Growth in Europe can be driven by Europe
Europe continues to be at the forefront of global sustainable finance. Climate Action, in partnership with UNEP FI are delighted to announce the 2021 Sustainable Investment Forum Europe will remain virtual whilst we navigate these challenging times, following the success of the September online event and extending our reach to a wider global audience.
Europe, in particular the EU can pave the way to a sustainable recovery beyond COVID-19. Europe’s regulatory and societal climates have encouraged and accelerated coherent sustainable investment growth strategies for the EU. They continue to represent a unique opportunity for governments to reshape a sustainable future world, and for private and institutional investors to access attractive responsible ESG investment propositions to support ESG and global sustainable finance.
Due to the volatile nature of the COVID-19 crisis, there is an urgent need to identify and model risks that companies did not consider prior to the pandemic, to encourage private and institutional investors to invest in more purposeful projects using enhanced de-risking mechanisms offered by increased EU-backed guarantees. With a mandate for embedding environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks in their investment strategies many are expecting the Biden administration will trigger growth in demand in ESG investing. It is anticipated that Biden will accelerate the transition to a low-carbon US economy –what are the e implications for Europe, and will this result in a decisive move towards a common approach to cross border carbon taxes in Europe and North America?
4-Part digital event series throughout April!
2020 Featured Speakers
Magnus Billing is the CEO of Alecta. Alecta provides collectively agreed occupational pensions, and is owned by approximately 2.4 million private customers and 34,000 corporate clients. Alecta’s assets under management amount to approximately USD 90 billion.
In 2016 Mr. Billing was appointed to be member of the European Commissions’ “high-level expert group” on sustainable finance. In January 2018, the group delivered their final recommendations for “a comprehensive EU strategy on sustainable finance as part of the Capital Markets Union”, which informed the Commissions’ Action plan on Sustainable Finance launched in 2018.
Prior to joining Alecta, Mr. Billing was the CEO of Nasdaq Nordics, and Head of Fixed Income Nordic and Baltic Markets. Within Nasdaq he previously held the position as Chief Legal Counsel and Senior Vice President of Nasdaq Group, Inc.
Mr. Billing has served as director of Federation of European Securities Exchanges, Swedish House of Finance and as an alternate director of the Swedish Corporate Governance Code Board of Directors. He holds a degree in Law from Stockholm University.
Vice President – Fundraising & Impact Investing
Energy Impact Partners
Ms. Gorham heads global fundraising and impacting investing activities supporting EIP’s European, North American, and Infrastructure platforms. Additionally, she oversees impact measurement and reporting, and GP-LP collaboration on shared ESG priorities. Prior, as Sr. Product Manager at S&P Global Market Intelligence, she oversaw renewable energy and ESG content businesses and served on S&P Global cross divisional ESG Task Force. Earlier, Bethany worked in technical roles at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Laboratory (NREL) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Bethany has a Masters in Environmental Management and Climate Sustainability from Harvard University and a BBA in Finance from Texas Christian University.
Managing Director and Head of Sustainable Finance Global Policy Initiatives
Institute of International Finance
Sonja’s research work covers global debt and sovereign debt policy issues, financial stability risks, sustainable finance, and capital markets development in emerging and frontier markets. She oversees the IIF’s Weekly Insight, which offers a concise perspective on global financial markets in the context of topical economic and political developments, and the quarterly Global Debt Monitor, which looks across mature and emerging economies for debt-related vulnerabilities such as the rapid buildup in EM corporate debt levels. Sonja leads IIF policy work on sustainable finance and infrastructure investment, including advocacy and liaison efforts vis-à-vis the G20, the multilaterals and the international regulatory community.
Sonja has spent over 20 years in banking and financial markets, most recently with Nomura International in London, where she was Chief Equity Strategist. Previously she was Head of East European Economics and Senior European Bond Analyst, also for Nomura. Earlier positions included stints as a U.S. economist and bank credit analyst in New York and Los Angeles. She has taught undergraduate microeconomics at U.C. Berkeley, and spent several years with the Berkeley-Stanford Program on Soviet International Behavior. Sonja’s work is widely cited in the financial press, including Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times; she is a regular speaker at industry conferences and a frequent commentator for financial television and radio.
