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Your Bridge Between Financial Markets & Social Justice
Rachel Robasciotti and Adasina Social Capital believe in bold, decisive action to make large scale, systemic change throughout the financial system. This requires the interlocking of four levers: People, Investments, Campaigns and Education. Adasina works with community social justice organizations to define the criteria that guide the firm’s investments. Robasciotti then mobilizes other investors to partner through campaigns that amplify the voices of impacted populations throughout the financial system. Community-sourced impact data sets the standard for how companies and governments are measured in relation to racial, gender, economic, and climate justice. Investors then seek both financial and social returns by investing in public companies that are accountable to the well-being of the people and planet they impact.
Weather Trade Net Provides Physical Climate Risk Assessment
Weather Trade Net creates data analysis tools powered by weather data for operational business purposes. Founder and CEO Elena Maksimovich launched the online platform to differentiate, quantify and report on the financial vulnerability induced by weather volatility in changing climate scenarios. The platform’s research regarding weather shock resilience and climate change adaptation projects demonstrates bankable investment opportunities. And Weather Trade Net’s proprietary Climate Risk Indices are adapted to business needs in the context of TCFD reporting, climate risk audit and parametric insurance underwriting. Maksimovich joins me in today’s podcast episode to explain how Weather Trade Net works.
Growing EV Demand to Critical Mass in the Automotive Sector
Hughey Newsome is in transition, out of public service as CFO of Wayne County, Michigan and into the role of CFO at Piston Group, a private investment platform founded in 1996 by auto industry magnate and NBA champion Vinnie Johnson. Newsome is on a mission within the automotive sector to grow EV demand to critical mass through the investment and profitability needed to dominate industry production and infrastructure. In this episode of the Sustainable Finance Podcast (SFP) we will hear from Hughey Newsome about the broad continuum of sustainable finance acceptance, from early adopters to industry laggards and how current and pending public policy can encourage laggards and reward leaders.
Data Rules the Corporate Green Resource Efficiency Revolution
Bruce Kahn, Ph.D. has recently joined Shelton Capital Management to bolster the firm’s Sustainable Investment and ESG expertise. In today’s podcast episode we’re going to begin our conversation with the green industrial transformation that is making corporations more resource use efficient related to water, land, energy and labor. Kahn’s extensive background in sustainable investment management includes industry leaders MSCI, Sustainable Insight Capital Management and Deutsche Asset Management. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s Sustainability Management program, The Earth Institute.
AI-generated Data Increases Crop Yields on Nigerian Farms
Soji Sanyaolu, Co-Founder of AirSmat, recently announced a partnership with Sterling Bank in Nigeria that enables farmers to increase their output by leveraging quality farm data and AI-generated recommendations. Using drone and satellite technology with soil-level and IoT sensors AirSmat is transforming the way farmers and other stakeholders in the value chain collect, manage and interpret this data. This eliminates guesswork and drives day-to-day operations decisions with precision. In today’s episode Sanyaolu explains how accurate farm data enables banks and insurance companies in the value chain to make decisions that support farm financing and profitability.
Addressing the Business Case for a Sustainable Luxury Market
Since 2010, today’s guest on the podcast has worked in Dubai, United Arab Emirates as a woman general counsel in an era of business disruption. Through this position with a UAE family-owned luxury conglomerate she was introduced to angel investing. Currently, Ghada Qaisi Audi lives in San Francisco and is a founding team member at TARO ISHIDA, a women’s footwear luxury goods startup, whose high-quality products provide longevity and Circular Economy investments into the future. We’re going to discuss her experience as a sustainability-focused female founder, and why innovating and addressing an unmet need in the market is always a good business case.
Disclosure and Reporting Leverage Regulatory Transparency
Sustainability at Bayer means helping people thrive while reducing the company’s ecological footprint. Klaus Kunz is responsible for ESG strategy at all three Bayer Divisions, Crop Science, Pharmaceuticals and Consumer Health. He believes that addressing food security, climate change and loss of biodiversity are the most material challenges in sustainable agriculture today. His work requires brutal transparency and detailed disclosure of related ESG measures at Bayer, the health and nutrition conglomerate. Our conversation in today’s episode of The Sustainable Finance Podcast (SFP) begins and ends with Kunz’s focus on transparency.
