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The ESG Agenda

Author: Brunswick Group

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The ESG Agenda, a podcast from Brunswick Group, hosted by Partner Amelia Pan. Amelia is joined by industry leaders, innovators, and experts for a series of conversations that explore the ESG issues on the minds of business leaders and investors. Send us your feedback at BGPODCAST@brunswickgroup.com
18 Episodes
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To close Season 3 of The ESG Agenda, we look back at the highlights of the past year and say goodbye to our host, Amelia Pan. For three seasons we have brought together experts from across the world to examine how the ESG ecosystem is evolving.  ESG continues to shape board decisions across sectors and influence legislation globally. From investors role in the climate crisis, to the material implications of inclusion and diversity, we have unified a variety of perspectives to create a cohesive view of the changing landscape. You can look forward to Season 4 of The ESG Agenda in the Fall.
Emily Chew, Global Head of Sustainability for Morgan Stanley Investment Management, gives practical recommendations for corporate directors to understand how ESG issues can pose risks to business and how boards can develop their companies’ corporate strategy in the era of sustainability disruption. 
This week Hendrik Bartel, CEO and Co-Founder at TruValue Labs, reveals how AI and Big Data are shaping the way investors evaluate company ESG activities. Hendrik and host Amelia Pan examine the kinds of data that TruValue Labs collects, including the "outside-in" picture that excludes companies’ self-reported data in favour of external, objective data; and geo-locational data including weather, climate, and supplier information. Hendrik suggests the best way for companies to focus their sustainability communications is to understand the needs of their investors and deliver data in a searchable and consumable way.  
Joining Amelia for this episode is Greg Fewer, Chief Financial and Sustainability officer at Aldar Properties in the UAE.  Greg talks about why sustainability belongs in the management suite and how ESG helps attract new investors, lower borrowing costs and cut operating expenses. With the Gulf on the front line of climate change, Greg talks about how this Abu Dhabi-based real estate developer integrates ESG into development of more sustainable, climate-friendly real estate.
Jenn-Hui Tan, Global Head of Stewardship and Sustainable Investing at Fidelity International highlights three ESG investment themes that his global team is focused on this year: 1) valuing natural ecosystems, 2) addressing inequality, and 3) focusing on access to digital technology. And with more than 50% world’s population in Asia, Jenn-Hui discusses why engaging with Asian companies is an under-looked piece of the global ESG puzzle. 
Systemic racism leaves money on the table. That’s what Jacqueline Taiwo, Co-Founder of Black Women in Asset Management tells Amelia in this personal episode , which discusses the toll of being “the only”, the investment risk that racism poses to companies, and how closing the racial wealth gap could add trillions to US GDP. 
Catherine Howarth, CEO of Share Action talks about using AGMs to “nudge” companies to become more sustainable and how ranking investors on climate change, biodiversity and human rights can encourage them to lift their game.
Imagine a world without waste. This week, CEO Andrew Morlet of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation discusses the circular economy and how innovation and design can help us transition to a more regenerative and restorative model for economic growth. 
Evan Harvey, Nasdaq's Global Head of Sustainability, considers ESG the shared responsibility of all market participants. He gives us his perspective on the race toward universal ESG reporting standards, talks us through dynamic materiality, and discusses whether market forces or regulation are best placed to drive corporate sustainability.
As we move toward an economy that invests in intangibles like innovation, brand and reputation, what impact does that have on company value? We are joined by Professor Jonathan Haskel, Professor at Imperial College Business School and advisor to the Bank of England, to discuss how intangible factors are playing an increasingly important role in business performance and overall economic growth.
The EU Parliament recently passed a law introducing a labelling system for what can be considered “green.” Nathan Fabian, Chief Investment Officer of UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) explains why we need precise definitions around what can be labelled “green” and how companies and investors can use the taxonomy regulation to report their environmentally sustainable activities. 
As Season 1 of The ESG Agenda draws to a close, Amelia Pan is joined by Betsy Atkins, three-time CEO and experienced director on more than 60 private and public company Boards, including Schneider Electric, Volvo Cars, and Home Depot Supply. She a leading voice on ESG in the Boardroom and the author of Be Board Ready.Amelia and Betsy discuss differences between US and European Board governance, cautions that ESG will be the Trojan Horse into the boardroom for shareholder activists, and despite the noise and complexity, she encourages Boards to just get started on ESG.
Alexandra Basirov of BNP Paribas discusses how financial institutions can be part of the climate solution by creating innovative new products to help companies meet their sustainability goals and by financing the transition to a more sustainable economy. 
This week on The ESG Agenda, Amelia is joined by Diversity and Inclusion Specialist Antoinette Boateng. With major global upheavals underway on issues of social justice and racial equality, and the strengthened priorities in young people and the future workforce, a company’s focus on its people and culture is now a business-critical issue that cannot be ignored. Amelia and Antoinette discuss the complex challenges companies face today and steps that businesses can take to develop a truly diverse talent pipeline for long-term success.
Amid growing acknowledgment that ESG-related strategic issues are a Board responsibility, Amelia talks with Karina Litvack, Independent Non-Executive Director at Eni SpA, Italian oil and gas giant. Karina takes us inside the boardroom discussion behind Eni’s recent ambitious climate announcement, discusses why board qualifications must evolve to include climate expertise, describes her initiative to help board members develop that fluency, and tells us why boards should encourage their CEOs to be activists. Send us your feedback at BGPODCAST@brunswickgroup.com
This week on The ESG Agenda, Amelia speaks with Charles King, Head of Investor Relations for FTSE 100-listed company Halma plc. With 20 years’ experience in investor relations for companies like Worldpay, Lloyds and Cadbury, Charles tells Amelia how ESG is influencing his engagement with analysts and investors, how he tackles all those ESG surveys, and what it takes to build a corporate sustainability programme.We’d love to hear your feedback and suggestions. Who should we talk to? What should we discuss? You can let us know by emailing bgpodcast@brunswickgroup.com. We hope you enjoy this episode.
In our opening episode, Amelia is joined by Janine Guillot, CEO of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) to discuss SASB’s ethos, global attitudes to ESG, and how SASB is helping companies understand their financial materiality and report intangible strengths. Since launching their standards in 2017, SASB has taken the investor space by storm, with over 100 companies now using SASB standards in ESG reporting.We’d love to hear your feedback and suggestions. Who should we talk to? What should we discuss? You can let us know by emailing bgpodcast@brunswickgroup.com. We hope you enjoy this episode.
The ESG Agenda, a brand-new weekly podcast by Brunswick Group, with Partner Amelia Pan.
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