Eric Usher currently heads the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative, UNEP FI, a global partnership bringing together the UN with 230 banks, insurers and asset managers working to develop the sustainable finance and responsible investment agendas. Eric oversees governance, strategy and day-to-day management of UNEP FI’s work programme and global network development. Over the years UNEP FI has established some of the most important sustainability oriented frameworks within the finance industry, including the Principles for Responsible Investment (2006), the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (2012) and work now underway on the establishment of Principles for Responsible Banking. Since joining in 2015, Mr. Usher has focused on accelerating the deep integration of sustainability risks into financial practice, including addressing climate change, natural capital loss and human rights abuses, as well as building out the frameworks for positive impact finance needed to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Eric sits on several industry bodies including as UN representative on the Board of the Principles for Responsible Investment, as a member of the Evaluation Council of the French sovereign green bond, as Director for the impact fund REPP Africa and founder of the Seed Capital Assistance Facility.
Prior to leading UNEP FI, Mr. Usher has over twenty years of experience in the low carbon sectors, spanning technology commercialisation in Canada, solar rural electrification in Morocco and financial sector development across emerging markets. During 2011, Mr. Usher worked on the establishment of the Green Climate Fund and led efforts to create its Private Sector Facility. Eric has been an editor of the Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment report published annually with Bloomberg and was lead author for finance of the IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources. Before joining the UN, Eric was General Manager of a solar rural electrification company based in Morocco.
Director of ESG & Impact
Johanna heads Swedfund’s ESG & Impact operations focusing on two of three pillars in Swedfund’s business model: Impact on Society and Sustainability including themes such as Gender Equality, Climate Change and Environment, Human Rights, Decent Work, and Anti-Corruption. Johanna and her team ensure the assessment and measurement of impact of Swedfund’s portfolio as well as environmental, social and corporate governance issues (ESG) in the entire investment process across different industries.
Head of the Sustainable Finance Unit
Martin Spolc is the Head of the Sustainable Finance unit in the European Commission’s Directorate General for Financial Services. Prior to his current role, he was the Head of the Capital Markets Union unit, the Economic analysis unit, Deputy Head of the Banking unit and Assistant to the Director General, directly involved in developing the Banking Union and other key projects in the area of financial services aiming at restoring financial stability since the crisis. Before joining the Commission, he had worked at risk management consultancy and the banking sector. He is the holder of the CFA and FRM designations and member of the CFA Institute and Global Association of Risk Professionals.
Principal Responsible Investment
NN Investment Partners
Adrie Heinsbroek is Principal Responsible Investment Specialist in the Responsible Investment (RI) team at NN Investment Partners (NN IP). He has been working in the field of corporate responsibility and responsible investing since 1996. Adrie has always been active in the area of integrating sustainability or sustainable factors into the investment decision making process.
First at a privately owned asset manager and later at ING Bank’s Investment Office, Adrie focused on selecting investment funds that integrate ESG factors and increasing client awareness of the relevance of ESG. From analysing sustainable strategies and methodologies he switched to the strategic Sustainability department at ING Bank in Amsterdam and railed a few years later to Brussel to steer the sustainability agenda of ING Belgium. In 2017 Adrie started at NN Investment Partners to provide guidance to the Responsible Investment team to further embed the integration of ESG-factors in the investment processes and to the active ownership responsibilities, by empowering colleagues and clients. Adrie is determined to make NNIP a leader in Responsible Investing.
Senior Policy Analyst, Green Finance & Investment
Geraldine Ang works as a senior policy analyst on green finance and investment at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which she joined in 2011. Under the OECD Centre on Green Finance and Investment, she has developed several projects to support the global green finance and investment agenda, including on: the role of central banks to address sustainability in the financial system; integrating climate factors in institutional investment; integrating biodiversity factors in business and investment decisions, and mobilising clean energy finance and investment. Geraldine has co-authored multiple OECD reports, such as the OECD report contributed to the G7 Environment in 2019 on Biodiversity: Finance and the Economic and Business Case for Action. She has organised several events on green finance and investment, such as the annual OECD Forum on Green Finance and Investment and the High-Level Breakfast on Institutional Investors and the Low-Carbon Transition. Prior to joining the OECD, she conducted research on climate mitigation for the Earth Institute. Previously, she worked for Lagardere Active and the French Senate. Geraldine holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University’s SIPA (2011), and a Master of Science in Management from HEC Paris (2006).