Olaf Weber

Olaf Weber
University of Waterloo | UWaterloo · School of Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED)

Dr., Associate Professor

About

180
Publications
81,411
Reads
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3,443
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2010 - present
University of Waterloo
Position
  • Assiociate Professor, Export Development Canada Chair in Environmental Finance

Publications

Publications (180)
Article
Investors have a central role to play in sustainability transitions, due to their inordinate influence on the governance of the fossil fuel extraction industry. Using network analysis, this paper links fossil fuel firms to equity owners, by distinguishing ownership characteristics of top shareholders and establishing a ranked list of the most preva...
Article
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Housing plays an essential role in sustainable governance due to its socio-economic and environmental connection. However, the relationship between governance policies, market behavior, and socio-economic outcomes varies geographically and demographically. Therefore, segregated policies developed and implemented may fail to achieve their desired ob...
Article
The financial sector is essential to the stability of markets in times of crisis and during the pandemic, banks are called to contribute to society by easing access to credit or keeping rates low. This article explores Canadian banks’ responses to the pandemic assessing their products, services and stakeholders. Using crisis management and stakehol...
Article
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The stock market is an indicator of investor sentiment when it comes to new information or innovative firm-level products. Green bonds are both innovative and unique in terms of their higher information disclosures and understanding the impact of sustainable finance on investor outlook for a company’s stock. Using the comparative case of Mainland C...
Article
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This paper applies a modified structural vector autoregressive (SVAR) model to explore whether explicit structural oil price shocks affect investor sentiment in China's stock market. The results indicate that China's investor sentiment responds significantly positively to OPEC supply shocks, while it responds significantly negatively to oil‐specifi...
Article
Construction consumes more than 3 billion tons of raw materials globally each year. Adopting circular economy principles can help reduce waste and save more than $100 billion per year by improving construction productivity. This study's overarching objective was to investigate the state of adoption of circular economy principles in the construction...
Article
This study analyses how equity funds react to institutional pressure related to green finance. Based on the analysis of 378 open-end equity funds in China from 2010 to 2019, we examined the environmental performance of fund holdings to measure their level of green investment. In our analyses, we distinguished between funds with positive and negativ...
Chapter
Ensuring sufficient quantity and quality of water resources is a necessary requisite for social well-being, economic prosperity, and environmental integrity. Water resources are continuously being threatened due to increasing population, economic activities as well as uncertainty posed by climate change. Moreover, risk to water security is a multi-...
Chapter
The field of sustainability is facing challenges of conceptual openness, functional complexity, and operational ambiguity. A lack of consensus on these fronts is dividing intellect and resource bases, and it is failing to counter the sustainability challenges we face today and tomorrow. Sustainability management can be approached through normative,...
Article
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Sustainability risks represent a significant concern for the banking industry. Consequently, financial regulators created financial sector sustainability guidelines and regulations. However, the effect of these policies on banks’ financial stability is unclear. Hence, this study analyzes 149 banks in 17 countries in Latin America to explore the imp...
Article
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Microfinance services have emerged as an effective tool for financing micro-entrepreneurs to alleviate poverty. Since the 1970s, development theorists have considered non-governmental microfinance institutions (MFIs) as the leading practitioners of sustainable development through financing micro-entrepreneurial activities. This study evaluates the...
Article
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Regional and spatial studies, such as urban planning, energy planning, and sustainable development, address the complexity of the inter-disciplinary relationship between subsystems and their components. Such research requires multidisciplinary concepts, varied lenses, and differentiating approaches and models to address the conflict between context...
Article
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This study addresses the connection between financialization of real-estate, individual investment objectives, and urban sustainability. It uses a survey approach to explore the relationship between the financialization of urban development and its influence on urban sustainability in a developing country. We found that the respondents prefer to in...
Article
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(1) Background: Green finance standards have proliferated with much need for harmonization to accelerate global green financial flows. However, little is known on the nature of green finance standards that accelerates differentiation, rather than harmonization. Therefore, we embark to answer the question what the nature of green finance standards i...
