New SFM degree woos next generation of green financial experts

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Blake Phillips
When Blake Phillips began his doctorate in finance in 2009, he was asked to declare a focus. With previous degrees in biology and forestry and an interest in conservation, he zeroed in on sustainable finance.   

His supervisor balked, steering Phillips away from what was then considered a niche segment. Warned that there would be no jobs in that sector, Phillips was advised to commit to one or the other: sustainability or finance. Today, Phillips is the director of a new program at the University of Waterloo that aims to cultivate precisely the kind of finance professional that Phillips always wanted to be: comfortable in the languages of both finance and sustainability.  

The Sustainability and Financial Management program is the latest of these, a partnership between the School of Accounting and Finance and the Faculty of Environment. In the fall of 2022, the first cohort – some 50 students – embarked on its bachelor’s program. 

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