Online symposium using interactive Zoom.
Wednesday, October 21st from 6:00pm until 8:00pm, UK time
If you are ready to book your place, use the button below;
Otherwise read on for further details…
For any queries please contact us.
Sponsorship opportunities available – please get in touch
Executive summary; scroll down for the programme
This event is inspired by the concerns expressed so well by Sir David Attenborough’s comments at the UN climate change conference, when he stated:
“Right now, we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale, our greatest threat in thousands of years: climate change.
If we don’t take action, the collapse of our civilizations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.”
The stakes really couldn’t be any higher and many people within the Transparency Task Force community are convinced the financial services sector as a whole could and should be doing much more than it is to tackle climate change.
Of course, we are exposed to many grave challenges in the world right now. We are having to face up to serious political, social and economic challenges; none of them have easy solutions; and on top of that there is Covid-19.
However, in the overall scheme of things, nothing; absolutely nothing is nearly as important as taking care of our planet.
Everything we have, everything we are and everything we might one day become is dependent on the wellbeing of a planet we are all fortunate enough to live on; a planet we are collectively harming; minute by minute.
According to many experts, we are getting perilously close to the point of no return; i.e. the point at which we become fated to harming our world so much that its wellbeing (and therefore ours) is irreconcilably jeopardised.
Any serious analysis of global warming results in one stark conclusion: unless mankind makes drastic changes to first halt and then reverse our awful impact on our precious planet, we are destined to climate catastrophe.
So, in plain and blunt English: unless there is a massive and authentic commitment to drastic change, we’re most probably going to wreck the one thing we simply must not take for granted; our world.
We don’t have a spare one; there isn’t a Planet B.
The only possibility to reverse things is if all parts of the world economy in all parts of the world morph into a new, green form of themselves that isn’t toxic to the planet.
Unless we accelerate to a green economy before it’s too late then it will be…too late.
It isn’t rocket science. Sadly, it’s becoming blindingly obvious to everybody other than those in denial that we are messing up, big time.
Fortunately, in relative terms there aren’t that many people in denial; but unfortunately, they include the most powerful person in the world.
Every part of the world economy needs to adapt; and every part of the world’s economy has the potential to make a significant difference; none more so than the financial services sector.
There is no doubt that, despite its many shortcomings, the financial services sector can be enormously influential. The world’s capital markets have the potential to unlock the truly awesome power of money and use it to strategically overhaul the flows of capital. We need money to go where it can do real good, in the real economy; and to stop going to where it is doing harm.
However, that’s going to take an enormous change to the way the world’s financial ecosystem works. We need to think about many things very differently.
The good news is that in the UK at least, all our financial services regulators are gearing up to play a part in driving the reforms necessary. But we can do more than just follow the direction given to us by the regulators.
We, the financial services industry as a whole, can share in the responsibility for leading the way.
At our symposium, we’ll be discussing and debating questions such as:
· “What can we do to accelerate our journey towards a green economy, before it’s too late?”
· “What role can the financial services sector play in helping to avoid climate catastrophe?
· “In the long term, will Covid-19 be good or bad news for planet Earth?”
· “How will the economic consequences of Covid-19 impact the sustainability agenda?”
· “Are pension scheme trustees part of the solution or part of the problem?”
Clearly, there is going to be a great deal to discuss!
If you are on the same wavelength, please don’t ‘stand by’, please ‘stand up’ – we need all the help we can get to galvanise support for radical and rapid reform, before it is too late.
Please do join us for what promises to be an interesting, engaging and thought-provoking event.
We’ll also be touching on a range of insights, ideas and initiatives that are referenced in our new book, entitled
Please get involved and be part of the solution.
Scroll down for further info, speaker details and to make bookings
Who should participate?
This online event will be of particular interest to individuals and organisations that authentically align with the idea that the financial services sector is important and that there is scope for improvement in how it works.
You can expect to be amongst progressively minded and collaboratively minded people.
On the basis that “progress begins with realism” we’ll be running the event as a forum to enable everybody to “say it as they see it.” We will be facilitating the kind of candid yet constructive discussion that is needed to help move matters forward.
We don’t think any one person or organisation has all the answers; and we also think that all answers are worth listening to, so if you’ve got a point of view that you’d like to share, and are keen to hear the views of others, this is definitely an event for you.
This symposium will cover important topics that will be of particular interest to:
- Sustainability Experts
- Green Economy Experts
- Climate Change Campaigners
- ESG Professionals
- Think Tanks and Civil Society Groups with an interest in the financial ecosystem
- Industry Observers, Commentators; the Media in General
- Politicians interested in the financial services sector
- Market Conduct Professionals
- Bankers and representatives of Banking organisations
- Risk Management Professionals
- Compliance Professionals
- Pension Professionals
- Financial Planners
- Financial Services Trade Bodies and Professional Associations
- Academics and researchers in governance, stewardship, ethics, conduct and compliance throughout the financial services sector.