Article
Purpose We investigate the integration of the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)– based reporting thus exploring the factors that influence the adoption of the SDGs by organizations. Design/methodology/approach We analyzed the GRI dataset provided by the GRI data secretariat. We analyzed...
Article
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Practitioners and academics have been using different terms to describe investments in the sustainability context. The latest inflationary term is impact investments—investments that focus on real-world changes in terms of solving social challenges and/or mitigating ecological degradation. At the core of this definition is an emphasis on transforma...
Article
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Amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic, the term resilience has gained significant momentum in global news and management studies. Although scholars from different domains have investigated resilience, there is a need to provide clarity on its definitions and assessment (Anderson, 2015). This paper provides a conceptual review on resilience and explor...
Article
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Although climate finance tools like green bonds have been gaining popularity in academia, the research has been limited to examining the financial viability and performance of this market. We explore a different research avenue related to institutional dynamics that are driving this market at the country level and shaping its adaptive capacity to c...
Article
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The purpose of this study is to analyze the connection between the sustainability performance and financial performance of Bangladeshi banks to explore the impact of the Bangladesh Environmental Risk Management Guideline. We analyzed all 56 scheduled commercial banks that are currently operating in Bangladesh under the guidelines of the Central Ban...
Chapter
In the context of the low-carbon transition, stranded assets can be defined as assets that have suffered unanticipated or premature write-downs, devaluations or conversions to liabilities. These assets may refer to resource reserves, infrastructure or industries that may be affected by economic, physical or political changes along a pathway of deca...
Chapter
With projected impacts of climate change, population, and economic growth, episodes of water scarcity are expected to rise across the globe. The objective of sustainable water management is to ensure that all social, economic, and environmental water demands are fulfilled while sustaining the quality and quantity of water resources. Even though mea...
Technical Report
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Emerging economies, such as India, will need significant international investment in climate action in order to transition toward a future that is low-carbon and climate-resilient (LCR). India needs fossil fuels at an affordable price and needs to protect itself against price fluctuations. It can meet these needs by investing in Canadian oil compan...
Article
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Amidst a contemporary culture of climate awareness, unprecedented levels of transparency and visibility are forcing industrial organizations to broaden their value chains and deepen the impacts of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. While it may be common knowledge that the 2030 agenda cannot be achieved on a business-as-usual trajec...
Article
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The sustainable development goals (SDGs) introduced by the United Nations in 2015 are a framework for a sustainable world. Corporations also use the SDGs as a guideline for corporate sustainability. Based on corporate sustainability theory and legitimacy theory, the paper analyzes whether and how firms communicate about the SDGs on social media to...
Article
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Water management is an important issue for the food and beverage sector. Global media reports about conflicts between industries and stakeholders about water resources that hurt the food and beverage industry. This study addresses the gap in the knowledge about the connection between water management performance and the financial performance of com...
Chapter
This chapter analyzes the development of green finance by sector. To this extent, it first examines the role of multilateral development banks in launching and fostering green finance and sustainable finance. Hence, it assesses the approaches adopted by industrial companies to embrace sustainable finance, in particular as concerns the implementatio...
Article
Given growing anthropogenic pressures on water resources and uncertain climatic conditions, sustainable water management using effective demand management strategies will be crucial to tread the path towards sustainable development. This paper makes a contribution to the interdisciplinary realm of water management by designing a flexible tool that...
Article
Fossil fuel divestment is discussed controversially with regard to its financial consequences and its effect on decarbonizing the economy. Theory and empirical studies suggest arguments for both financial underperformance and outperformance of divestment. Therefore, our first research objective is to understand the financial effect of divestment. T...
Technical Report
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This paper presents policy alternatives that could incentivize the Canadian financial sector to invest in the transition to a low-carbon economy. The results and recommendations are based on an inductive analysis, which summarized the existing regulatory landscape on climate finance, and a practitioner survey, which ranked a collection of regulator...
