Business, Investments & the SDGs: A Powerful Opportunity for Shared Prosperity

October 1, 2019
12:40 p.m. - 2 p.m.
MUB, Granite State Room
Durham, NH

sustainable development goals

The United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an urgent call for action by all countries and provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. The goals recognize that ending poverty is inextricably linked with improving health and education, reducing inequality, and spurring economic growth – all while tackling climate change and preserving bio-diversity.

This event will explore the SDGs, and in particular, will explore the role of the corporate sector as a vital partner in the SDGs. Not only is the corporate sector a powerful lever for creating greater environmental sustainability and shared prosperity, but the business case for sustainable business practices gets even stronger each year. While a large body of research suggest that sustainability practices makes companies more efficient in their supply chains, and more competitive in their industries, a recent study by PwC found that while 72 percent of companies mention the SDGs in their reports, only 28 percent disclose meaningful key performance indicators related to the SDGs, and only 27 percent mention the SDGs as part of their business strategy.

Our speakers will also discuss the future of the fast-growing segment of the investment field, ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) investing, an approach that is rooted in the idea that all investments have health, environmental, and societal impacts. In recent years, ESG approaches have achieved increased prominence, now estimated to exceed $12 trillion in the United States, or more than 25% of total assets under management.  Leading mainstream investors have been advocating for practices that they believe will drive sustainable, long-term growth and profitability because of the growing understanding that the global landscape is increasingly fragile and, as a result, susceptible to short-term behavior by corporations and governments alike.

What does this mean for the future of business, investing and our society? Join our panel of leading experts to find out!

Panelists

 

Molly photo

Molly Betournay
Director of Social Research and Shareholder Advocacy
Clean Yield Asset Management

Molly leads Clean Yield’s social research and shareholder engagement efforts.

She joined the team in 2017, building on her 14 years of experience in socially responsible investing. Molly started her career in sustainability research at Pax World Management Corp., where she evaluated companies on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria for inclusion in the firm’s funds and engaged with companies around the issues of gender equity and sustainability reporting. Molly then joined EIRIS, an ethical investment research provider, where she oversaw a team of analysts covering the ethical, environmental, and social profiles of U.S. companies. Most recently, Molly served as the Director of ESG and Impact Investing at Pathstone Federal Street, where she led due diligence on ESG and impact strategies across asset classes.

Molly is an ardent advocate for socially responsible investing and leveraging the rights of shareholders to make positive change. She has experience working on a range of environmental and social topics but has a particular interest in promoting gender equity and empowerment.

Molly holds a B.A. in linguistics from the University of New Hampshire and an MBA from the Paul College of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire.

 

Matt GardnerDr. Matthew Gardner 
Managing Partner | Sustainserve

Dr. Gardner applies his background in environmental science and education to bring a practical perspective to sustainability strategy development, quantifying sustainability impacts, and state-of-the-art sustainability communications. In his work he employs a multidisciplinary approach that couples technical, quantitative expertise with a commitment to clarity and pragmatism. He has a Ph.D. in Chemistry and spent ten years in environmental research and education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

 

Aniket Shah

Aniket Shah, Ph.D.
Senior Fellow, Columbia University and Senior Advisor on Sustainable Finance | UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network

Dr. Aniket Shah is a development economist at Columbia University, where he is currently a Senior Fellow at the Columbia University Center for Sustainable Investment and a Senior Advisor to the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a global research network focused on sustainable development. Aniket has spent his career at the intersection of international finance and sustainable development policy and research. His work in the private sector includes posts at Goldman Sachs, Investec Asset Management and most recently at Oppenheimer Funds, where he was the Global Head of Sustainable Investing. Aniket has also spent many years in the policy research and advisory space and has worked in over sixty countries around the world. Aniket has a BA from Yale University and a PhD from the University of Oxford.