Program Director, Capital Markets Systems
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Veena Ramani is a Program Director leading Ceres’ Capital Market Systems program, which consolidates Ceres’ work on critical market levers that will help scale the transition to sustainable capital markets. As a part of this, Veena leads Ceres’ work on governance for sustainability, which focuses on systems and processes that companies should put in place at the corporate board level to allow for “effective” board sustainability oversight. She also oversees Ceres work on sustainability disclosure.
In Oct 2015, Veena authored the report, “View from the top: How corporate boards can engage on sustainability performance."
From 2006 to 2015, Veena managed the relationships with a wide portfolio of Ceres network companies as a part of the Ceres Corporate Program, including the financial services sector and the electric power sector. As a part of this, Veena worked with senior company management and boards on opportunities to integrate sustainability into their business structures and decision making, including policy and program development, disclosures and stakeholder engagement processes.
Prior to Ceres, Veena worked as a Management Consultant with CDM, an environmental consulting firm and focused on providing a variety of sustainability services to clients in the public and private sectors. Prior to that, she spent three years with Integrative Strategies Forum, a Washington DC based NGO, working on developing national and international policy solutions on sustainable development, building consensus and coalitions among civil society groups on these issues and lobbying government representatives. Veena has also practiced law in India.
Veena has an LL.M (Masters in Law) degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a B.A. LL. B (Hons) degree from National Law School from India University, Bangalore.
Recent Blog Posts
Climate competency of boards—and broader corporate attention to escalating climate change risks—isn’t just a hot topic for one set of shareholders and one oil company. It is a key investor imperative for all sectors of the economy.
The idea is straightforward, but crucial. The most effective corporate secretaries are those who act as a filter for the critical sustainability issues that should be raised to the board, but who also apply the filter with a strategic lens
Sustainability is a broad term, and not every environmental or social issue belongs on the board agenda. But when an environmental or social issue has the potential to affect corporate revenue and earnings in the short and long term, sustainability absolutely should be on the table.
A variety of trends are prompting directors to take on more responsibility for ensuring their companies are addressing sustainability issues like climate change. In particular, our panel pointed to the growing number of investors focusing on these issues through shareholder resolutions, corporate engagement and research.
Last month, the country’s largest pension fund, the California Public Employees Retirement System, updated its Global Governance Principles, which drive its efforts on corporate engagements, proxy voting and investment decision making. The principles now state that board members of companies that CalPERS owns should have “expertise and experience in climate change risk management strategies.” This move is hugely important.