms-strategy-Real-world-benefits, Climate-change
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