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July 7, 2024 | EP. 264

How Three Schroders Portfolios Target the "S" in ESG Strategies

Chris Damm, Asst. Portfolio Mgr., Schroders; Valerie Harrington, Fund Mgr., Blue Orchard & Uzo Ekwue, Fund Mgr., Schroders
Chris Damm, Asst. Portfolio Mgr., Schroders; Valerie Harrington, Fund Mgr., Blue Orchard & Uzo Ekwue, Fund Mgr., Schroders

As companies and investors continue to navigate the 3D-reset themes of decarbonization, deglobalization and demographic change, Schroders believes that it is important to consider the practical investment implications of these broad trends. In 2024, Schroders sees investors transitioning from simply thinking of ESG risk management and integration to an increasing focus on sustainable opportunities and themes to harness for value creation.
To shed more light on this rich and exciting investment area, we have three portfolio managers with us today. Chris Damm is an Assistant PM on the US Multi-Sector Fixed Income Team at Schroders; Valerie Harrington is a Fund Manager at BlueOrchard, an Impact Investment manager owned by Schroders and Uzo Ekwue is a Fund Manager on the Global Thematic and UK Equity teams at Schroders.

July 1, 2024 | EP. 263

How Insuring Carbon Lowers the Cost of Capital

James Kench, Head of Insurance at Kita
James Kench, Head of Insurance at Kita

James Kench is Head of Insurance at Kita, the company that insures carbon. He is a global finance, (re)insurance & climate risk executive with a career spanning Europe, Asia & the Americas. Carbon insurance provided by Kita unlocks financing and de-risks projects in the carbon markets, a source of investment opportunity and potential liability when not insured. Carbon insurance contracts issued by Kita are backed by leading re-insurance companies like Lloyd’s of London. They swap the uncertainty of future losses with the certainty of insurance premiums to insure transfer of contracts, unsustainable business models and the cost of doing business. Carbon insurance can cover risk assessment, management and risk taking and James joins me today to discuss how Kita improves financing and lowers the cost of capital in the carbon markets.

June 23, 2024 | EP. 262

Top Advisors Give Strategies for LGBTQ & Multiple Generation Clients

Marci Bair, CFP® & Victor Orozco, CFP®, CSRIC®
Marci Bair, CFP® & Victor Orozco, CFP®, CSRIC®, Bair Financial Planning

Bair Financial Planning has been offering investment and lifestyle financial advisory services to clients for 20 years! Initially focused on the LGBTQ community in San Diego, CA, Marci Bair broadened the scope of her firm's life planning and asset management advice when Victor Orozco joined the firm a decade ago. They now have clientele across multiple family generations and offers sustainable and ESG investment strategies as well as more traditional portfolio diversificaiton, and sometimes both to generations within the same family. We discussed the ever-changing list of acronyms and definitions in the asset management industry, all of which are finally about the same objectives of long term financial security that matches and compliments the lifestyle choices of their clients. Marci and Victor are actively growing their firm and adapting the services provided to their clients to meet today's financial needs and tomorrow's aspirational goals.

June 16, 2024 | EP. 261

Leading Public Policy Advocacy for Social & Economic Justice

Courtney Thomas, Senior Policy Analyst at HOPE Policy Institute
Courtney Thomas, Senior Policy Analyst at HOPE Policy Institute

Courtney Thomas is a passionate advocate for social and economic justice. In her role as Senior Policy Analyst at HOPE Policy Institute, Courtney coordinates and leads public policy efforts to advance economic opportunities for working families in the Deep South. She uses research, outreach and advocacy to advance fair and equitable public policies that center on the experiences of black, brown and indigenous communities of color. Her research interests include fair lending, fair housing and transportation equity policies, where federal and state decisions can impact the allocation of resources and facilitate an environment to ensure that all people prosper.

June 9, 2024 | EP. 260

A Passion to Incorporate Sustainability into Business As Usual

Craig Coulter, EY Global Advanced Manufacturing & Mobility, Strategy & Operations Sustainability Leader
Craig Coulter, EY Global Advanced Manufacturing & Mobility, Strategy & Operations Sustainability Leader

Craig Coulter has 12 years of experience with EY delivering strategy and advisory services to clients large and small with a focus on the environment and sustainability. In Episode 259 of The Sustainable Finance Podcast (SFP) he and I discuss his passion for building businesses, organizations and teams that incorporate sustainability to make it business as usual. Craig is currently responsible for Sustainability Services and Strategies in the advanced manufacturing and mobility sectors, paying special attention to decarbonization in manufacturing, sustainability in supply chains and procurement compliance. Craig excels at combining technical know-how with go-to-market strategic vision, so don't miss his perspective in this SFP episode.

