Top voices in ESG

November 12, 2020

Each week, we post a series on our LinkedIn and Twitter channels titled ‘5 people to look out for in ESG’. This weekly series is Nossa Data’s effort to highlight some of the leading thinkers and doers in the ever-growing space of ESG and sustainable finance - ranging from academics and consultants, to corporates and CEOs. These ESG leaders are important to look out for as their work today is going to determine the future of sustainable finance, and consequently our planet.

Here are the top voices in ESG:

Ben Caldecott

Dr. Caldecott is the founding Director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford.


Fiona Reynolds

Fiona Reynolds is the CEO of Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) which sets out 6 investment principles that offer a menu of possible actions for incorporating ESG issues into investment practice. 

Mark Carney

Mark Carney has formerly served the prestigious positions of Governor in the British and Canadian central banks and took up the position of Head of ESG at Brookfield Asset Management. He is also the United Nations' special envoy for climate action and finance.

Chuka Umunna

Formerly a British Member of Parliament, Umunna has recently joined Edelman, the world’s biggest strategy and communications advisory firm, as the Head of ESG. 

Lise Kingo

Lise Kingo is the former Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, a non-binding United Nations pact to encourage businesses worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies.

Ioannis Ioannou

Dr. Ioannou is an Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the London Business School. In addition to teaching, he is an advisor, a keynote speaker, and has authored some of the most cited and insightful publications in the field of ESG.

Tensie Whelan 

Dr. Whelan is the Director of the ‘Center for Sustainable Business’ at NYU Stern School of Business. She has helped develop the Return on Sustainability Investment (ROSI) Methodology to help companies identify, track, and monetise sustainability returns.

Helle Bank Jørgensen

Jørgensen is the CEO and Founder of ‘Competent Boards’. Her work has helped several global companies and investors turn sustainability into strong and reliable financial results.

Larry Fink

Larry Fink is the Chairman and CEO of BlackRock. His letter to CEO’s has been instrumental in calling out corporations to do their part for the environment and ensure diversity within their organisations.

Christine Lagarde

Lagarde is the former Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the current President of the European Central Bank (ECB). Soon after her appointment to the ECB, she has made it clear that green policies will be one of the key objectives of the central bank.

Sallie Krawcheck

Sallie Krawcheck is the CEO and Founder of Ellevest, a digital investment platform whose goal is to get more money in the hands of women by closing the gender money gaps. Before founding Ellevest, she was the president of the Global Wealth & Investment Management division at Bank of America.

Tim Mohin

Tim is the ex-Chief Executive of GRI, the developer of the world’s most widely used sustainability reporting standards. He has extensive experience in corporate social responsibility, and has authored the book 'Changing Business from the Inside Out: A Treehugger’s Guide to Working in Corporations’.

Robert Eccles

Dr. Eccles is a Visiting Professor of Management Practice at the Said Business School, Oxford University and a Senior Advisor at BCG. He is an expert on integrated reporting and a leader on how companies and investors can create sustainable strategies.

Yafit Cohn

Yafit Cohn is the Vice President, Chief Sustainability Officer and Group General Counsel at The Travelers Companies, where she is focused on developing the company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) engagement and communications strategies.

Julie Hudson

Dr. Hudson is the Global Head of ESG Research at UBS. She has been with the bank for over 25 years and has been instrumental in shaping UBS’s efforts in sustainable finance and ESG.

Jean Rogers

Dr. Jean Rogers is the founder of the SASB – Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, one of the leading ESG reporting frameworks. She was named as one of the Top 20 Influencers of Sustainable Investing in 2018.

George Serafeim

Professor Serafeim is a leading ESG academic and is currently the Charles M. Williams Professor of Business Administration at Harvard University. He is the co-founder of the leading consulting firm KKS Advisors, that develops innovative solutions for integration of material ESG issues.

Veronica Chau

Veronica Chau is a Partner and Director at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), working for Financial Institutions and Social Impact practices at the firm. She is a passionate advocate for ESG investing, impact investing, and socially responsible investing.

Richard Peers

Richard has founded ResponsibleRisk Ltd to drive improvements in Sustainable Finance adoption and outcome, via better understanding, data and solutions. I am also Contributing Editor with Finextra on Sustainable Finance.

