Program and Agenda
PROGRAM SUBJECT TO CHANGE
(Last updated 2.20.14)
Tuesday, April 29
Wednesday, April 30
Opening Keynote: Mindy Lubber, President, Ceres
Plenary Panel: Think Big: Mega Trends in Sustainability
From the rapid depletion of natural resources like water to increased energy demands to growing public awareness of climate change impacts, sustainability mega-trends expose businesses to risks - yet they also offer tremendous opportunities. Addressing these trends will require profound shifts in the way investors and businesses plan, operate and compete in the global economy. Join this session to learn from sustainability leaders who are taking advantage of these new and growing economic opportunities.
- Paul Gilding, Environmentalist and Author; Former Executive Director of Greenpeace International
- Christianna Wood, Chair, Global Reporting Initiative
Urban Climate Resiliency: High Tides and High Stakes for Businesses
As extreme weather events become more intense and sea levels continue to rise, climate resiliency is more critical for businesses and urban infrastructure than ever before. What resiliency investments are city planners making to protect urban populations and businesses? What strategies are companies deploying to mitigate impacts from the ‘next big storm’? Join this session to hear from corporate, city and sustainability leaders who are creating aggressive and innovative resiliency solutions in cities like New York and Boston.
- Hubert Murray, Manager of Sustainable Initiatives, Partners HealthCare Inc.
- Tedd Saunders, CSO, The Saunders Hotel Group & President, Ecological Solutions, Inc. (moderator)
Lost in Translation: capturing impacts of sustainability initiatives
As corporations implement more sophisticated sustainability initiatives, executives are under growing pressure to demonstrate impacts in environmental, social and financial performance terms. It’s not an easy task. In some cases, the right metrics simply do not exist. In others, certain environmental and social issues cannot easily be translated into financial terms. Still, investors, advocacy groups and companies need to be able to judge the effectiveness of sustainability initiatives. Join this discussion about the evolving expectations of stakeholders and steps companies are taking to capture and disclose their sustainability impacts.
- Stathis Gould, Senior Technical Manager and Head of Professional Accountants in Business, IFAC
- Veena Ramani, Director, Corporate Program, Ceres (moderator)
- Curtis Ravanel, Global Head, Sustainability Group, Bloomberg
Groundwater: Going, going, gone
Groundwater is one of our country’s most poorly regulated resources. From California to the Midwest –learn what companies, regulators and investors across the United States are doing to address groundwater sourcing problems. This session will also feature the latest research demonstrating just how endangered our freshwater reserves are in a climate and resource stressed world.
The Clean Trillion: Scaling Clean Energy Solutions to Tackle the Climate Challenge
To prevent potentially catastrophic global warming, substantially more investment is needed globally in clean energy. The International Energy Agency pegs the figure at to spend an extra $1 trillion a year – or $36 trillion overall by 2050 to limit temperature increases to 2 degrees. Closing this clean energy investment gap is only possible if businesses, investors and policymakers join forces. Join this session to learn from business, investor, and NGO leaders who are working together to make the Clean Energy Future a reality. This interactive session will map out action steps to expand clean energy at the speed and scale required to address the climate challenge.
- Mark Fulton, Senior Fellow, Ceres; Founding Partner, Energy Transition Advisors (moderator)
- Ashok Gupta, Program Director, NRDC
Discussion Tables hosted by Ceres Coalition MemberS
Plenary Panel- Unlocking Sustainability Innovation: The Business Case for Empowering Women
Across the globe, women disproportionately feel the acute impacts of climate change, constrained natural resources and inequitable working conditions. They represent half of the world's population and do two-thirds of the world's work, yet earn only one-tenth of the world's income and own less than one percent of the world's property. To solve global sustainability challenges we must access the innovation and business acumen of women. There is growing evidence that when this happens, the potential for change is significant and the pay off is huge. Join us as we explore how leading investors and companies are recognizing the business case for empowering women to overcome social and environmental challenges, unlock innovation and unleash economic potential.
The Road to 2020: Building a 21st Century Sustainable Corporation
The global challenges facing corporations today require profound changes in how businesses do business. To remain competitive and succeed in a world of constrained resources, climate change and increasing expectations regarding transparency, companies must integrate sustainability principles into their core business strategy. But where should your business focus right now? Join this session to discuss the results of Ceres' latest progress report on corporate performance – which is being released at the Ceres Conference – and explore key areas for achieving the greatest impact.
The 21st Century Investor Part 1: Tapping into Today’s Clean Energy Investment Opportunities
While early investments in clean technology and renewables had mixed results, the market has matured over the last decade and is showing increasingly competitive returns based on sound financials. Join this session to learn from investors who are financing clean energy solutions and getting results, even as they face challenges in terms of market capacity, investor demand, expertise and overall awareness. This session will highlight the many growing opportunities in clean energy investment, while also discussing barriers and strategies to scaling the success of these investments.