June 2, 2024 | EP. 259

The Trigen-system Produces Renewable Energy, Hydrogen & Water

Betsy Schaefer, Chief Marketing & Sustainability Officer at FuelCell Energy
Betsy Schaefer, Chief Marketing & Sustainability Officer at FuelCell Energy

In 2023, FuelCell Energy commenced operations of the company’s Tri-gen system for Toyota North America at the Port of Long Beach, California, where neighboring communities have been significantly impacted by decades of emissions from the ships, trucks, locomotives, and cargo-handling equipment. Betsy Schaefer, FuelCell Energy’s Chief Marketing & Sustainability Officer joins me for this SFP episode to discuss how the Tri-gen system produces renewable electricity, renewable hydrogen, and water from directed biogas. This will allow a reduction of air pollution in the neighboring communities and will avoid more than 9,000 tons of CO2 emissions from the power grid and more than six tons of grid Nitrogen Oxide gas each year. FuelCell Energy sees sustainability as an essential part of the company’s business strategy. And Betsy joins me today to give us more details about the firm’s sustainability strategy.

May 26, 2024 | EP. 258

ESG Metrics Convergence Is Critical to Market Transparency

Laura Callaghan, Associate Director, ESG Services at Novata
Laura Callaghan, Associate Director, ESG Services at Novata

Investors and asset managers need quality data that they can compare across companies, industries, and indexes. The critical need for convergence and harmonization of ESG frameworks and metrics globally is the topic of today’s program. Laura Callaghan, Associate Director of ESG Services at Novata, is going to take us behind the scenes into the Service team’s important role in moving Novata beyond the sustainable investment industry perception that this is just a technology platform. We will explore the ESG convergence initiatives and frameworks that are key for market transparency, and what barriers exist in achieving this convergence.

May 19, 2024 | EP. 257

Higher Ground Lays Out a Blueprint for Ethical Leadership

Alison Taylor, Clinical Professor at NYU Stern School of Business & Executive Director at Ethical Systems
Alison Taylor, Clinical Professor at NYU Stern School of Business & Executive Director at Ethical Systems

Alison Taylor, Clinical Professor at NYU Stern School of Business and one of the world’s most compelling experts on business ethics, has a new book, and after having read it, I recommend it to every executive, entrepreneur and student I speak to. In Higher Ground, with laser focus and insight, she lays out the reasons why businesses can no longer treat ethics as “a legal and reputational defense mechanism.” In our conversation today she walks us through her blueprint for how leaders can navigate our incredibly complex, messy, and volatile global business, social and political environment. Taylor, who has spent decades advising large multinationals on sustainability issues, organizational culture, and various forms of business model risk, tells us how we can rethink and reshape our practices.

April 28, 2024 | EP. 256

Harnessing Technology & AI for Renewable Energy Solutions

Nicholas J. Davis, CEO at GridMarket
Nicholas J. Davis, CEO at GridMarket.com

Today’s SFP guest believes that in the future energy will be clean, resilient, abundant, and free. Harnessing that energy will allow us to preserve wild places and protect the magic of our natural world, while propelling us to the far reaches of our solar system and beyond. Nick Davis, CEO at GridMarket.com, believes that we all have a role to play in the giant leaps that AI and energy abundance will produce for humanity. Nick also believes that harnessing the power of GridMarket’s subscription service in partnership with companies like GRP/Wegmanm will redefine clean energy projects, embracing state-of-the-art technology and AI to pinpoint, optimize, and execute renewable energy solutions with unmatched precision.

April 21, 2024 | EP. 255

A Strategy that Prioritizes Social Justice & Climate Returns

Andrea Longton, Author of “The Social Justice Investor: Advance Your Values While Building Wealth”
Andrea Longton, Author of “The Social Justice Investor: Advance Your Values While Building Wealth”

Andrea Longton is an award-winning author and professional social justice investor. She has raised over 1 billion dollars for social justice investments in the United States and has advised on another 1.5 billion dollars worldwide. Andrea’s new book is titled The Social Justice Investor: Advance Your Values while Building Wealth and will be released this month on April 23rd. Her professional experience includes positions at Opportunity Finance Network, Freddie Mac, Capital Impact Partners, which is now Momentus Capital, and Delphos International. Andrea holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation from the CFA Institute and has worked in structured finance investments, capital markets and change management.