Samira Khan

Samira is a Senior Manager for Global Impact Engagement at Salesforce. She is passionate about empathy-driven, innovative approaches to advancing societal wellbeing and solving global challenges.

Patricia Torres 

Patricia is the Global Head of Sustainable Finance Solutions at Bloomberg LP. She is committed to the need for transparency in ESG data, and amongst other projects, is involved in delivering Bloomberg’s Gender Equality Index.

Nicole Connolly

Nicole is Head of ESG Investing and Portfolio Manager at Fidelity Investments. She is involved in directing Fidelity’s ESG product roadmap, and is passionate about facilitating greater education and thought leadership about ESG in the investment process. 

Tim Youmans

Tim leads EOS engagement in North America at Federated Hermes. He has been a research scholar at Harvard Business School since 2013, and has a long-lasting collaborative research relationship with Robert Eccles. Much of this research has been published in MIT Sloan Management Review, Forbes, and the Economist, to name a few. 

Mark Tulay

Mark is the founder and CEO of Sustainability Risk Advisors. He has been part of the sustainability movement for 25 years, and has greatly contributed to advancing ESG metrics and sustainable investing. 

Changhua Wu 

Changhua is the CEO of The Beijing Future Innovation Centre. She is also a member of the Global Future Council of Electricity for the World Economic Forum 2020-2021. She is a policy analyst, specialising in China’s environment, energy, climate change and sustainable development, and advises public and private sector leaders on sustainability strategy.

Anne Simpson

Anne is managing investment director for Board Governance & Sustainability at CalPERS. Each year from 2010 - 2020 she has been listed as one of the year’s 100 most influential people in the boardroom by the National Association of Corporate Directors. Anne has published several books in the field of board governance and sustainability. 

Aaron Yoon

Aaron is an assistant professor at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. He conducts research particularly around ESG issues and finance, presenting his research academic, practitioners, and intergovernmental organisations worldwide. 

Andrew Morlet

Andrew is the CEO of The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which aims to accelerate the transition to circular economy. He is passionate about harnessing innovation and design to help transition to a more regenerative and restorative model for economic growth. 

Rhiana Gunn-Wright

Rhiana is the Director of Climate Policy at the Roosevelt Institute. Climate policy has always been linked to social justice for Rhiana. She is co-author of the paper ‘The Green New Deal: Mobilizing for a Just, Prosperous, and Sustainable Economy’

Anna Snider

Anna is the Head of Due Diligence, CIO Office at Merill Lynch. She has actively pushed for sustainable options for the bank’s clients and is committed to taking deep dives into diversity and inclusion amongst its asset managers, actively responding to client demands for diversity criteria.

Michael Jantzi

Michael is the CEO at Sustainalytics. He has been active in the world of responsible investment since 1990, and has founded Jantzi Research and the Jantzi Social Index®.

Flora Wang

Flora is the director of Sustainable Investing at Fidelity International. Based in Hong Kong, she leads Fidelity International's engagement efforts with investor companies in Greater China on ESG issues.

Sacha Sadan

Sacha is the Director of Investment Stewardship at Legal & General Investment Management. He regularly speaks at major global industry events on topics such as diversity, climate change and shareholder rights.

Nicolette Bartlett

Nicolette is the Global Director of Climate Change at CDP. She is responsible for ensuring the CDP’s climate policy is delivered and manages teams supporting implementation of initiatives such as the Science Based Targets Initiative and RE100.

Tim Smith

Tim is the Director of ESG Shareowner Engagement at Boston Trust Walden Company. In his role, he promotes greater corporate leadership on ESG issues. He has also served as Executive Director of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) for more than two decades.

Juliet Davenport

Juliet is the Founder and CEO of Good Energy. She sits on the boards of the Renewable Energy Association and Innovate UK, is the Vice President of the Energy Institute and was recently appointed to the board of The Crown Estate.

Lucas Joppa

Lucas is the Chief Environmental Officer at Microsoft. He is an Associate Editor in Chief for the Ecological Society of America EcoSphere journal and honorary Fellow at the UNEP-WCMC.

