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EP 101: A New Education & Collaboration Network for Sustainable Finance

After many years in the asset management industry, Kirshman launched Impact Metropolis as a social network and video hosting site dedicated to the sustainable and impact investing community. According to Kirshman, as sustainable investing becomes more mainstream, collaboration and sharing of information is being impacted. Kirshman describes how Impact Metropolis is both aggregating resources across the sector and providing a platform where individuals and businesses, both new to impact investing and seasoned professionals, can network, promote their services, and connect with others in the field.
Recorded Oct 18 2020 30 mins
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Phil Kirshman, Founder, Impact Metropolis
Presentation preview: EP 101: A New Education & Collaboration Network for Sustainable Finance

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  • Episode 113: U.S. Bioenergy Industry Is Fueling the EU’s Low Carbon Transition Recorded: Mar 28 2021 25 mins
    Jens Wolf, Vice President and General Manager, Enviva Europe
    Enviva is the largest supplier of sustainable wood biomass in the world. Jens Wolf, Vice President and General Manager at Enviva Europe, explains how the U.S. has a promising opportunity to provide low-carbon renewable energy and heat solutions to enable the transition to a net zero economy, as targeted by the E.U. and U.K. Today, bioenergy is the largest renewable energy source in the E.U., with the U.S. having the potential to meet 65% of the sustainable wood pellet demand, representing an approximate trade value of $1.6B. The low-carbon profile of sustainable wood biomass allows energy and heat producers to reduce their carbon emissions footprint by more than 85% on a lifecycle basis (compared to coal) creating an opportunity for investors and policymakers to transition to a green economy.
  • EP 112: Total Impact Capital: Investment Solutions for Global Water Problems Recorded: Mar 21 2021 24 mins
    John Simon, Managing Partner, Total Impact Capital
    The clean water challenge: Only 3 percent of water on earth is fresh and potable for healthy human consumption, and 70% of this is used for agricultural production. Paul talks to John Simon about how Total Impact Capital is using blended finance to fund social enterprises with expertise in achieving several of the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals, including #6: Clean Water and Sanitation for all by 2030. For example, investors funded water delivery franchises in East Africa and supported water cooperatives in Central America to deliver cost effective, full-time access to clean water.

    Attachments include the Total Impact Capital website, LinkedIn site and a link to "More Than Money", the article John Simon co-authored with Julia Barmeier.
  • Values at Work: Sustainable Investing and ESG Reporting Recorded: Mar 11 2021 53 mins
    Paul Ellis, Daniel Esty, Todd Bridges & Christina Alfonso-Ercan
    Values at Work is a book recently published by the Yale Initiative on Sustainable Finance. The book and this webinar panel focus specifically on the challenges and opportunities of the current ESG reporting frameworks and suggest some paths forward.

    Paul Ellis, Host of The Sustainable Finance Podcast (SFP) and Daniel C. Esty, Co-Editor of Values at Work and Director of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy, have invited several of the 21 Values at Work contributing authors to join this panel. They will discuss how to harness the power of markets and finance to protect the natural world, promote human well-being, and create a more equitable economy and society.

    Moderator: Paul Ellis, Founder & Host of The Sustainable Finance Podcast (SFP) at BrightTALK.com and Principal at Paul Ellis Consulting