April 14, 2024 | EP. 254

Helping Companies Accelerate their Sustainability Journey

Shila Wattamwar, CEO and Founder of Radiant Global Advisory
Shila Wattamwar, CEO and Founder of Radiant Global Advisory

Today’s podcast guest loves to speak with investors and asset managers interested in the sustainable food space. Shila Wattamwar, Founder and CEO of Radiant Global Advisory, is an adviser to companies that are optimizing logistics, reducing supply chain costs and emissions and fostering community engagement as sustainability goals they expect will produce greater ROI and profitability and help them become preferred companies to work for in their industry. She is a Fast Company Impact Council member and a contributing writer on sustainability themes. In a recent article Shila highlighted her framework that maps activities to positive actions, rather than just the issues we face, with the intention of making daily sustainability-focused action more tangible for consumers as well as investors and asset managers.

April 7, 2024 | EP. 253

Making Sustainability Profitable with AI Automation

Tee Ganbold, Co-Founder and CEO at Improvability AI
Tee Ganbold, Co-Founder and CEO at Improvability AI

Tee Ganbold is Co-Founder and CEO at Improvability AI, the Generative AI improvement engine for sustainability. She was Co-Founder and Chief Growth Officer of Clear AI, optimizing supply chains for sustainability utilizing knowledge graphs. Improvability AI enables companies to enhance their sustainability focus and increase profits through the power of AI automation - intuitive AI agents and applications that automate tasks and workflows to lower costs in the business model and supply chains. Clients use the Improvability AI RAG Platform to automate reporting, insights and research based on their private data and documents. They also work with Improvability AI to create their own platforms for clients or teams.

March 31, 2024 | EP. 252

Targeting Leaders for Growth in Low-Income Consumer Markets

Radhika Shroff, Managing Director, Impact Investing Private Equity at Nuveen
Radhika Shroff, Managing Director, Impact Investing Private Equity at Nuveen

Sustainable Impact investing is at an inflection point in 2024, so where do Radhika Shroff and her Nuveen Private Equity team see value in this type of investing? Their investment thesis is rooted in addressing two critical and inextricably linked problems — inequality and climate change. They believe these problems create attractive impact investment opportunities outside of traditional developed markets that offer investors stability, competitive returns and liquidity for the right asset manager. Climate change knows no boundaries and will impact communities with varying levels of resilience. Nuveen also believes that by targeting the emerging low-income consumer segment, and providing that consumer with goods and services that mitigate carbon emissions and build resilience, they will select companies best positioned to grow and lead in the decades to come.

March 24, 2024 | EP. 251

Is it Really Over for ESG?

Marjella Lecourt-Alma, CEO & Co-Founder at Datamaran
Marjella Lecourt-Alma, CEO & Co-Founder at Datamaran

Many claim that ESG is dead. Our SFP guest today said that “ESG is broken” at NYC Climate Week last year. But ESG teams need ESG software in the same way that finance teams need finance software. Makes sense, but where should businesses start on this software adoption journey? Today followers of the SFP are going to hear from Marjella Lecourt-Alma, CEO and Co-Founder of Datamaran about “Smart ESG”, how it differs from other approaches and what are the benefits for businesses of different sizes and industries? Datamaran is the only software analytics firm in the world that can monitor external risks and opportunities (incl ESG) in real-time. The development of their patented technology is expert-led and fully transparent. Marjella and the Datamaran team believe that companies who care about their success - in an ever evolving world - incorporate material ESG risks and opportunities from the top down.

March 17, 2024 | EP. 250

I’m Committed to Africa’s Youth

Amina Zakhnouf, Investment Officer, FID & Co-Founder of “I’m Committed to Africa” (JMA)
Amina Zakhnouf, Investment Officer, FID & Co-Founder of “I’m Committed to Africa” (JMA)

Amina Zakhnouf is an Investment Officer at the Fund for Innovation in Development (FID), which is hosted by the French government to fight poverty and promote sustainable economic growth. Zakhnouf supported the creation of the Hellenic Development Bank in Greece and backed the Tunisian government’s effort to create a favorable investment ecosystem for start-ups. Amina is also a Co-Founder of “I’m Committed to Africa” (JMA), a public policy incubator launched in 2020 with the mission of giving youth a seat at the table when it comes to Euro-African policy making.

