Ethical perspectives in finance. A guest lecture by Professor Peru Sasia - President of the European Federation of Ethical and Alternative Banks (FEBEA)

The debate around the connection between economic activity and socio-environmental impact has become increasingly relevant, and as a result, ethical finance is emerging from its niche. However, the terms “ethical finance” and “sustainable finance” are often confused and overlapping, and the risk of greenwashing is high.


This lecture explains how ethical finance works and which innovations it has engendered in financial and economic systems. The lecture clarifies the links between finance and ethics, going beyond Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing, and offers an approach vital for most financial sectors, from microcredit to impact investing. 


We will review the goals, constraints, and opportunities of environmental and social investments and explore the more innovative experiences in banking and investing. The lecture will help students understand the phenomena in depth, distinguishing the strategic, managerial, organizational, and risk practices of ethical finance. It goes beyond just presenting good practice by describing the functioning and characteristics of a coherent ethical financial institution. The contents adopt a holistic but critical approach concerning the practices exercised by financial intermediaries and regarding regulatory aspects.

Professor Peru Sasia has a Ph.D. in Chemical Sciences from the University of the Basque Country. For 20 years, he developed his professional activity in the industrial field, mainly in the environmental and occupational health areas. During this time, he published numerous research papers and patents, especially in the field of water treatment. He is the Head of the Humanities Department of the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences and a Professor of Civic and Professional Ethics at the University of Deusto. He is also a member of the Centre for Applied Ethics at the same university and is responsible for the Transfer Knowledge Line. He is the author of numerous articles and conference papers on subjects related to corporate social responsibility, and economic ethics, as well as the books "La empresa a contracorriente. Cuestiones de ética empresarial," "Responsabilidad Social Universitaria: manual de primeros pasos," "Banca Ética y Ciudadanía," and "La perspectiva Ética." Since 2013, he has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Credit Cooperative Banca Popolare Etica, holding a Vice-Presidency since May 2019. From 2013 to 2017, he was a member of the Confederal Council of the Spanish Network of Alternative and Solidarity Economy (Reas). Since May 2017, he has held the Presidency of the European Federation of Ethical and Alternative Banks (Febea).

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