Article
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Several prominent institutional investors concerned about climate change have announced their intention or have divested from fossil fuel shares, to limit their exposure to the industry. The act of fossil fuel divestment may directly depress share prices or stigmatize the industry’s reputation, resulting in lower share value. While there has been c...
Article
The Anthropocene era is characterized by a pronounced negative impact of human and social activities on natural ecosystems. To the extent finance, economics and management underlie human social activities, we need to reassess these fields and their role in achieving global sustainability. This article briefly presents the scientific evidence on acc...
Chapter
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Divestment is defined as the act of withdrawing investments from a company or industry for ethical or financial reasons. It can be described as a form of socially responsible investing (SRI) that applies nonfinancial (environmental and social) criteria as well as exclusionary screening to guide an investor’s financial decisions. While divestment ha...
Technical Report
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Given the urgency of climate change and the short time frames, it is necessary that our society make a transition toward a green and low-carbon economy. One way to do so is through finance markets that are tailored to fund low-carbon and climate-friendly projects. Such climate finance markets can prove to be an important factor in how fast and how...
Article
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Small‐ and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) can play a crucial role in advancing environmental and social well‐being. Yet various—often conflicting—explanations have been offered to clarify why SMEs pursue sustainability. Some arguments foreground possibilities of profit maximization, whereas others emphasize individual values and convictions. Resea...
Article
Full-text available
Microfinance services have emerged as an effective tool for financing micro-entrepreneurs to alleviate poverty. Since the 1970s, development theorists have considered non-governmental microfinance institutions (MFIs) as the leading practitioners of sustainable development through financing micro-entrepreneurial activities. This study evaluates the...
Article
Full-text available
This study explores China's green credit policy from a credit risk perspective. Green finance has been growing rapidly in China since the government issued its Green Credit Policy. The objective of this study is to explore whether green loans are less risky than non-green loans. Based on a five-year dataset of 24 Chinese banks, we used panel regres...
Article
The food and beverage industry is one of the most water intensive industries. Therefore, an effective and efficient water management, based on eco-system related indicators, is crucial. This study analyzes the connection between indicators that address sustainable water management as a subgroup of ecosystem management and the general corporate soci...
Article
Fossil fuel divestment is discussed controversially with regard to its financial consequences and its effect on decarbonizing the economy. Theory and empirical studies suggest arguments for both, financial underperformance and outperformance of divestment. Therefore, our first research objective is to understand the financial effect of divestment....
Chapter
This contribution discusses the role of voluntary sustainability codes of conduct and sustainability regulation in helping to create a more sustainable financial system. The analyzed voluntary codes of conducts are UNEPFI, UNPRI, the Equator Principles, GABV, and IRIS. Furthermore, financial sector sustainability regulations, such as the Chinese Gr...
Article
Purpose This paper aims to analyze the market efficiency of socially responsible investment in Korea. The authors used the daily price of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index Korea between January 2006 and December 2015. Design/methodology/approach To analyze the unpredictability of the returns, the authors conducted runs tests, such as the Dickey...
Article
Purpose It is becoming increasingly clear that as the pressures of climate change increase around the world, all nations must strive to lower their carbon footprint through conservation. If the growth trend of green building and infrastructure construction is to be continued and improved upon, then evidence must be collected as to the benefits the...
Article
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Purpose This paper analyzes the connection between the sustainability performance of Chinese banks and their financial indicators to explore whether sustainability regulations can be implemented without decreasing the financial performance of the banking sector. Design/methodology/approach The study examined reports and websites of Chinese banks,...
Chapter
In diesem Beitrag wird dargestellt, welche Rolle Einstellungs-, Wahrnehmungs-, Entscheidungs- und Verhaltensdimensionen im nachhaltigen Bankgeschäft spielen. Da die rein finanzielle Dimension um eine weitere, die ethisch-ökologische, Dimension ergänzt wird, muss nicht mehr allein zwischen finanziellem Risiko und Ertrag abgewogen werden, sondern zwi...
