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Institutional investors from around the world joined Ceres last August in
launching the Valuing Water Finance Initiative, a new effort to engage 72 companies with a high water footprint to value and act on water as a financial risk and drive the necessary large-scale change to better protect water systems. Kirsten James, Senior Program Director of Water at Ceres is my guest for this episode of the Sustainable Finance Podcast (SFP). James joins me to discuss this investor-led initiative aimed at moving companies to respond to the global water crisis. Signatories to this initiative include financial institutions such as pension funds, mainstream asset owners and socially responsible investors.
The Attachments tab for this SFP Episode contains links to several publications regarding Ceres' engagement with companies about the global water crisis.
If there was any doubt that we’ve entered a new era for corporate boards, the 2021 proxy voting season dispelled it. Activist Investors focused on accelerating the transition to clean energy and BlackRock voted against 255 directors during the 2021 proxy year. Dr. Katrin Gulden Le Marie is my guest today. She consults with companies on CSR, ESG and Impact Investment initiatives and advises boards of directors on their climate readiness and board diversity. She is also a board member of the UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on ESG and we’re discussing several challenges that aging boards face in today’s episode.
Use the Attachments tab for this episode to access the following:
The BCS-INSEAD Board ESG Pulse Check
My guest today on the Sustainable Finance Podcast (SFP) is bringing her 15 years of experience in startups and her current Venture Consultant role with Blue Ivy Ventures to her new role for The Great Nepali Diaspora’s mission. Preeti Adhikary is Founder of the Diaspora, and on a personal mission to share ideas, pool resources and collaborate with other Diaspora members living in the U.S. and other countries abroad. We’re going to discuss her big, audacious goal for the Diaspora and learn how members can connect with their roots and contribute to one another’s lives.
Schroders, a member of the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative, is expanding its US-based sustainability team. Marina Severinovsky, Head of Sustainability NA at Schroders recently introduced me to Whitney Sweeney, who has joined Schroders’ global sustainable investment team in the role of Investment Director, Sustainability. Sweeney is my guest for today’s episode of the Sustainable Finance Podcast. We’re talking about her focus on building partnerships across several distribution channels and managing sustainable investment education and training for advisors and other investment professionals based on a review of the results from the Schroders’ annual Global Investor Study.
Imagine we are investors, searching through the portfolio strategies offered by our employer’s pension plan for the most sustainable combination of risk and reward in balance with our deeply held personal values. Mindy Lubber, CEO and President at Ceres and my guest for today’s podcast episode, is asking us to also imagine that the government, or somebody who wants to use its power, has decided that we shouldn’t make those more sustainable investments — or even that we couldn’t. These policies are currently taking many forms in multiple states in the U.S. Lubber and I will discuss this backlash against the growing level of investment in addressing the challenges of the climate crisis, and in taking advantage of the business opportunities to solve these challenges through the companies we choose for investment.
Luma Saqqaf is the CEO of Ajyal Sustainability Consulting, advising corporates, financial institutions, funds and asset managers as well as counseling regulators and financial markets in MENA countries on sustainable finance issues. Saqqaf is returning the SFP today to discuss expectations for what will be accomplished at COP27 next month. Her Sustainability Consulting draws on three decades at the forefront of finance, Islamic finance, sustainability and entrepreneurship in MENA and Europe.
My guest today on the Sustainable Finance Podcast (SFP) managed the world’s first Frontier markets fund and launched one of the earliest onshore China strategies in the United States. Asha Mehta is a market maker, investment pioneer, and author of "POWER OF CAPITAL: An Adventure Capitalist’s Journey to a Sustainable Future", which is available at Amazon online now. I’ve had the privilege to preview this book in which Asha, who is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Global Delta Capital, focuses on Emerging & Frontier Markets and Sustainable Investing. In today’s episode Asha will share her views on evolving emerging markets and provide her insights into current geopolitics. Our conversation will examine the changes gripping the world today and why the average person and investor should care.
