Sustainability and Financial Management

Redefine the bottom line

Sustainability and Financial Management student standing in front of the Environment 3 building on Waterloo campus

Many of today’s investors, businesses, and governments are focussed on sustainability as well as dollars and cents.

The field of sustainable finance is giving rise to a greener future while moving away from the limited approaches of the past. For companies, there’s value in aligning environmental responsibility with profits, using environmental, social, and governance reporting to drive policy and decision-making for long-term success.

That means a growing demand for a new breed of financial experts who can integrate people, profits, and the planet into the bottom line. Through this one-of-a-kind program, you’ll fuse knowledge of accounting and financial management with expertise in sustainability. And with 16 months of paid co-op work experience, you can explore careers and gain valuable skills before you graduate!

Program highlights

Kickstart your credentials. Sustainability and Financial Management (SFM) is a direct route to a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

Grow your own green business. Have an idea for an environmental business or social enterprise? Take a course in green entrepreneurship. Or drop by Entrepreneurship at Environment (E @ E) to work on your business plan with one-on-one coaching from experienced advisors.


  • Offered as a co-op program only
  • Graduate with a Bachelor of Sustainability and Financial Management (BSFM)
  • Offered by the School of Accounting and Finance and Faculty of Environment

What will you learn?

First-year courses

Throughout your degree, you'll take a mix of accounting, finance, sustainability, and environmental courses.

Learn about the courses and specializations you'll take as part of your degree.

    Co-op = relevant paid work experience

    Explore careers by alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms throughout your degree – and graduate with 16 months of paid experience. You might work as a sustainability analyst, financial analyst, ESG internal reporting associate, or business analyst.

    Learn how co-op works.


    Customize your degree

    After finishing second year, you’ll customize your pathway by selecting a specialization that reflects your interests.

    • Corporate Sustainability (CPA pathway)
    • Government Policy and Financial Markets (CFA pathway)
    • Indigenous Entrepreneurship

    A student's perspective

    headshot of nathan sitting in front of a treeDiscover career opportunities for each of the specializations in SFM by someone who knows the program: Ethan, a current student.


    Sustainability is our future. Become a finance expert who can link our natural systems and social impacts to financial outcomes.

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    Join our monthly newsletter for tips such as choosing a university program, life at Waterloo, and finances.

    Contact a student ambassador

    Ask a School of Accounting and Finance student about their classes, getting involved, their co-op experiences, and more!


    What can you do with a Sustainability and Financial Management degree?

    Your career path will depend on your interests. You might use your environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) knowledge to lead organizations toward a greener world. 

    You could pursue further education in a variety of areas, including a Master of Accounting (MAcc) program at Waterloo or elsewhere. You can also pursue your Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation depending on the specialization you choose after your second year. You can also choose to go directly into your career, including the following possible career options.

    • Accountant
    • Financial consultant
    • Sustainability analyst
    • ESG policy analyst
    • Internal auditor

    Learn about the future of careers in business.

    Admission requirements

    Ontario students: six Grade 12 U and/or M courses including 

    • Any Grade 12 U English (minimum final grade of 75%)
    • Advanced Functions (minimum final grade of 75%)
    • Calculus and Vectors (minimum final grade of 75%)
    • Completion of the SAF Admissions Assessment (SAFAA)

    Recommended courses: Principles of Financial Accounting, Mathematics of Data Management

    Anticipated admission average: Individual selection from the mid-80s

    Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.

    How to apply

    Apply directly to this program on your application.

    Connect with us

    Questions about courses, programs, requirements, careers?

    Please email Jesse MacLeod, our SFM program manager, who can answer any questions you have.


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