Past events

Keeping our eyes on the prize: Is there still a case for divestment?

24 Aug

11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Event Details

This session from the UN Global Compact Network Australia and the Australian Sustainable Finance Institute on Wednesday 24 August will bring together experts from Australia’s finance, investment and business sectors to understand how to work together to accelerate climate action.

Businesses and investors around the world have seen a shift away from simply divesting from high-emitting companies and assets to instead actively engaging with them to reduce emissions. As a growing portion of the finance sector makes net zero commitments and many governments worldwide increase their ambition on climate, the debate on divestment vs engagement is also evolving.

Join this webinar to learn about:

  • How should businesses and investors in Australia be thinking about either divesting or engaging with companies they do business with to achieve their climate objectives?
  • Are there situations where it is appropriate or effective to divest?
  • Can divestment effectively reduce economy-wide emissions and how do you ensure engagement achieves this?
  • How can smaller investors or businesses be most influential if they’re trying to support climate outcomes?
  • How do we know what companies are telling us is what they’re doing? What safeguards are in place to ensure companies aren’t ‘greenwashing’ their sustainability credentials?

Speakers include:

  • Simon O’Connor, CEO, Responsible Investment Association Australasia
    Simon operates at the intersection of economics, finance and sustainability and has extensive international experience as an economic adviser, investment analyst and sustainability consultant across finance, corporate and not for profit sectors. Simon works with RIAA’s 450+ member organisations with the goal of delivering on RIAA’s mission of promoting, advocating for, and supporting approaches to responsible investment that align capital with achieving a healthy and sustainable society, environment and economy.
    Simon is active across the region and internationally in responsible investment and sustainable finance initiatives. He sits as an advisory member to the Australian Sustainable Finance Institute, working group member of the Toitū Tahua Centre for Sustainable Finance, Chair of the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance, as well as a member of the National Advisory Board on Impact Investing in New Zealand.
  • Liza McDonaldHead of Responsible Investment, Aware Super
    Liza has over 24 years’ experience in the superannuation sector and is a specialist and passionate advocate for Responsible Investments and Sustainable Finance. As Head of Responsible Investments, she has led the development and implementation of the Fund’s Responsible Investment policies, the execution of the Climate Change Strategy and also manages the ESG policy implementation including manager and asset class ESG reviews.Liza represents Aware Super on a number of working groups and committees including Investors Against Slavery & Trafficking APAC (IAST-APAC); ESG Research Australia; the Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative (ASFI); the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA); 40:40 Vision; the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) and the UN convened Global Investors for Sustainable Development Alliance (GISD). Liza holds a Post Graduate Diploma of Applied Finance at Kaplan Education and is a Graduate of AICD.
  • David JenkinsGlobal Head of Sustainable Finance, National Australia Bank
    David leads NAB’s Sustainable Finance team and has been active in sustainable debt markets for over 10 years.  He works closely with NAB’s treasury, coverage and capital markets teams servicing customers across Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the UK and USA developing and originating sustainable financing and investment solutions for NAB and its clients. The NAB Sustainable Finance team have arranged a broad range of innovative sustainable financing and investment solutions across a range of global markets including green, social, sustainability and sustainability linked bonds and loans, sustainability-linked derivatives, green deposits, green funds, green and social securitisations and green leasing solutions.David chairs the AFMA Sustainable Finance Committee and is an active member of industry bodies including the Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative, the ICMA Green Bond & Social Bond Principles Advisory Council and Climate Transition Finance WG, the APLMA Green and Sustainability-linked Loans Committee, Climate Bonds Initiative, the Institute of International Finance (IIF) Sustainable Finance WG and several other sustainability initiatives. David holds an MBA (Finance) from London Business School, a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance & Investment and a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil).
  • Kristy GrahamExecutive Officer, Australian Sustainable Finance Institute
    Kristy is the inaugural Executive Officer of ASFI. Established following the collaborative effort to develop the Australian Sustainable Finance Roadmap, ASFI works to create a financial system in Australia that can support a sustainable, resilient and prosperous future for all Australians. By working across the finance sector, with government, regulators, research institutions and peak bodies, ASFI drives implementation of the Australian Sustainable Finance Roadmap. With a background in sustainable finance and impact investing across the public and private sectors, prior to ASFI Kristy led the Australian Government’s work with private and institutional investors to mobilise capital for climate and social impact in Australia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific. In this role she established the Australian Government’s first impact investment fund, designed to build sustainable and inclusive financial markets in Southeast Asia. She was also a special advisor on the Prime Minister’s Social Impact Investing Taskforce in 2020. She has previously worked in Australia, Latin America, the UK and in global roles for large and small organisations, driving global progress on sustainability issues. She holds a BSc (Environmental) and a Masters in Environmental Law from the University of Sydney and an MBA (Social Impact) from AGSM at UNSW


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