How can a blockchain based system, supported with IoT (internet of things)
devices, improve climate-aligned finance? My guest today, Bill Kentrup, is Co-founder and Head of Origination at Allinfra. We’re going to discuss Allinfra’s renewable energy partners and the digital and financial products they create on the Allinfra Climate platform. For example, Genesis 1.0 is exploring green bond tokenization and Genesis 2.0 is looking at how blockchain and smart contracts can deliver and transfer digitized carbon credits.
OS-Climate is developing open data and open source analytics that companies, markets, and governments need for climate alignment. OS- Climate, a part of the non-profit Linux Foundation, is building the technical equivalent of a public utility to scale and accelerate sustainable business, finance, investment, and regulation. In today’s episode we will hear from Truman Semans, OS climate’s founder and CEO, about the unique function of the OS-C platform relative to other mega initiatives for collecting data, using artificial intelligence for predictive scenario analysis, and gauging the climate impact of companies and financial institutions.
Dubai Green Fund (DGF) is the funding pillar of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy for 2050, which has set some ambitious goals for the next 30 years. These include goals for Net Zero Emissions and establishing Dubai as a hub for ESG and Green Economy investment in the MENA region. Joost Smulders is Chief Investment Officer at DGF and my guest today on The Sustainable Finance Podcast (SFP). We’re going to talk about why the Dubai Government, anchored by Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA), has launched this impact investment firm.
My guest today develops circular economy models and metrics to push for material impact in ESG measurements of e-waste, food systems, extractive resources, and mobility. Eugenio Liu consults with NGOs, development agencies, venture capital, and impact investment firms. Today we’re asking the questions: “What is the Circular Economy and why is it important?” And “What are the Circular Economy’s biggest challenges and difficulties?”
Silver Leaf Partners provides guidance to corporate clients, institutional asset managers and investors regarding ESG and Impact investment strategies. My guest today is Michael J. Scanlon, a partner at AiCE Group under Silver Leaf Partners. His team is currently raising capital for a Global Macro-LatAm fund and a multi-billion US Long / Short fund. These portfolios include low-carbon investment opportunities that draw on the firm’s ESG and Impact expertise. Silver Leaf also collaborates with third-party partners to implement ESG / Impact portfolio frameworks.
The total derivative notional outstanding for U.S. banks is close to $200 trillion and the top 5 largest banks control ~95% of this systemically important market. However, to date, the climate risk implications of this market have been unexplored. My guests today are experts in climate risk management for financial institutions and the co-authors of a first-of-its kind report on derivatives and climate risk. Jim Scott is Senior Advisor for Financial Institutions Engagement at Ceres Accelerator for Capital Markets, and Blair Bateson is Director, at Ceres Company Network.
The Ngalia people of Western Australia’s Central Deserts region have 23,000 square kilometers of exclusive possession Native Titled land, making them potentially the largest landowners in Australia, yet they live in poverty. In today’s Sustainable Finance Podcast (SFP) episode I’m speaking with Kado Muir, a cultural leader and traditional owner among the Ngalia people. Muir and other indigenous leaders are mobilizing the transition into a new industrial age, where data sovereignty, renewable energy, Net Zero Emissions and Nature Based solutions are sustainable investment opportunities and sources of capital for new and emerging economies.
Luma Saqqaf, the CEO of Ajyal Sustainability Consulting, has spent three decades at the forefront of Islamic finance, sustainability and entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa, also known as the MENA region. She is a regular adviser to regulators in MENA including the Dubai Financial Market. In today’s program we discuss the impacts of climate change and the hosting of COP27 and COP28 in the MENA region, as well as the development of sustainable finance trends there.
Aurelio Oliveira, Enel Americas’ CFO, is excited about bringing clean energy power to millions of additional customers in South and Central America. When Enel Americas’ Integrated Annual Report for 2021 was published, the company had 10.9 GW of Net installed renewable energy generating capacity. Oliveira and I discuss Enel Americas’ current and future plans under the firm’s sustainable value creation model. The company’s mission, according to this model includes being open to energy access for more people, new energy technologies and uses and new forms of energy management.