Open the Attachments tab at the SFP BrightTALK channel link for more details about Bayer's Transparency and Sustainable Agriculture initiatives.
Data & Technology Connect Wealth Managers to New Clients
DFD Partners is on a mission is to provide asset managers the most innovative, data driven distribution platform in the industry. Devon Drew, Founder & CEO of DFD Partners understands that diversity in gender, background, asset class and generation drives inclusion. That’s why the firm is dedicated to providing their platform services to those asset managers who may not have the tools and resources to effectively scale. With more than 16 years in the Asset & Wealth management industry, Drew has raised over $30 billion dollars in client AUM. His career with top industry organizations has given him the knowledge and experience to launch DFD Partners.
Ceres Analyzes Responsible Corporate Policy Engagement in 2022
Yamika Ketu is lead author of The Ceres Responsible Policy Engagement Analysis 2022, which benchmarks S&P 100 companies against the tactics they must adopt to assess climate-related business risks. A 2020 Ceres Blueprint calls for these companies to practice the “risk-aware and responsible” Paris-aligned advocacy their investors increasingly demand. Ketu and Steven Rothstein, Managing Director of the Ceres Accelerator for Sustainable Capital Markets, are joining me in this SFP episode to discuss steps that companies can take to insure their efforts are calibrated to the risks that climate change poses to their business model.
See the BrightTALK Attachments tab for a link to the "Ceres Responsible Engagement Analysis 2022".
Risk Mitigation Tops Concerns in Global Asset Owner Survey
In 2022 the top reason for implementing sustainable investment among institutional investors continued to be mitigating long-term investment risk.
A marketplace that features advanced climate and sustainability standards will have improved or more stable long-term returns, according to almost three-quarters (72%) of asset owners that took part in FTSE Russell’s 2022 Global Asset Owner Survey. Sylvain Chateau, the Global Head of Sustainable Investment Product Management at LSEG, FTSE Russell’s parent company, says these investors agree that successful approaches to sustainability mean they need to take a long-term view in order to manage their investment strategies well.
Details of the 2022 FTSE Russell Sustainable Investment Global Survey are linked at the SFP BrightTALK channel attachments tab for this SFP Episode 198.
Ardian Seizes Mid-Market Infrastructure Assets Opportunities
Ardian recently announced the final closing for its US$2.1bn Americas infrastructure fund – Ardian Americas Infrastructure Fund V (AAIF V). Its team, including Co-Head Mark Voccola, has deployed more than US$1bn in investments across the energy, renewables and transportation sectors. Ardian is a pioneering manager in decarbonizing infrastructure assets in line with global climate change agreements and a major renewable energy portfolio is part of this commitment. Ardian is also introducing energy efficiency policies across all of its portfolio companies. In a recent press release about the team’s funding success to date Mark said, “The market opportunity for high-quality, mid-market infrastructure assets is compelling, and even more so with the powerful tailwinds from the Inflation Reduction Act.”
Join Us for the 22nd Annual Wall Street Green Summit
Founder Peter Fusaro will host the 2023 WSGS, which is just around the corner on March 13 & 14, 2023. The 22nd anniversary of this annual event will convene in person after two years of COVID induced digital formatting. 40 plus speakers across 8 summit sessions over 2 days will join sponsors and summit attendees at this Nexus of Finance and Technology forum. In today’s SFP episode Peter Fusaro joins me for a sneak preview of what we can expect to learn from the leading practitioners in sustainability and how we can continue to build a sustainable finance system for responsible investing and the changing role of business.
LSEG Launches First Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM) Framework
Today’s Sustainable Finance Podcast (SFP) guest spoke recently at The World Climate Summit 2022 on how finance can help high emitting industries decarbonize. Claire Dorrian is Head of Sustainable Finance, Capital Markets and Post Trade at the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG). She joins me to talk about why the London Stock Exchange recently launched a solution for the Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM) and how it will work. Foresight Sustainable Forestry (FSF) is the first fund to be eligible based on its forestry and afforestation portfolio that will follow the UK Woodland Carbon Code certification.