Tessa Khan

Tessa is a climate change and human rights lawyer. She is the Co-founder of the Climate Litigation Network and lawyer for Urgenda. She is passionate about holding governments accountable in the climate crisis.

Nicholas Stern

Nicholas is an LSE Prof. and Chairman of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change & the Environment. He headed the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change and was appointed Companion of Honour for services to economics, international relations and tackling climate change.

Julie Hirigoyen

Julie is the CEO of the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC). She was previously UK Head of Sustainability and an International Director at JLL. Julie sits on boards including the Green Construction Board, the Igloo Footprint Advisory Board and the Carbon Trust Advisory Panel.

Harald Walkate

Harald is the Head of CSR and ESG at Natixis Investment Managers. He previously worked at Aegon Asset Management for 15 years, ending as Global Head of Responsible Investment.

Janine Guillot

Janine is CEO at SASB – Sustainability Accounting Standards Board and is due to lead the Value Reporting Foundation, the result of the SASB IIRC merger. She has held senior leadership positions at firms including CalPERS and Barclays Global Investors.

Alexandra Palt

Alexandra is the Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer of L'Oréal and Executive Vice President of the L’Oréal Foundation. Alexandra is passionate about women’s critical role in tackling climate change, and has been instrumental to the Women4Climate Initiative.

Jeffrey Hogue

Jeffrey is the Chief Sustainability Officer at Levi Strauss & Co. Prior to his role, he designed and led C&A global sustainability strategies and established notable leadership in the co-development of Fashion for Good.

Patricia Espinosa

Patricia is the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC. She was Mexican Ambassador to Germany and Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs, bringing 30+ years of experience in international relations, specialised in climate change, global governance, gender equality and human rights.

Brian Deese 

Brian is the Global Head of Sustainable Investing at BlackRock and has been chosen to be Biden’s National Economic Council director. Prior to BlackRock, he was deputy director of Obama’s National Economic Council, helping the president with negotiating the Paris climate accords.

Kate Hampton

Kate is CEO at the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, the world’s largest philanthropy that focuses specifically on improving children’s lives. Kate sits on the board of the European Climate Foundation and in 2008 was named a WEF Young Global Leader. 

Jane Ambachtsheer  

Jane is Global Head of Sustainability at BNP Paribas Asset Management. She oversees the firm’s ambitious approach to sustainable investment, empowered by the firm’s Sustainability Centre. Previously, Jane worked at Mercer, where she founded the firm’s Responsible Investment business. 

Rebecca Marmot 

Rebecca is Chief Sustainability Officer at Unilever. She is responsible for driving the company’s overall sustainability strategy and transformational change on priority areas of Unilever’s sustainable living plan. Previously, Rebecca was Global Vice President of Sustainability at Unilever where she led the global advocacy, policy and partnerships team

Richard Barker

Richard is an expert in financial reporting and professor of accounting at Oxford Saïd Business School. He is the academic member of the Corporate Reporting Council, which sets accounting standards in the UK, and serves on the Financial Reporting Advisory Board and the Expert Panel of Accounting for Sustainability.

Charles Tilley OBE

Charles is CEO at IIRC. Previously CEO at CIMA, he was fundamental in conceiving the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. Prior, Charles was at KPMG for 14 years.

Masja Zandbergen-Albers

Masja is Head of ESG Integration at Robeco. She helped to set up the Active Ownership (voting and engagement) approach at Robeco in 2003. She is a very active voice in sustainable investment.

Emilie Mazzacurati

Emilie is the founder and CEO at Four Twenty Seven, Inc., a climate risk data firm that measures the physical risks of climate change. She is also Global Head of Moody’s Climate Solutions. Emilie teaches at the University of California, Davis on Business & Climate Change.

Andrew Parry

Andrew is Head of Sustainable Investment at Newton Investment Management. Previously, he was head of sustainable investing at Hermes Investment Management. Most recently, Andrew has become a member of the CFA UK committee for Diversity & Inclusion

Paul Polman

Paul has founded IMAGINE, a group to help combat poverty and climate change. Previously CEO at Unilever, he set out an ambitious vision to reduce environmental impact and increase social impact. Paul is also a member of the board of the UN Global Compact.