March 10, 2024 | EP. 249

Combining Value Investing & Sustainability Opportunities

Roberta Barr, Sustainable Investment Lead, Value Equities & Alex Monk, Portfolio Manager, Global Resource Equities, Schroders
Roberta Barr, Sustainable Investment Lead, Value Equities & Alex Monk, Portfolio Manager, Global Resource Equities, Schroders

As companies and investors continue to navigate the 3D-reset themes of decarbonization, deglobalization and demographic change, Schroders believes that it is important to consider the practical investment implications of these broad trends. In 2024, Schroders sees investors transitioning from simply thinking of ESG risk management and integration to an increasing focus on sustainable opportunities and themes to harness for value creation. But Sustainability need not be simply a growth-chasing exercise! In fact, Schroders believes that the asset managers who succeed in 2024 will be those that can deliver active management alpha around both valuation and sustainability objectives for clients. As a result, Roberta Barr and Alex Monk are focused on balancing both value and sustainability considerations in their portfolios. On one hand, they agree that “in the long run, the price you pay for something really matters,” and at the same time they believe that it is important to invest in sustainability leaders, companies that can deliver positive societal benefit and are best-in-class versus peers, and will therefore be better placed to navigate change in the future.

March 3, 2024 | EP. 248

Eclectic Partners Forge a Successful Sustainability Team

Lenka Martinek, Managing Partner at Sustainable Market Strategies & Nordis Capital
Lenka Martinek, Managing Partner at Sustainable Market Strategies & Nordis Capital

Lenka Martinek belongs to an eclectic team of sustainability investing professionals that are partners at SMS & Nordis Capital. She is a portfolio manager in partnership with an economist from the International Monetary Fund, an environmental engineer and the former CIO of a global asset management firm. Their partnership includes a shared belief that financial markets are an important sphere of influence where they can make a contribution to a more sustainable future while creating their own financial livelihoods. They launched their firm from scratch, which has been exhilarating and exhausting and are still very much a startup operation where all partners wear multiple hats and the firm takes an active management approach to investing in sustainability market risks.

January 21, 2024 | EP. 247

Transforming Desert into Profitable Plantations

Wissal Ben Moussa, Co-Founder & Chief Agricultural Officer of Sand to Green
Wissal Ben Moussa, Co-Founder & Chief Agricultural Officer of Sand to Green

According to the United Nations desertification caused by climate change affects a third of Earth’s land surface. This is a growing problem for the 250 million people directly impacted by the degradation of formerly fertile land. Wissal Ben Moussa, Co-founder and Chief Agricultural Officer of Sand to Green, says this Moroccan startup can transform a patch of desert into a sustainable and profitable plantation in five years and the firm’s technology can be deployed anywhere there is a source of brackish water, which Sand to Green desalinates using solar-powered technology. In today’s SFP episode we will unpack some of the opportunities that Sand To Green offers for investors interested in sustainable and profitable agricultural ventures.

January 14, 2024 | EP. 246

The Slingshot Transition to Sustainable Business Operations

Trent Romer, Sustainability Operational Partner at LongueVue Capital & Co-Owner at Clear View Bag Co, Inc
Trent Romer, Sustainability Operational Partner at LongueVue Capital & Co-Owner at Clear View Bag Co, Inc

When you’re the third-generation co-owner of a company that manufactures plastic bags for your family’s financial well-being, the idea of re-creating your business operations model to be more environmentally friendly and sustainable could easily be the stuff of nightmares, cold sweats and sanity checks. For Trent Romer and Clear View Bag Co., however, sustainability planning has been a way to reduce expenses, increase revenue and generate more profit from the family business. Trent is joining me for this episode of the SFP to discuss how the 60 million small business owners in the U.S. can transition their business operations models toward sustainability by choosing a slingshot versus a moon shot approach.

December 17, 2023 | EP. 245

Banks and Insurers Need a More Resilient Finance Model

Phuong Gomard, Sustainable Finance Global Leader at Mazars
Phuong Gomard, Sustainable Finance Global Leader at Mazars

What sustainability progress have banks and insurers made in the last two years, given the role of financial institutions as a core component of the economy, and bearing in mind their responsibility to uphold the rigour and resilience of their risk management? Equally significant is their social responsibility to offer vital financial support to the development of sustainable global economies. In this episode of the SFP I discuss with Phuong Gomard of Mazars the need for the financial industry to reboot and shift to a more responsible finance model. Gomard is Sustainable Finance Global Leader at Mazars, which has just published it’s 2023 Sustainability practices stocktake for banks and insurers, which contains much of the data we will discuss.

