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In 2022 we witnessed an incredible proliferation of regulation in the climate and ESG space. The EU leads the global landscape—it adopted a series of laws to support its ambitious goal of becoming the first climate neutral continent by 2050. That precedent has set the bar for legislative infrastructure to further adhere to the 1.5°C warming threshold. Where the U.S. SEC struggled to pass its federal climate disclosure law in 2022, the EU has established a rigorous and complex regulatory system pushing companies towards sustainable operations with clear and consistent reporting.
In this session, we’ll
- Provide an overview of the adopted EU Taxonomy and associated CSRD, NFRD, and SFDR regulations
- Explore what this means for European businesses, U.S. companies with European operations.
- Touch on the impact of the future of climate regulation across the globe.
- Discuss the challenges that face the EU and its corporate stakeholders and the path ahead towards progress.
Moderator: Alyssa Rade, Chief Sustainability Officer at Sustain.Life
Alyssa Rade is the chief sustainability officer at Sustain.Life where she leads the company’s strategy for product content, guiding users on their decarbonization and ESG journeys. Her 10+ years of corporate sustainability experience guides the program recommendations, carbon management and ESG disclosures featured in Sustain.Life’s software. Prior to joining Sustain.Life, Alyssa directed the ESG program at Vornado Realty Trust, where she managed sustainable operations and development for over 30 million sf of class A commercial space. Alyssa is accredited as a LEED and WELL AP and holds a MPA in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University and a BA in Environmental Studies from Washington University in St. Louis.
Panelist: Joanne O’Donnell, Head of Global Regulatory Compliance Team, Compliance & Risks
With 20 years post-qualification experience, Joanne heads up the Global Regulatory Compliance team at Compliance and Risks. She has extensive national and international legal experience in private practice, in-house and industry and has been with Compliance and Risks for 12 years. She helps support its clients with their global legal compliance challenges with a particular interest and focus on Sustainability, ESG, Climate Change and Human Trafficking, Slavery/Forced Labour and Business and Human Rights.
Joanne has a Bachelor of Arts (Legal and French) and a Bachelor of Law (LLB) from the National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland and a Masters in International law (LLM) from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland. She also has a Masters Degree in French from the University of Limerick, Ireland and is a fluent French speaker. She recently completed a Masters course in Business and Human Rights at the University of Bergen, Norway. She qualified as a Solicitor with the Law Society of Ireland in 2003.
Panelist: Austin Kennedy, Manager of Sustainability Reporting & ESG Performance for Philip Morris
Austin Kennedy is Manager of Sustainability Reporting & ESG Performance for Philip Morris International (PMI) based in Lausanne, Switzerland. As a manager on PMI’s sustainability team, which sits within the company’s finance organization, Austin brings his expertise in corporate sustainability disclosures and integrated reporting. As PMI progresses toward delivering a smoke-free future, Austin continues to play a key role in the publication of the company’s annual Integrated Report, responses to investor requests, and preparation for regulatory developments in non-financial reporting.
Prior to joining PMI, Austin was a manager for the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), where he served as a lead analyst and author for the annual Reporting Matters publication from 2017-2021. Throughout his tenure, he conducted over 400 personalized feedback sessions with member companies including C-suite and Board level discussions, coordinated 900 reviews across 16 analysts, updated corporate criteria, produced personalized and confidential feedback dashboards for all WBCSD members in scope each year, and produced ten reports in partnership with London-based Radley Yeldar.
Austin’s previous research has focused on corporate sustainability disclosure requirements and trends including GRI, Integrated Reporting, SASB and SDGs, the integration of sustainability into enterprise risk management systems, and the benefits of external assurance on corporate sustainability reporting.