Article
The Data Envelopment Analysis has been identified as one of the most reliable, convenient, and widely used approaches to evaluate energy efficiencies of a set of decision-making units. To conquer the difficulty of processing imprecise or vague observations in real-world problems, the fuzzy DEA method was promoted and developed as an adjustment and...
Article
This paper examines whether gold is a hedge or a diversifier for socially responsible and conventional investment in Korea. To answer this question, daily returns between January 2006 and December 2015 were analyzed. This time span included the implementation of the Korean Green New Deal. The autoregressive distributed lag method was used to analyz...
Book
Sustainable Banking introduces business leaders and students to the many ways in which financial institutions can manage their environmental and social impact and meet the needs of the current generation without compromising the needs of future generations. Olaf Weber and Blair Feltmate go beyond the business case for sustainability: how managing e...
Article
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Building on longitudinal data from 73 Chinese manufacturing firms during 2009-2012, we assess whether and how firms gain higher efficiency in achieving their sustainability goals by adopting management practice standards (ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and/or OHSAS 18001). We propose four pathways for firms to gain sustainability efficiency in their certific...
Article
Divestment from the fossil fuel industry is campaigned as a means to address carbon-induced anthropogenic climate change, much like the anti-Apartheid divestment movement that was campaigned as a mean to address the country’s human rights violations. However, there is a gap in current literature that objectively compares the similarities and differ...
Chapter
Spätestens seit der Finanzkrise fragen sich viele, wie sozial der Bankensektor ist. Die Auswirkungen dieser Krise haben die Gesellschaften ganzer Staaten an den Rand der Belastbarkeit gebracht und Länder in den finanziellen Ruin gestürzt. Große Teile der Bevölkerungen sehen seither den Einfluss von Banken auf die Gesellschaft eher negativ. Zudem tr...
Research
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Financial institutions are pivotal in addressing arguably the biggest challenge the world faces today — sustainable development. Several pioneering financial institutions, some with the collaboration of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), have developed key initiatives to act as a road map toward ensuring intra- and intergenerational equity. The...
Research
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This paper analyzes the impact of three financial sector sustainability regulations: the Chinese green credit guidelines, the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles (NSBPs) and the Bangladesh Environmental Risk Management (ERM) Guidelines. All three address the connection between financial sector activities and sustainable development, and develop...
Research
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Recently, there has been a growing interest in the development of sustainable and green financial regulations globally. The interest is based on the increasing climate change risks for the financial sector on the one hand and on the other, a need to integrate the financial sector into a transition to a green economy. A regulative approach would be...
Chapter
The connection between the financial industry and sustainable development is indirect. The industry channels financial capital into different industries and therefore has an indirect effect on sustainable development through these industries. Depending on which client is financed the impact can be positive or negative. Therefore, the financial indu...
Article
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The prominence of phosphorus (P) is represented by three major aspects: first and most important, P is essential for all life on Earth; second, no other element or substance can act as a substitute for P; and third, P is considered a non-renewable resource and thus finite. In regard to global food security and P as one of the three major macronutri...
Article
A report by the Stockholm Environment Institute estimates that between US$363 billion to US$2.4 trillion have to be invested only to mitigate climate change (Tempest & Lazarus, 2014). This estimation demonstrates that the financial sector plays a central role in influencing sustainable development, our society, and the environment because of its ca...
Article
Does microfinance support the empowerment of female borrowers? Results of studies analyzing microfinance and empowerment delivered mixed results. In order to explore whether microfinance influences empowerment, the paper compares women in higher loan cycles of a Pakistani microfinance institution with those in the first loan cycle regarding their e...
Article
This study analyses the performance of the financial sector with respect to corporate social responsibility and sustainability. Because this sector has a strong influence economically and on sustainable development, both risk management issues and stakeholder pressure drive the financial sector into a more sustainable direction. In contrast to poll...
Article
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What is the current state of environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting and what is the relation between ESG reporting and the financial performance of Chinese companies? This study analyses corporate ESG disclosure in China between 2005 and 2012 by analysing the members of the main indexes of the biggest Chinese stock exchanges. After di...