    Daniel C. Esty, Co-Editor of Values at Work: Sustainable Investing and ESG Reporting & Director, Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy
    Todd Arthur Bridges, Partner and Global Head of Sustainable Investing and ESG Research, Arabesque
    Christina Alfonso-Ercan, Corporate ESG Integration Expert & former CEO, Madeira Global
  • EP 111: Europe’s Leading Investment House: Creating ESG Strategies Since 2009 Recorded: Feb 23 2021 24 mins
    Candice Brenet, Managing Director, Head of Sustainability and Digital Transformation at Ardian
    Ardian, a global PE firm with European roots, manages US$110BN. Since Ardian started their ESG platform, they have completed 130 ESG roadmaps for companies in their portfolio, using their Sustainable Buyout Investment approach. Brenet talks about how their process has reduced both emissions and employee absenteeism by 50% at one of London’s major airports.
  • EP 110: Schroders Completes ESG Integration across all Investments in 2020 Recorded: Feb 15 2021 28 mins
    Sarah Bratton Hughes, Head of Sustainability, North America at Schroders
    Hughes discusses their process for ESG integration, which includes Schroders Sustainability Accreditation, enabling clients to distinguish how ESG factors are considered across the firm’s products. The second phase of their process will include impactIQ, a platform encompassing the firm’s proprietary tools. impactIQ will enable Schroders to identify companies that build businesses that can adapt to social and environmental pressures in order to reduce risks and increase returns.
  • EP 109: New Analytics Tools Provide ESG Data on Thousands of Companies Recorded: Jan 20 2021 26 mins
    Reto Ringger, CEO & Founder, Globalance
    Ringger brings 25 years of experience as a pioneer in sustainable finance to his new company, Globalance. The company is designed to be an interactive platform for investors to assess current portfolios against other models and indexes. Ringger talks about how investors can use the Globalance Footprint, an analytic tool that provides economic, social, and environmental impact information about investments in the 6,000 companies that Globalance covers. The Globalance World Portfolio is another tool that allows investors to compare the climate impact of their portfolios against industry standard investment indexes like the S&P 500.
  • EP 108: ISS ESG’s New Indexes Raise the Bar on Diversity & Governance Recorded: Jan 11 2021 21 mins
    Viola Lutz, Associate Director & Head of Investor Consulting at ISS ESG
    Lutz describes the new US Diversity Index, the first of its kind for US companies and directors that includes ethnicity along with gender. We also discuss the launch of the Governance QualityScore (GQS) Index family, designed to help investors to identify large and mid-cap companies with strong board structure and shareholder rights as well as those aligned with UN Global Compact principles. In addition we talk about ISS ESG’s role working with institutional investors to explore climate-related risks through a suite of possible solutions.

    Open the Attachments tab to read Lutz's recent article at ISS ESG: Conversations on Climate
  • EP 107: Diversity Wins, Inclusion Matters Recorded: Jan 3 2021 22 mins
    Eve Ellis, Wealth Advisor, William Blair
    Ellis, together with Nikolay Djibankov, leads the Matterhorn Group at William Blair, a full-service wealth advisory group developing and executing sophisticated financial and philanthropic plans for individuals, businesses, and nonprofit institutions. Ellis and I talk about their two portfolios: The Gender Parity Strategy and the The Matterhorn/Refinitiv Diversity & Inclusion Strategy. Ellis explains how the companies they own incorporate a diversity and inclusion social contract into stakeholder engagement. According to Ellis these companies will be the winners in performance and customer loyalty and attract a high quality workforce. Ellis also belongs to the Thirty Percent Coalition and working groups at Intentional Endowment Network, and US SIF to advocate for diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
  • EP 106: Labeled Bonds: The Secular Shift to a Sustainable, Global Economy Recorded: Dec 27 2020 25 mins
    James Rich, Senior Portfolio Manager, Aegon Asset Management
    As the key developer of the sustainable investing framework for Aegon Asset Management, Rich focuses on how to invest alongside sustainable megatrends in fixed income. We talk about the huge issuance of labeled bonds ($444B in 2020): green bonds, social bonds, and sustainable bonds. Rich shares a practical approach to identifying sustainable megatrends and opportunities across the fixed income spectrum. We also discuss how sustainability can help identify opportunities to uncover upside return potential and avoid downside risk by investing in companies that are sustainable leaders and improvers.

