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What Can An MBA Teach You About Sustainable Investment?

A good understanding of sustainable investment is crucial for finance professionals today—and the John Molson School of Business has made it a prominent part of its MBA in Investment Management

Sustainable investment is on the rise. Between 2016 and 2018, the global value of sustainable investment assets grew by 34%. This trend is being driven not only by changing attitudes, but also by the fact that sustainable funds usually perform very well.

Amr Addas, adjunct professor of finance at Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business, says companies that incorporate sustainability into an investment strategy enhance returns and lower risk.

“Sustainability issues are investment issues and anyone who wants to pursue a career in the investment industry must be aware of this," he says.

Amr brings his sustainable investing expertise to the MBA in Investment Management at John Molson, helping students graduate with the strong grasp on the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles they need to navigate the financial landscape.

The need for sustainability knowledge

Today’s financial institutions need ESG savvy professionals to help tackle sustainability challenges.

According to a study by Deloitte, 53% of financial services firms report that sustainability is, or is becoming, central to everything the organization does. 

The desire to develop sustainability insights into his financial career is exactly what led Mohammed Haidar to the MBA in Investment Management at John Molson.

Mohammed began his career in corporate finance, working as a financial analyst with data analytics firm Nielsen, in Dubai. However, it soon became clear that his interests lay elsewhere.

Hoping to access new opportunities in corporate banking or investment, he decided to cross continents and upskill, searching for finance-focused MBA programs in North America.

The John Molson School of Business quickly stood out for its strong reputation and sustainability credentials.

“I wanted to add sustainable investing experience to my portfolio, but there are few opportunities to do so in the Gulf at the moment,” he explains. 


ESG investment has been on the rise over the past few years, Bloomberg data shows

Hands-on experience in sustainable investing

To give students like Mohammed the hands-on experience they need to tackle today’s ESG investing challenges, John Molson has created a sustainable investing practicum, directed by Amr and delivered in conjunction with leading financial services group Manulife.

“The practicum recruits students to manage a fund with a sustainable investing mandate,” Amr explains. “The focus is on stocks aligned with the transition to a low carbon economy.”

Students who have taken part so far have been excited about the project, he notes. It is also an attractive opportunity to get exposure to Manulife executives.

The practicum is especially relevant for Karl Gagné (right), a current MBA in Investment Management student who has worked with Manulife since 2017.


“It’s a great opportunity to work toward our goal of being at the forefront of sustainable investing—one of the most important drivers our industry has seen in a long time,” he reflects.  

Karl started out as a case manager with the insurance side of Manulife. After learning all he could, he wanted to move up the company and take on roles that allowed him to be more creative.

Karl realized that getting the right education would be key. The John Molson program made perfect sense, and after his first year he had already learned enough to take on a new role as financial analyst.

In 2020, Karl moved to Manulife Investment, and is currently working as an associate relationship manager. The sustainability knowledge he developed at John Molson is proving useful for the role. 

At Manulife Investment, ESG analysis is integrated into the investment process at each step, he notes.

“Now, when clients ask me questions about ESG metrics, I am able to navigate this.”

Incorporating sustainability at every step

Karl and Mohammed also studied a whole module in sustainable investing. The program is available to every MBA in Investment Management student, ensuring that they have been exposed to this crucial topic by the time they graduate.

“It’s a very hands-on course,” Amr explains. “We have conversations and dive deep into what sustainable investing is, what ESG factors are, and how these tie into the whole investing ecosystem.” 

The goal is for students to emerge with good exposure to sustainable investing, and what’s going on in the industry.

“That course really opened our eyes to the practicalities of sustainable investing,” says Mohammed (right). “We got our hands dirty studying real cases.”


One highlight of the module was analyzing corporate sustainability reports for a given sector. Mohammed’s group was assigned nine companies in gold mining, and he says that taking a deep dive into ESG in the sector was eye-opening.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to accelerate interest in sustainability issues, the demand for professionals with a strong grasp of ESG isn’t going anywhere. 

“Sustainable investments are no longer just nice to have, or something to make a company look good,” Amr concludes. 

“Today, all the big firms in the investment world have been clear about the importance of sustainability factors.”