Article
Over the past few decades, the financial sector has sought to positively contributing to sustainable development through innovative products and services. However, in its business-as-usual the financial sector continues to contribute to military interventions, environmental degradation, growing disparity of incomes, de-coupling of finance and real...
Chapter
This chapter provides an overview of trade and finance issues in the global phosphate and fertilizer market. First, we analyze global trade dynamics affecting fertilizers and their raw materials. Secondly, we present factors that influence fertilizer prices. Based on these analyses, we infer that prices for raw materials, energy and transport costs...
Article
Over the past few decades, the financial sector has sought to positively contributing to sustainable development through innovative products and services. However, in its business-as-usual the financial sector continues to contribute to military interventions, environmental degradation, growing disparity of incomes, de-coupling of finance and real...
Chapter
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting has grown significantly in China during the past decade. This chapter assesses the status of Chinese CSR reporting and its main drivers as well as firms’ subsequent social, environmental and financial performance. Employing data from 130 Chinese listed companies, we assessed the development trend of C...
Article
Does the integration of environmental, social and sustainability criteria in commercial credit risk assessment processes create a benefit for lenders and does it improve the prognostic validity of the credit risk prediction? Some analyses have reported that a correlation exists between commercial borrowers’ sustainability performance and credit ris...
Article
Does the integration of environmental, social and sustainability criteria in commercial credit risk assessment processes create a benefit for lenders and does it improve the prognostic validity of the credit risk prediction? Some analyses have reported that a correlation exists between commercial borrowers’ sustainability performance and credit ris...
Article
Full-text available
With $16.2 billion of assets the Vancouver City Savings Credit Union (Vancity) has the largest asset base of any member of the Global Alliance on Banking and Values, a global association of ethical banks, and also has the largest asset base of Canada's credit unions. This article analyses the social financing Vancity conducts and the disclosure of...
Article
Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) intends to create a positive impact on the society and on the environment. However, in contrast to its financial returns, the non-financial impact is usually not assessed in a systematic manner. This article presents an overview of current measurement practices from the financial world and assesses whether they...
Article
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What is the impact of microfinance and how can it be measured? This paper analyzes the current status of microfinance and methods that are used to analyze its outreach and its impact. Especially on the background of the discussion about a mission drift in microfinance away from a poverty alleviation concept to a financial system approach the impact...
Article
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Analyzing sustainability in dynamic systems is difficult from the scientific point of view. In addition to that it depends on subjective values. We plead to start sociopsychological analyses with a task analysis to describe attributes of a sustainable development. To get access to sustainability from a sociopsychological point of view, we need i) c...
Article
Social finance and impact investing are relatively new terms in the banking sector that are still a niche but growing rapidly. In this paper we will explain the meaning of social finance, social banking, impact investment and microfinance. Furthermore we will present examples of successful institutions in this field. At the end of the paper we will...
Article
In this paper we will give an overview about the history of ethical, socially responsible and sustainable banking. Thus it will not provide a general historical overview about banking and finance but concentrate on sustainable, socially responsible or ethical banking. Let us explain why we present some specific events in this paper. The overview st...
Article
Abstract This paper explores social finance as a strategy for generating social innovations and, at the same time, financial returns. It explores why risk assessment for social finance is so challenging and suggests three sources of difficulty: setting boundaries, integrating heterogeneous values, and responding with sufficient speed and flexibilit...
Chapter
This chapter describes social banking, impact investment, and microfinance as areas of social finance. Each tries to achieve a positive social impact on society, the environment, or sustainable development through social finance and banking. The data show that social finance is successful in creating both a financial and a social return and has bee...
Article
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How do Canadian banks integrate environmental risks into corporate lending and where are they located compared with their global peers? In this paper we report a mixed method analysis of the integration of environmental risks into the credit management. The qualitative and quantitative analyses suggest that all analyzed Canadian commercial banks, c...