Heidelberg University

Sustainability, Decarbonisation and Financing Green: consulting the transformation in the corporate world and financial industry

Team d-fine, d-fine, Frankfurt am Main


Sustainability and climate change have received steadily increasing attention from the public and political actors as well as the corporate world and financial sector in recent years. The transition towards a sustainable economic model requires large-scale investments and the financial system has a key role in delivering these ambitions.

Setting incentives for sustainable projects and activities is fundamental and binding regulations gradually supplement or even replace former voluntary recommendations. At its heart is the creation of a common classification system for sustainable economic activities and expectations relating to business models, strategy, risk management and disclosure of climate-related and environmental risks. Several challenges and methodological issues are associated with this transformation: data availability, the breadth and complexity of transmission channels, modelling primary and secondary impacts and the need to consider extended time horizons. Overall, this leads to the need to bring together relevant expertise to gain an integrated understanding of climate, environmental and financial data needs.

With the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, novel technological and mathematical questions also arise with reference to the entire energy system. Be it the increasing role of coupling energy, heat, transport and industry sectors, the potential of green hydrogen in reaching climate neutrality or the assessment of conversion technologies and storage as well as network expansion options. In addition, the derivation of consistent decarbonisation scenarios spanning the time horizon to at least 2050 poses various quantitative challenges. High-resolution energy system models and mathematical optimization provide tools to deal with these questions in an integrated manner.

With the building sector being one of the largest sources of energy consumption in Europe, increasing construction standards and energy-efficient refurbishments of the building stock are integral parts of the EU renovation wave strategy. Consequently, major housing companies are announcing decarbonisation strategies and integrate climate-related KPIs (e.g. emission intensity, temperature alignment) in their management approach. Toolsets including optimization algorithms and business intelligence solutions support an operationalization of quantitative methodologies and frameworks for advanced scenario assessments.

In this year's lecture series, d-fine will present how our consultants are dealing with the above challenges together with our customers. We will show why physicists are very well suited to deal with such topics and provide you with first-hand insights not only into the business cases, but also to the technological and mathematical concepts guiding our project work.


  • Monday, 4 Oct.2021, 14:00 - 15:30: Peter Jeuck, "defining d-fine"
  • Monday, 4 Oct. 2021, 15:30 - 17:00: Dr Oliver Hein, "From Physics to Finance and Beyond"
  • Tuesday, 5 Oct. 2021, 14:00 - 17:00: Dr Roman Flatau, Sarah Schleicher, "Decarbonization of the European Energy System - d-fine's activities in modeling and fundamental analysis for the Energy Industry"
  • Wednesday, 6 Oct.2021, 14:00 - 17:00: Dr Jan Gelhausen, "Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, and Credit Risk"
  • Thursday, 7 Oct. 2021, 14:00 - 17:00: Fabian Pfendert, Dr Peter Nelson, Dr Dmitrij Siemens "Sustainability in Asset Management"
  • Friday, 8 Oct. 2021, 14:00 - 17:00: Dr Sebastian Ohmer, Dr Patrick Wörner, "Sustainability and climate impact in the real estate sector"