Building sustainable financial products

Entry criteria

This award is open to lending, insurance, investing, capital markets, FinTech and non-financial businesses. It recognises organisations from these communities that have developed new financial products or services; those may be used by themselves or provided to another organisation and are aimed at driving sustainable outcomes. 

Examples could include, but are not limited to: 

  • A lending or debt instrument that directly enables the provision of sustainable products and services to the commercial or consumer market places.
  • A fund that enables institutional or retail investors to mitigate ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) risks and/or take advantage of opportunities.
  • A stock exchange that might have created a new index for sustainable securities/instruments, or introduced other ways to drive sustainable approaches across markets as a whole e.g. via a reporting requirement or listing requirement.
  • A telecommunications company that develops a product that enables customers to pay for simple transactions via a mobile payment solution which provides an informal financial service to many people who would normally be excluded.
  • A hedge fund focusing on investment products based on their long-term positive ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) impacts.
  • A specific fund focused on minimising climate risks.  

In all cases, it is expected that the product or service is, or has the potential to be, financially significant to the organisation as a whole.

This award does not include the adaptaiton or development of new processes. Please see our award Investing and financing if your organisation develops new financial processes.

The entrant must demonstrate that:

  • The product or service has delivered tangible environmental and/or social benefits while being commercially viable.
  • The outcomes would not have been achieved without innovation in the financial techniques or skills used and that they added value.
  • The product or service is EITHER of a financially significant size to the organisation OR a pilot which, if successful, could be scaled up. 
  • The organisation is actively working with its clients or key stakeholder base to enable successful adoption and scale.  
  • The product or service is core to the activities of the organisation itself.

Please ensure you have reviewed and understood the Conditions of Entry before submitting your entry.

If you have any queries about the categories or awards process, please contact our Awards Manager at

Entries for the 2018 Finance for the Future Awards have now closed. This year’s finalists will be announced in August.


Please see below links to previous awards winners and highly commended projects or initiatives. In considering these, please note that categories in previous years were different from this year’s categories and that projects were considered innovative at the time of the attribution of those awards.

Start-up and growing enterprises category

  • 2017 winner’s case study: Through innovative financing of the business model by its parent, Strasser Capital, MEP Werke was able to lease solar power systems and other energy efficient appliances to German house owners on terms which are more accessible to ordinary households than previously available.

Investing and financing category

  • 2016 winners’ case study: Bridges Ventures is a fund manager specialising in sustainable and impact investment across health and wellbeing, education and skills, sustainable living and underserved markets. The manager wanted to demonstrate that this investment approach could be sustainable and attract investors more widely.

Public and not-for-profit sectors category

  • 2017 highly commended case study: FAST, the Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade, is an international organisation set up to facilitate access to finance for SMEs working in sustainable agriculture and forestry sectors and so boost sustainable development. In 2016, to build on its expertise in creating a set of impact indicators and an understanding of ecologically intelligent approaches to agriculture and forestry, it launched AXiiS, an online platform, to match SMEs in the field with investment capital.

Innovative new idea category

  • 2014 winner’s case study: Threadneedle launched a UK Social Bond Fund which give investors the opportunity to put their money into organisations that deliver socially desirable outcomes as well as financial returns.