Growing Responsibility: Advancing Sustainability in Agricultural Supply Chains
Issues such as deforestation, water pollution and scarcity, soil degradation, and working conditions affect all companies operating globally, particularly those with supply chains stretching down to the farm level. These are not just environmental and social challenges, they also pose significant business risks; including commodity price volatility, concerns about product quality and contamination, reputational risk, and the long term availability of critical inputs. Case studies on palm oil and other agricultural commodities will demonstrate how companies are working with investors, NGOs and consumers to move towards setting specific targets to increase the use of sustainably sourced and certified raw materials, particularly for commodities where environmental and social concerns are especially high and traceability is a key challenge.
- Glenn Hurowitz, Executive Director, Catapult
- Walt Reid, Director, Conservation and Science Program, Packard Foundation (moderator)
Thursday, May 1
Opening Keynote: Anne Stausboll, Chief Executive Officer, California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS)
The Future is Now: Business Solutions for a Sustainable Global Economy
Companies are integrating sustainability into the core of their business strategies and getting results. From renewable energy sourcing to advancing more efficient and equitable supplier networks, these businesses are positioning themselves for competitive advantage in a resource-constrained world. Join this session to learn from two innovative business leaders who are building environmental and social solutions that are boosting their bottom lines and transforming the economy.
- Patricia Callahan, Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, Wells Fargo & Company
- Jack Ehnes, Chief Executive Officer of the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) (moderator)
- Hannah Jones, Vice President, Business and Innovation, Nike
Raising the Bar: Responsible Corporate Engagement on Policy Issues
As the world begins to feel the impacts of climate change and looks ahead to the international climate talks in Paris in 2015, a new standard is being established for responsible corporate engagement in the climate policy debate. What are the actions companies can take today? What is the business case for engaging on policy issues? What are the core elements of responsible corporate engagement on climate policy? As more companies advocate for strong climate policies at the local, national and global level, it is essential that their corporate lobbying practices align with their internal sustainability goals. This workshop will highlight the positive role businesses can play in accelerating climate policy action, using the Guide to Responsible Engagement in Climate Policy – released jointly by the U.N. Global Compact, the World Resources Institute, WWF, CDP, Ceres and others as a foundation.
- Tom Carnac, President, CDP North America
- Tim Smith, Senior Vice President, Walden Asset Management (moderator)
Powering the Future: Exploring the U.S. Energy-Water Nexus
Managing water and energy in a climate-stressed world brings us face-to-face with risks that can threaten unprepared regional communities, companies and investors. Critical industries such as the U.S. electric power and oil and gas sectors are increasingly vulnerable to water shortages and constraints, yet their business models require water at the right time and place to remain profitable. This interactive panel will explore the interdependence between water and energy in the context of how we power our transportation sector. From water use and impacts of shale oil and gas extraction, to the vast water requirements of power generation, to the implications for automotive product design, this workshop will highlight different scenarios and solutions available over the next 25 years.
- Derek Furstenwerth, Senior Director Environmental Services, Calpine
- Monika Freyman, Senior Manager, Water Program, Ceres
The 21st Century Investor Part 2: The Value of Engaging Companies on Sustainability Issues
Many asset owners and managers invest considerable talent and resources into engaging the companies they own. Increasingly those engagements are being directed toward environmental and social practices that materially affect sustainable value creation. What prompts an engagement, how it is structured and how is progress measured? How have companies responded to engagement requests from their investors? This session will provide new insights into this process from the perspective of investors and the companies they engage.
ESG and the Credit Ratings Frontier: The Future of Measuring Corporate Sustainability Performance
As investors continue to sharpen their analysis of opportunities and risks in equity and credit markets, they face scores of disparate sustainability ratings methodologies utilizing more than 5,000 issues and indicators. The Global Initiative for Sustainability Ratings (GISR) aims to steer these markets toward the ESG issues most germane to long-term performance excellence. This interactive session will provide new updates on GISR, a preview of the second component of the GISR sustainability ratings standard and highlight efforts at credit rating agencies to integrate sustainability into their ratings frameworks.
- Sabine Miltner, Managing Director, Group Sustainability Officer, Deutsche Bank
- Mark Tulay, Program Manager, Global Initiative for Sustainability Ratings
- Allen White, Co-Chair, Global Initiative for Sustainability Ratings
For more information about the program, speakers and sponsorship, please:
contact Stacy Thompson at 617-247-0700 ex. 149 or email email@example.com.