We will be using Zoom.
We will be structuring the event in such a way that it will be as engaging and as interactive as we can possibly make it. We’ll be working hard to create as “life-like” an event as possible, with every opportunity taken to create interaction and engagement.
There will be several presentations with Q&A sessions and an open discussion and debate session towards the end.
Here’s the programme and timings, so far*
Welcome to the symposium, introductions and initial exploration of the main issues; plus “Why we must rebuild trustworthiness and confidence in financial services; and how we can do it” by
Andy Agathangelou FRSA
Founder, Transparency Task Force; Governor, Pensions Policy Institute; Chair of the Secretariat Committee for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Pension Scams; former Founding Chair, Friends of Automatic Enrolment; former Founding Chair, Association of Member Nominated Trustees
Presentation #1, for 10 minutes + 5 minutes Q&A with facilitated discussion, by
Head of Sustainable Finance, South Pole
Rebecca is the Director of Sustainable Finance at South Pole. In this role Rebecca is responsible for the consultancy services offered to financial institutions globally which combine climate science led data and business integration advice. The consultancy services focus on three areas; the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) impact analysis for financial products and supporting financial institutions with their Net Zero commitments.
Formerly Rebecca was the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Sustainable Finance at HSBC Holdings plc. In this role Rebecca was responsible for the group-wide financials relating to Sustainable Finance products, including sustainability/green bonds, ESG (environmental, social, governance) asset management/private bank funds and sustainability related commercial lending. In addition, Rebecca was responsible for HSBC’s external ESG reporting and investor relations activity – including TCFD and corporate reporting on the SDGs. Rebecca was the Chair of the European Banking Federation industry SDG working group and a member of other advisory groups to progress sustainability reporting. E.g. Sustainability Accounting Standards Board and developing a new CDP (Formerly Carbon Disclosure Project) questionnaire for financial services.
Rebecca has approximately 20 years of industry experience, in a prior role she was Group lead for Fixed Income investor relations. This included marketing the first green bond issued by HSBC France in December 2015 and the SDG bond issued by HSBC Holdings in 2017. Rebecca has also worked in Product Control, Market Risk and Regulatory Management. The latter included leading HSBC’s response to the Enhanced Disclosure Task Force to aid greater transparency in banks’ disclosures post the financial crisis.
Rebecca is a Chartered Global Management Accountant and obtained a BSc in Economics and Politics from the University of Southampton, where she now has the role of Trustee for the Student Union. In 2017 she gained a Certificate in Business Sustainability Management from the University of Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership – she is currently studying for a part-time Masters with the Institute.
Presentation #2, for 10 minutes + 5 minutes Q&A with facilitated discussion, by
David Nicoll is an accountant and smallholder whose practice is ‘Carbon Positive’.
With a career covering education, engineering, and public practice, he now works to encourage micro and SMEs to build green into their business thinking, and to put sustainability on an equal footing with their accounting and tax functions.
Short leg-stretch and comfort break, for 10 minutes
Presentation #3, for 10 minutes + 5 minutes Q&A with facilitated discussion, by
Community Volunteer, Climate Action Network West Midlands
Julian Todd FRSA is a climate campaigner based in West Midlands.
He is a recently-retired informatics and change-management consultant, with a science / engineering background. In addition to campaign work, Julian has first-hand experience of the challenges of “green investment” as an aspiring entrepreneur in the field of ultra-low emission vehicles.
Presentation #4, for 10 minutes + 5 minutes Q&A with facilitated discussion by
Arthur ten Wolde
Executive Director, Ecopreneur.eu
Arthur ten Wolde is the executive director of Ecopreneur.eu, the European Sustainable Business Federation of which UnternehmensGrün is a founding member.
Ecopreneur represents about 3,000 businesses in six member states, mostly SMEs, which strive to deliver sustainable products and services.
Arthur is internationally recognized as a circular economy expert, motivational speaker and co- author of several reports and numerous articles in magazines. In addition, he is a member of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform Coordination Group (ECESP-CG), the EU policy expert for MVO Nederland, Trainer Circular Design for CIRCO and Head and Owner of Circular Future. Arthur worked earlier for various employers including the Dutch Industry Confederation VNO-NCW.
He has a Ph.D. in experimental physics and is certified polymer technologist.
The “Just a Minute” Round
Inspired by the BBC Radio 4 programme, we have asked a selection of our attendees to spend just a minute sharing their thoughts on what has been covered during the symposium.
But unlike the Radio 4 programme our speakers won’t be penalised for hesitation, repetition or deviation!
Open discussion & debate, 15 minutes
7:55pm BST until 8:00pm BST
Final conclusions; suggested next steps and close to the formal proceedings.
However, for those that want it…
8:00pm BST until 8:30pm BST
Please click below to book your place
For any queries please contact us.