Financial History Issue 131 (Fall 2019) - Page 7

MUSEUM NEWS   THE TICKER Museum Hosts Evening Program: “Corporate Sustainability: Is it Sustainable?” By Mindy Ross, Director of External Relations On September 19, the Museum hosted an evening program featuring some of the leaders in sustainability from the financial and policy perspectives. Co-sponsored by BNP Paribas and Moody’s, the program was attended by a diverse and engaged group of close to 200 Museum mem- bers, invited guests and members of the press. In his opening remarks, Museum President David Cowen noted, “Sustain- ability is no longer a fringe issue; investors now expect to incorporate environmental, social and governance data—or ESG— into their decision-making. It has moved beyond what impacts financial perfor- mance to what constitutes responsible corporate behavior.” Mr. Cowen was followed by Jean-Yves Fillion, CEO of BNP Paribas USA & Chairman of CIB Americas, and Moody’s President & CEO, Ray McDaniel, both widely recognized for their leadership in the sustainability field. The program began with a dynamic fireside chat between Martin Whittaker, founding CEO of JUST Capital, in con- versation with program moderator Emily Chasan, Sustainable Finance Editor at Bloomberg News. Mr. Whittaker empha- sized the underlying premise of JUST Capital, that business and capitalism must be a positive force for change. He stressed that if people have the “right” informa- tion, they will buy from, invest in, work for and support companies that align with their values. Ms. Chasan transitioned to the panel discussion, furthering the the- matic question of: “What is capitalism, and how does sustainability fit in?” The highly-engaging panelists included Lynn Good, Chairman, President & CEO of Duke Energy; Dr. Barbara Porco, Direc- tor, Center for Professional Practices & Chair of Fordham’s SASB Collaboration Governance Board; and Satya Tripathi, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Head of the New York Office at UN Envi- ronment. Discussion highlights included how to accurately measure and account for sustainability, how to incentivize sus- tainable behavior in corporations and what constitutes “material” commitments and actions. There was a lively debate on the ideal balance between shareholder and stakeholder priorities. Mr. Tripathi warned the audience that a heightened focus on private profits can risk creating public losses. Audience questions related to energy efficiency standards, reducing carbon foot- prints and how to reward corporations taking leadership roles in sustainability. A cocktail reception followed including all of the program participants. Social media cov- erage, including a photo library, is available across the Museum’s social media chan- nels (@FinanceMuseum) with the hashtag #ESGpanel. The program was held in part- nership with Fordham University Gabelli Center for Global Security Analysis.  Clockwise from top left: Opening Remarks by Jean-Yves Fillion, CEO, BNP Paribas USA & Chairman of CIB Americas; Introduction to Program by Raymond McDaniel, President & CEO, Moody’s; Martin Whittaker, CEO, JUST Capital in Fireside Chat with Emily Chasan, Sustainable Finance Editor, Bloomberg News; Panel Discussion moderated by Emily Chasan with (from left): Lynn Good, President & CEO, Duke Energy; Dr. Barbara Porco, Director, Center for Professional Practices & Chair, Fordham SASB Collaboration Governance Board; and Satya S. Tripathi, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Head of NY Office of UN Environment.  |  Fall 2019  |  FINANCIAL HISTORY  5