BNP Paribas' landmark Sustainable Future Forum series in New York City gathered clients, partners and thought leaders from around the world to discuss the opportunities and challenges presented by sustainability.
What is the business climate around climate? That was the question debated in New York City as BNP Paribas kicked off its global series of Sustainable Future Forums 2018, with a special event during Climate Week NYC organised with Sparknews.
The New York event featured keynote remarks from Bertrand Piccard, Founder of the Solar Impulse Foundation, who used his trip around the world aboard a solar-powered aircraft to highlight the possibilities of building a clean-energy future. To date, the Solar Impulse Foundation has identified over 1,000 startups providing effective, profitable environmental solutions that can be scaled up. Bertrand later welcomed Jean-Louis Chaussade, CEO of Suez, for a discussion on sustainable business practices.
Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Founder of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and Advisor to the UN Secretary General, said that society and the global economy were not shifting to sustainability quickly enough. He outlined a four-pronged framework that could help speed up the transition: first, decarbonise by mid-century; second, reach a zero land conversion; third, fund the good stuff and care about the supply chain; and fourth, make green bonds the standard benchmark, as all bonds should be green.
"It was not the people who were selling the best candles who invented the light bulb."Bertrand Piccard, Founder, Solar Impulse Foundation
Rounding up the evening, three startups presented their sustainable project pitches: one put forward a solution to reduce maritime fuel emissions by 40%; a second sought to use heat waste from data centres to create cooling power; and a third developed a microorganism that, when added to cows' feed, results in a 50% reduction in methane emissions from the animals.
Earlier in the day as part of the Sustainable Future Forum event, ISS-climate, a leader in corporate governance and responsible investing solutions, the 2° Investing Initiative, a leading climate finance think tank, and BNP Paribas kicked off Climate Week NYC with "A Stocktake on Key Climate Change Themes for Investors". This opening event covered topics ranging from the current state of investor action on climate change, approaches to scenario analysis, mobilising asset data for scenario analysis, and setting targets to minimise risks and maximise impact.