    Visit the Attachments tab for a Bio and Profile on James Rich, as well as the 2020 Aegon Sustainable Fixed Income, Sustainability Report.
  • EP 105 ImpactVest: New Private Equity Firm Focuses on Mission Driven Enterprises Recorded: Dec 14 2020 31 mins
    Aisha Williams, Founder & CEO at ImpactVest
    After eight years doing development work in the public sector as a U.S. Federal Government Boren Scholar, and four years in the private banking industry focused on ESG and SRI, Williams has recently launched ImpactVest, dedicated to private equity impact strategies that use the GIIN (Global Impact Investing Network) tenets. Williams shares the startling statistic that only 4% of impact funds are currently invested in Africa. We talk about the lack of private capital allocation to impact strategies in both developed and developing economies, particularly regarding gender equality, climate risk, and access to financial services.

    See the Attachments tab for information on the RISE Fund's Impact Multiple of Money analysis and the Harvard Business Review article on Calculating the Value of Impact Investing.
  • EP 73: Climate Risk Is a Present and Future Business Critical Issue Recorded: Dec 10 2020 29 mins
    Joseph Lake, Chief Operating Officer at The Climate Service (TCS)
    Lake describes Climate Risk as the largest idiosyncratic risk in the world left unmeasured by asset managers and companies. Investors can capture climate change opportunities not yet priced into company data by the markets.
    The Forrester New Wave: Climate Risk Analytics, Q3 2020 ranks The Climate Service among the eight providers that matter most and how they stack up. Link to details at the Attachments tab of this podcast.
  • Private Capital & Municipal Finance Drive Sustainable & Equitable Urbanization Recorded: Dec 2 2020 60 mins
    Paul Ellis, Paul Ellis Consulting; Martina Macpherson, Moody's; Jaffer Machano, UNCDF; Elisabetta Colombo, E.V
    One of the biggest drivers of growth in the global green economy is innovative collaboration between private capital and sovereign and municipal finance. The green and social bond markets, for example, reached 1 trillion+ issuance in the third quarter 2020. One of the key challenges in ensuring that this global growth is sustainable and equitable is managing the rise of urbanization, in both developed and developing economies. In this webinar, Martina Macpherson from Moody's, Elisabetta Colombo from V.E, and Jaffer Machano from United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) will cover the most pressing issues, such as managing credit risk, structuring private capital deployment, and assessing the capacity of local governments to address these urbanization challenges. What is becoming increasingly clear is that these market-based financial solutions are delivering significant economic benefits to communities and investors.
  • EP 104: How ESG Regulation Affects the Cost of Capital Recorded: Dec 1 2020 28 mins
    Jake Moeller, Senior Investment Consultant, Square Mile Investment & Research
    Jake Moeller, Senior Investment Consultant at Square Mile, talks about the dramatic increase in assets under management going into sustainable and responsible investment strategies globally since 2016, with 30%+ AUM in both the U.S. and Europe incorporating ESG analysis. Moeller and I discuss how Europe continues to be 5+ years ahead of the U.S. in enacting regulatory policies related to greenhouse gas reductions and achieving net zero carbon emissions. He explains how these policies are influencing corporate business models and the cost of capital today.
  • EP 103: What’s Ahead for ESG Research and Analytics? Recorded: Nov 22 2020 25 mins
    Iyassu Essayas, Director of ESG Research at Parnassus
    According to Essayas, the Covid-19 pandemic and the growing number of storms, fires, and other environmental disasters have affected every aspect of ESG analytics across all sectors of the economy. What will this mean over the next few years? Join us for this discussion as Essays explains that ESG metrics will be more dynamic, with more collaboration across data and analytics platforms leading to more standardized ESG methodologies.
  • EP74: Enviva’s Sustainable Wood Pellets: A Low-Carbon, Renewable Solution Recorded: Nov 20 2020 33 mins
    John Keppler, Chairman & CEO of Enviva LP