Student Reviews

Concordia University: John Molson School of Business




On Campus

Educational advancement

My time at Concordia College has been set apart by huge self-awareness. The steady instructors and staff have assisted me with fostering my abilities and information. The college offers a scope of administrations and extracurricular exercises, giving various open doors to understudies to reach out. In general, my involvement with Concordia has been positive and improving.




On Campus

My growth

"My time at Concordia University has been marked by significant personal growth. The supportive teachers and staff have helped me to develop my skills and knowledge. The university offers a range of services and extracurricular activities, providing numerous opportunities for students to get involved. Overall, my experience at Concordia has been positive and enriching.




On Campus

Communications and Culture Studies

I am currently enrolled in my first year in the Communication and Culture studies program. I have met so many incredible people and have already acquired skills that I will serve me in my professional career. The courses are dynamic, engaging and intellectually stimulating. I am happy to be a student at this university and look forward to the next 2 years here!




On Campus

Significant advancements

Having attended Concordia University, I can confidently state that I have seen significant advancements in my skills. The faculty and staff demonstrate great thoughtfulness and provide effective support. Additionally, the university offers an abundance of student clubs and services.




On Campus

Master of Quality Systems Engineering

I completed my Master's in Quality Systems Engineering at Concordia University, where I gained a comprehensive understanding of quality management principles and methodologies. The program provided a mix of theoretical knowledge and practical applications, including coursework in statistical process control, Six Sigma, and Lean principles. I engaged in hands-on projects addressing real-world quality challenges, collaborated with experienced faculty, and conducted independent research. This experience has equipped me with the skills and expertise needed to contribute effectively to organizations seeking to enhance their quality control processes and achieve operational excellence.

Amber Lee



On Campus


The Communication program at Concordia University will prepare you for the future. The program is divided in two blocks: one more theoretical, from which you learn the concept of communications through the perspective of philosophy, history and social studies; another completely hands-on in which you learn how to produce media choosing from three streams; sound, moving images, intermedia. What I love about the communication program at Concordia is that the teachers are clever, up to date, and exited about putting the future in the hands of students. Not only there is so much to learn in the communication program, but there are also so many opportunities!




On Campus

Concordia is best

Concordia university is one of the top listed universities not just in Canada but worldwide. The most amazing thing about this university is it is a standalone English speaking university in Montreal that allows non francophone students to enrol and study efficiently. My program is beautifully designed with access to high quality classrooms and faculty members that are available every time to attend your queries. The huge campus of the University including the library allows students to indulge in group work and research programs. The administration staff is super supportive and polite in their conversations. I have had the most amazing experience studying at Concordia so far.




On Campus

Entrepreneurship and Marketing

I had the privilege of being a part of Ryerson University's Entrepreneurship and Marketing program, and it was an outstanding experience. The program's curriculum was well-designed, providing a perfect balance of theoretical knowledge and hands-on practical application. The faculty members were highly knowledgeable and supportive, creating an engaging learning environment. The program's emphasis on industry connections and experiential learning opened doors to valuable internships and co-op opportunities. The resources and facilities dedicated to the program were top-notch, allowing me to explore my passion and excel in my studies. I am grateful for the real-world skills and industry connections I gained through the program. Ryerson University's Entrepreneurship and Marketing truly prepared me for a successful career in the business world. I highly recommend this program to anyone looking for a transformative educational experience.





Integrated Student Life

Concordia University has done a fantastic job at providing on-campus activities and workshops for students to feel connected and less lonely in stressful times. My program, Human Relations highlights this perfectly as a human relations student to be able to see the effects these workshops have on our beings and our mental and physical health as well. The student Life at Concordia has allowed our school to feel more like a community than a school.




On Campus

Study review

As a graduate student in the doctoral program in chemical engineering at Concordia University, I would rate the program as highly commendable. Although, the academic experience has been rigorous, challenging, and intellectually stimulating, providing a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of chemical engineering principles. However, my ongoing program has been equally rewarding and has equipped me with the skills and knowledge needed for a successful career in academia and industry.




On Campus


In general, I love my university. It's a true representation of diversity, with students from all around the world. The system is incredibly organized, with everything functioning seamlessly, from the structure to the services.