SFP followers can view docs at the BrightTalk Attachments Tab related to the VCM Framework launch at LSEG.
TCFD and Structured Data Prepare Companies for the Net Zero Economy
Net Zero emissions by 2050 is the new North Star of environmental impact ambition for major corporations, governments and investors. In order to achieve this goal major corporate players across all sectors of the global economy must be held accountable. My guest today is Pratima Divgi, Head of Capital Markets, CDP North America. She leads engagement with the financial sector to measure and manage the climate and environmental impact of companies and guide them in deploying more sustainable practices. We discuss CDP’s efforts to help corporations generate structured data that helps them to assess, analyze and benchmark trends into the making of financial decisions. Then, using the Task Force for Climate Related Financial Decisions (TCFD) scenario analysis, companies can determine their readiness on climate and environmental strategies. This data is shared with 700 financial institutions that review how companies in a sector are preparing for the Net Zero economic journey.
Proposed: The Federal Supplier Climate Risk and Resilience Rule
A new rule proposed by the Biden Administration would require large federal contractors to publicly disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and other climate change risks, as well as set science-based emissions reduction targets. At $630 billion in annual spending the U.S. Government is the largest purchaser of goods and services in the world! Climate advisors Sarah O’Brien, CEO, Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council; Steven Rothstein, Managing Director, Ceres Accelerator for Sustainable Capital Markets and John Kostyack, Ceres Consultant are joining me for this discussion. We will highlight details of this proposed rule and share with our listeners how they can submit public comments on the proposal through the Jan. 13th deadline.
Find links for the proposed rule and public comment details at the SFP BrightTALK attachments tab.
EMERGE ETF Portfolios Open Doors for Diverse Asset Managers
EMERGE Capital Management recently launched a suite of sustainability-focused, diversified equity ETF portfolios to open new doors for high caliber, diverse investment managers who are often underserved in the industry. Jane Liou Li of Zevin Asset Management has joined EMPWR, a select group of women portfolio managers chosen to manage the EMERGE ETF strategies. Li and Zevin Asset Management sub-advise for the EMPWR Sustainable Global Core Equity ETF. We’re talking today about how these firms collaborate to achieve EMERGE’s mission of highlighting these talented women fund managers through the EMPWR ETF strategies.
For more details on the EMPWR ETF strategies see the docs linked below.
NextGen investors integrate ESG data into investment apps
In today’s program we’re exploring the changing needs and behavior of NextGen investors. According to my guest, Deborah Yang, these younger investors are using investment apps that integrate sustainability data and analytics into the portfolio ownership and management process. Yang, CEO and Co-Founder of Daizy.com, a sustainability insight app for Conscious Investing, is going to tell us how their app works, including using AI for more accurate and current data analysis.
Green Hydrogen Hubs will Fuel the Low Carbon U.S. Economy Transition
Investment capital to fund hydrogen clean energy development is being raised in record amounts in the private and public markets this year, with both the supply and demand sides of proposed hydrogen energy solutions dependent on the development of hydrogen hubs. Dr. Venera Anderson, a global Strategy Advisor and Author on Sustainability and Climate issues, an “Illuminem’s Energy Voice” and a member of the Harvard Business Review Advisory Council is my guest today on The Sustainable Finance Podcast (SFP) and a recognized expert in “Women in Green Hydrogen”. In today’s SFP episode we review her recently published study promoting the development of coastal green hydrogen hubs as part of the U.S. clean hydrogen energy infrastructure. We also discuss the green hydrogen hub concept as a key to creating the U.S. clean energy economy.
See the Attachments tab of this SFP BrightTALK channel episode for links to Dr. Anderson's articles and research related to the U.S. green hydrogen energy future.
Engaging with Companies to Better Protect Water Systems
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.
How Corporate Boards Combine Climate Readiness with Diversity
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
Audacious Goals Help The Diaspora Blossom
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 Accelerates Financial Advisor Education for 2023
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.
State Policies Challenge Sustainable Investment Choices
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.
Sustainable Transition Policies Will Be the Priority at COP 27
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.
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.