    Keppler explains how 3.5 million metric tons of sustainable wood pellets allow heat generators and power producers to reduce their carbon footprint by up to 85% on a lifecycle basis and help meet their renewable energy generation goals. Enviva has generated an annualized total return to unitholders of about 24% since its initial public offering in 2015 and just this week reaffirmed its full-year distribution guidance in a COVID-19 environment.
    Enviva's first ever Corporate Sustainability Report is available at the Attachments tab of this podcast - Displace Coal; Grow More Trees; Fight Climate Change
  • EP 87: Schroders' ESG Funds Are Outperforming the Competition Recorded: Nov 19 2020 24 mins
    Katherine Davidson, Portfolio Manager/Global Sector Specialist at Schroders
    Davidson explains how those corporations with good customer relationships and more sustainable corporate cultures pre-pandemic are more resilient during the pandemic, starting at the Board level and including a strong investment in their employees.
    Schroders Global Sustainable Growth Fund details are linked at the Attachments tab of this podcast program.
  • EP 73: Climate Risk Is a Present and Future Business Critical Issue Recorded: Nov 18 2020 29 mins
    Joseph Lake, Chief Operating Officer at The Climate Service (TCS)
    Lake describes Climate Risk as the largest idiosyncratic risk in the world left unmeasured by asset managers and companies. Investors can capture climate change opportunities not yet priced into company data by the markets.
    The Forrester New Wave: Climate Risk Analytics, Q3 2020 ranks The Climate Service among the eight providers that matter most and how they stack up. Link to details at the Attachments tab of this podcast.
  • EP 85: Next Gen Advisor Steers a Resilient Course During the Pandemic Recorded: Nov 17 2020 31 mins
    Noel Pacarro Brown, CIMA, CPWA, The Conscious Wealth Management Group & First Vice President at Morgan Stanley
    A Forbes Top Next-Gen Wealth Advisor and 2nd generation Managing Partner in the practice founded by her mother, Brown works with institutions, family offices, and high net worth individuals. As co-chair of the Consulting Group Advisory Council at Morgan Stanley, Brown regularly speaks and writes about practice management for financial advisors. We also talked about the protocol they use to address any kind of market or economic crisis, which has been especially successful during the current investor panic around COVID-19.
  • EP 102: How Climate Risk Scores and Scenario Analysis Drive Investor Decisions Recorded: Nov 2 2020 29 mins
    Emilie Mazzacurati, Founder & CEO at Four Twenty Seven, Inc.
    Four Twenty Seven promotes climate adaptation and resilient investment through the integration of climate science into business and policy decisions, particularly their climate risk scores for listed securities, risk assessments for real estate, and intelligence services for scenario analysis. In our conversation Mazzacurati also talks about the increasing number of carbon neutrality declarations from corporate and government sectors. For example, she walks us through how corporations in the manufacturing sector are applying scenario analysis to opportunities for breakthrough technologies, and how China and the EU can do the same for credit rating risk.
    Mazzacurati was named among the Top 100 People in Finance for 2019. Her full bio is included in the Attachments tab of this program.
  • EP: 89: Rocky Mountain Institute and the Banking Sector Unite on Climate Finance Recorded: Oct 26 2020 23 mins
    Radhika Lalit, Director, Center for Climate Aligned-Finance, Rocky Mountain Institute
    Lalit talks about Rocky Mountain Institute’s new Center for Climate-Aligned Finance, which is bringing the financial sector to the table to evaluate how to bring their portfolios into alignment with a zero-carbon future. The Center is collaborating with Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and other partners to develop an engagement platform with sectors such as oil and gas, steel, and utilities to drive decarbonization. Visit climatealignment.org for more details.
    "Breaking The Code", Deciphering Climate Action Efforts in the Financial Sector - RMI research is available for download from the Attachments tab of this program.
Investors and Advisors Talk ESG Strategy Integration
Investors and advisors can learn everything they need to know about sustainable finance as Paul Ellis interviews leaders in the field.

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  • Live at: Oct 18 2020 10:00 pm
  • Presented by: Phil Kirshman, Founder, Impact Metropolis
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