December 10, 2023 | EP. 244

Directing Capital to Drawdown on the Roadmap to Net Zero

Heather Beatty, Founder and CEO, ScopeFour Capital
Heather Beatty, Founder and CEO, ScopeFour Capital

ScopeFour Capital is an investment management firm focused solely on climate solutions in the public equity markets. Founder and CEO Heather Beatty is committed to climate solution investment and the great re-imagination of economic growth by directing capital towards “drawdown”, when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to steadily decline, thereby stopping human-induced climate change. ScopeFour provides investors with a roadmap to net zero and creates an opportunity to invest in the economic transition to decarbonization. Heather also co-founded Women in Institutional Investments Network (WIIIN), a Los Angeles-based 501c3 as part of her dedication to the advancement of diversity, equity and inclusion in sustainable investment.

December 3, 2023 | EP. 243

Why Is Only 2% of Global Philanthropy Climate-Related Giving

Randall Kempner, Senior Advisor, Energy & Environment Program, The Aspen Institute
Randall Kempner, Senior Advisor, Energy & Environment Program, The Aspen Institute

Climate-focused philanthropy has increased significantly in recent years, but it’s still insufficient relative to the size and urgency of the challenge. Randall Kempner is a senior advisor at the Energy and Environment Program of The Aspen Institute, and a global leader in advancing policy solutions for critical issues. He joins me today to discuss why less than two percent of global philanthropy is focused on climate-related giving, while 85 percent of all U.S. foundation funders stated in a recent report that climate change was a top three issue. Nevertheless, only one third reported they were “open to considering funding efforts” to address climate change.

November 26, 2023 | EP. 242

Ownership Works & PE Join Forces for Employee Opportunities

Anna-Lisa Miller, Ownership Works Executive Director & Gloria Mirrione, ED & Head of Sustainable Finance, Acre Americas
Anna-Lisa Miller, Ownership Works Executive Director & Gloria Mirrione, ED & Head of Sustainable Finance, Acre Americas

More successful employees create financial value for their employers and career opportunities for themselves. Our focus in today’s episode is how Ownership Works supports increasing prosperity through shared ownership, and that’s the mission of this non-profit organization. Executive Director, Anna-Lisa Miller joins me and Gloria Mirrione, Executive Director, and Head of Sustainable Finance & Impact Investing at Acre, Americas. Anna-Lisa will share with us how her firm supports the creation of a culture of ownership that aligns an entire workforce around a common purpose, values and goals to maximize shared wealth creation.

November 19, 2023 | EP. 241

The Pathway to Decarbonization for Public & Private Companies

Mark Kroese, GM Sustainability Solutions at Microsoft & Mark Fischel, Carbon Product Lead at Novata
Mark Kroese, GM Sustainability Solutions at Microsoft & Mark Fischel, Carbon Product Lead at Novata

In his role as General Manager of Sustainability Solutions at Microsoft, Mark Kroese leads a team that drives product, customer and market development solutions that help Microsoft realize its goals of becoming a Carbon Negative company. Mark Fischel is the Carbon Product Lead at Novata. They are their launching their brand new tool, the Novata Carbon Navigator in January to radically improve the carbon reporting experience for Novata’s private company platform partners. Both Marks have joined this third episode of the SFP / Novata series on “Demystifying ESG” to help our sustainability-focused investor audience and their companies follow the pathway to decarbonization.

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Welcome!

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­­Join Paul as he interviews sustainable finance experts from top companies and global organizations like Schroders, FTSE Russell, Gitterman Wealth Management, Engine No. 1, FINTECH.TV, and the LSEG (London Stock Exchange Group).

Listen to thought leaders like Mindy Lubber, CEO & President at Ceres; Sam Adams, CEO at Vert Asset Management and co-author of Your Essential Guide to Sustainable Investing; and Asha Mehta, Founder, Managing Partner & CIO at Global Delta Capital and author of Power of Capital.

Paul regularly consults with RIAs on ESG marketing and advisor education. He has written for Investments and Wealth Monitor and Financial Advisor magazine, and co-convened the 2021 and 2022 ESG Practice Playbook Course for the RIA Channel, and the 2018 and 2019 Sustainable Investing Conferences at the United Nations.

 

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