An unprecedented $400B is now on the table for federal climate adaptation. How is the money going to be allocated throughout the banking system? Are banks and companies they underwrite ready to make this transition? Who stands to benefit the most? On September 28th in New York City, Ceres is bringing together leading bankers, investors, and regulators for Financing a Net Zero Economy, an event focusing on this exciting time in climate transition planning. Dan Saccardi, Program Director of the Ceres Company Network, joins me today to discuss the hot topics the panels of experts will be covering: Green financing, client engagement, just transition, and robust disclosures. I'm excited to be talking to Dan today because Ceres is leading the charge on working with the financial sector to address these climate change challenges.
My guest today, Sam King, is Co-founder and CTO at Briink, a German technology company using AI and Machine Learning to support the adoption of the EU Taxonomy and the transition to a low-carbon economy. Listen in as Sam tells us how the taxonomy is going to regulate reporting for companies in the EU and the US, and how AI can speed up the adoption of climate regulations.
“The Story you tell today will decide the future.” This is the motto that guides today’s guest, Laura Taylor, President and CEO at Silverline Communications, a national agency that delivers strategic marketing and communications to a diverse portfolio of clients in climate, cleantech and ESG. Silverline is the oldest woman-owned climate tech PR agency in the US. Taylor, who’s been ahead of the curve for 14 years, explains how Silverline is helping venture capital firms refine their messaging to accelerate the growth of climate technologies.
How can systems thinking be applied to the global food supply? My guest today, Lauren Baker, is Deputy Director, Global Alliance for the Future of Food, a unique coalition of global philanthropic foundation members. We discuss her inspiring project, Beacons of Hope, which showcases global initiatives that are working to achieve sustainable, equitable, and resilient food systems.
H/L Ventures is forging a new way to build companies with a unique approach that combines Daily Active Engagement with every portfolio company and a focus on investing in growth, impact, and diversity, with a strong preference for diverse founding teams. Oliver Libby, who co-founded H/L Ventures in 2009, and I talk about creating impact through a hands-on approach to business modeling for early stage private companies that blends the best of venture studio and investment firm on one platform to help grow companies from early stage to exit.
Wendy Nystrom Lloyd is the founder of Basher Productions, LLC, and she’s on a mission to help people find their solution to pollution. Wendy is an expert in pollution and environmental risk management and a certified construction risk insurance specialist (CRIS). I was recently a guest on Environmental Social Justice (ESJ), the webinar program Wendy created and produces. On today’s program we talk about opportunities to collaborate in educating investors and their advisors about these important issues.
For advisors, the sometimes overwhelming amount of information on implementing sustainable investing can be daunting. My guest today, Gabe Rissman, is going to tell us about a streamlined method for finding out what clients care about and personalizing how to talk about it. Rissman is Co-Founder and President of YourStake, which received the top ESG / SRI portfolio analysis and reporting tool rating in the T3/Inside Information advisor software survey in May 2022. And in June YourStake was nominated as a finalist for the WealthManagement.com #wealthies awards as an Industry Disruptor and Top Technology Provider.
William Burckart is the CEO of The Investment Integration Project (TIIP), a consulting firm that develops turnkey solutions to help investors manage systemic risks and opportunities in Sustainable and ESG Investing. Burckart co-authored "21st Century Investing: Redirecting Financial Strategies to Drive Systems Change" in 2021 with sustainable investing pioneer Steve Lydenberg, and was a guest speaker for the 2021 edition of RIA Channel‘s “ESG Practice Playbook”, where we discussed the value and importance of collaboration in sustainable investment.
Join Paul as he interviews sustainable finance experts from top companies and global organizations like Trucost, United Nations Capital Development Fund, FTSE Russell, and Allianz Global Investors.
Listen to thought leaders like Amit Bouri, CEO at the Global Impact Investing Network; Mona Naqvi, Head of ESG Product Strategy, North America at S&P Dow Jones Indices; Peter Schechter, Co-Founder at Immigrant Food; and Rachel Gutter, President at International Well Building Institute.
Paul regularly consults with RIAs on ESG marketing and advisor education. He has written for Investments and Wealth Monitor, and co-convened the 2018 and 2019 Sustainable Investing Conferences at the United Nations.