MSc in Climate Change and Sustainable Finance students delved into Crédit Agricole’s finance ecosystem to explore real-world sustainability
In December, students enrolled in the MSc in Climate Change and Sustainable Finance had the opportunity to visit Crédit Agricole’s campus in Paris. Maryam Ahmadian shares insights about the programme and her experience from this learning expedition, while the academic director, Laurent Deville, provides insight into the significant opportunity of having Crédit Agricole groupe (through Crédit Agricole Caisse Nord de France, Crédit Agricole CIB, and Amundi) as a corporate sponsor for this programme.
Maryam, can you share some information about the MSc in Climate Change & Sustainable Finance
The MSc in Climate Change & Sustainable Finance is a Double Degree programme in partnership with Mines Paris-PSL. During the first semester, classes are held on the Mines Paris-PSL campus in Sophia-Antipolis, covering topics such as energy transition, renewables, engineering, climate change and climate policy. The second semester takes place on the EDHEC Nice campus, focusing on finance. Throughout the MSc in Climate Change & Sustainable Finance, we worked on projects and received Python courses. Many courses also featured numerous conferences, making the learning experience both interesting and valuable.
Can you share your experience on the Crédit Agricole Campus.
We started with a warm welcome session, a visit of the campus, and then we explored topics such as energy strategy, CSR strategies, agri-food transition, hydrogen, agriculture and biodiversity. The speakers were highly engaged and delighted to share valuable information with us. We had the opportunity to ask questions and engage in discussions. Moreover, during our interactions with the speakers, we discussed the possibility of completing an internship at the Crédit Agricole, and they assured us that not speaking French, is not a problem; while speaking French is beneficial for office communication, it is not a barrier for working there.
What did you gain from this learning expedition?
Before the visit, my primary question was centred on understanding Crédit Agricole’s initiatives in terms of ESG and their real-world implications. The speakers, notably the Head of ESG, provided insights into their approach to sustainability. While specific details remain unclear, I have gained valuable insights into how they integrate the content from our courses within the bank.
Comprehending these practical applications is essential, offering significant context for banking operations. Exploring the bank’s overall environment and operations, especially in the world of finance, is particularly intriguing and it gave us the opportunity to truly experience and understand the environment.
Can you share with us how you envision leveraging the resources provided by our sponsor Crédit Agricole?
Visiting Crédit Agricole’s campus and listening to the speakers open my eyes regarding where I should focus my studies, particularly in the area of sustainability and energy transition. I gained insights into specific area they are working on, providing clarity on where to direct my energy.
Laurent, why and how does having Crédit Agricole as a partner in the Master in Sustainable Finance contribute to the programme’s success?
As we say to our students, Finance is obviously not the solution to climate change but its resources are necessary to adapt the world to this unique challenge planet is facing. On our side, it is key to be able to follow the industry and regulatory trends and needs and make sure the content taught will not only be relevant from an academic perspective but also useful for our future graduates. As a group, Crédit Agricole is an institution active and engaged in the field of sustainable finance. As partners, they contribute to the evolution of the programme curriculum. We also co-design relevant and topical projects students work on. And from an employer’s perspective, they offer job and internship opportunities in all fields of sustainable banking and investment.
Laurent, what ways do you believe this collaboration can enhance the students’ academic and professional experience?
The partnership with multiples entities of the group (Crédit Agricole Caisse Nord de France, Crédit Agricole CIB, and Amundi) allows students to access a wide range of perspectives regarding financing and investing for the transition, be it at the level of retail, institutional or corporate investors. Students can see how solutions discussed in the classroom are implemented in the real world and understand the challenges the financial industry faces.