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  • Edinburgh Conference 2018

    22 March 2018


     The sustainable investment and finance event for Scotland

    Thursday 22 – Friday 23 March 2018

    Royal Society of Edinburgh, 22-26 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 2PQ

    This event is an opportunity to debate, discuss and practise new themes and processes supporting sustainable investment and finance. Discussions and workshops are designed with steer from our Analyst Committee ensuring a fully tailored and relevant programme.

    This event welcomes both UKSIF members (free) and non-members for a small charge so please share with and invite your networks. Analysts and investors will be given priority registration.

    Register here.



    Full agenda available here.



    What’s on?

    Blood Oil: Tyrants, Violence, and the Rules That Run the World

    “Natural resources like oil and minerals are the largest source of unaccountable power in the world. Petrocrats like Putin and the Saudis spend resource money on weapons and oppression; militants in Iraq and in the Congo spend resource money on radicalization and ammunition. Resource-fueled authoritarians and extremists present endless crises to the West – and the source of their resource power is ultimately ordinary consumers, doing their everyday shopping at the gas station and the mall.”

    Political philosopher and author of ‘Blood Oil’, Leif Wenar, will join us to discuss his book with views from Dr Paul Jourdan, CEO, Amati Global Investors.

    Workforce satisfaction: Improved performance through disclosure

    The Workforce Disclosure Initiative (WDI) brings investors together to request comparable data from companies via an annual survey. Its ultimate goal is to improve the quality of jobs in multinational companies’ operations and supply chains to benefit companies and workers and help meet SDGs 8 (decent work and economic growth) and 10 (reduced inequalities). James Coldwell, ShareAction,will tell us more about WDI and their project in support of better employment relations in the UK. We’ll also hear from Bertille Knuckey, Head of Sustainable Investment and fund manager, on Sycomore’s outperforming Happy@Work fund and Dr George Daskalakis, University of East Anglia, will present his team’s findings on the links between employee satisfaction and corporate performance

    Policy brief: Brand new EU recommendations for growing sustainable finance

    The High Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance (HLEG)  published its final report Financing a Sustainable European Economy.  Established by the European Commission in late 2016 to develop a fully comprehensive EU strategy for the growth of sustainable finance HLEG has now finished its work and made a potentially game-changing set of recommendations. The group saw sustainable finance has having two key imperatives. First, to re-connect finance “with the real economy to support the transition to a more resource-efficient and more circular economy” that includes meeting the EU’s Paris commitment to reduce harmful emissions. Second, to strengthen financial stability by incorporating ESG factors into investment decision-making. Simon Howard, Chief Executive and Fergus Moffatt, Head of Policy, at UKSIF will  discuss specific recommendations and their implications.

    Workshop: Active, Passive and Asset Owner ESG Policy Benchmark Adoption

    Over the last decade, the number of asset owner signatories to the UN Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI) has grown to more than 350, representing USD $16 trillion in total assets under management. Why are the world’s largest owners of capital starting to include environmental, social and governance considerations into their investment policies and manager section process in the first place? During this session we will discuss the effects of ESG on risk and performance, the role of ESG benchmarks, why many asset owners are repositioning portfolios, and how to integrate ESG into active, passive and factor mandates. Facilitated by Guido Giese, Executive Director in the Equity Applied Research team, MSCI.

    Workshop: Biodiversity footprinting – calculating the impact of loans and investments on biodiversity and resulting action perspectives

    “Biodiversity forms the basis for everything that keeps us and our society going. But biodiversity is currently in rapid decline, which is why ASN Bank is working to protect and conserve biodiversity”

    ASN Bank are committed to a ‘No net loss of biodiversity in 2030’ to protect the variety of life and ecosystems needed to sustain people, businesses, economies and everything we value in the natural world. As part of this mission they piloted a project to measure the impact of their loans and investments on the survival of species over a number of square metres.

    Biodiversity foot-printing brings together climate, water and land and the impact can be used as a proxy for impact on natural capital. Find out which types of investments are destroying biodiversity (hotspots), the reasons why (drivers) and what the results could mean for future policy and investment (action). Project leaders Wijnand Broer, Partner, CREM and Mark Goedkoop, Founder, PRé Sustainability will join us to discuss the tools, methodology, using outcomes and how to get involved in piloting the methodology in the UK.

    Workshop: The G20 Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures – scenario analysis.

    As a follow up to our popular session in London we will deliver a workshop on how to leverage scenario analysis to assess climate financial risk and the challenges and opportunities it presents to financial and ESG analysts.

    Using scenario analysis was a technical recommendation that came out of the G20 Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures written for them by the team at ERM. Tara Schmidt, Principal Consultant, ERM and Charles Allison, Head of Climate Change will facilitate the session for us.

    Workshop: Measuring, valuing and monitoring natural capital assets

    “Financial nor national accounts provide sufficient information about natural capital assets, which the economy depends on and impacts. Accounting tools for natural capital are developed to plug this gap.

    Natural capital accounting tools use familiar frameworks that are similar to financial and national accounts. This allows audiences to better understand the biophysical and economic evidence for natural capital.” Ece Ozdemiroglu, Managing Director and Adams Koshy, Consultant, at Eftec will facilitate a session to show us how to use the tools.

    ESG risk in palm oil and forestry

    Since 2014, ZSL’s SPOTT has been assessing commodity producers and traders on the public disclosure of their policies, operations and commitments to ESG best practice. Clara Melot, SPOTT Engagement and Impacts Manager, ZSL will provide an overview of how the palm oil and forestry sectors are responding to expectations and taking steps to mitigate their environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks. From deforestation to human rights and labour condition commitments, Clara will present findings from the latest company assessments available on SPOTT.org.

    Other sessions include:

    • The Investor Agenda and Climate 100
    • How best to approach ESG integration
    • Transition Risks for Electric Utilities
    • Natural Capital Protocol – A new finance sector supplement
    • Plant-based profits:investment risks and opportunities in sustainable food systems
    • Impact of climate change on food and textiles



    Drinks Reception with Next Generation Drinks

    We are delighted to partner with Next Generation Drinks for the first time in Edinburgh for the evening reception of the UKSIF Edinburgh Conference.

    Join us for an evening of drinks, canapés and networking, generously sponsored by Liontrust

    Next Gen is an informal network of over 800 sustainable finance industry leaders, entrants and stakeholders with expertise in fields such as banking, policy, asset ownership and management, stewardship and research.

    They produce informal events 3 or 4 times a year to connect professionals working towards a sustainable finance sector that creates long-term value for society in a low-carbon economy. Visit the Next Gen website for more.

    This event welcomes both UKSIF and Next Gen members (free) and non-members (for a fee) so please SHARE with and INVITE your networks.Other sessions to be confirmed soon…


    Join this event as sponsoring partner and as a UK leader in sustainable finance and investment. Contact Charlene Cranny for details.

    Last year’s UKSIF Conference attendees said:

    “I’ve been to 5 conferences this month, this was the best.”

    “[My favourite session] was the ESG integration discussion, partly because the informality of the discussion enabled wide participation and led to a very enlightening and quite fast moving conversation.”

    “I have scarcely ever attended an event, on any set of subjects, where the quality of the presentations was so consistently high.”

    “In terms of feedback I thought there was really interesting range of useful topics from TCFD and scenario analysis to quant investing with ESG factors. I certainly found the panel sessions I attended really informative.”

    More information to follow soon.

    Register here.


    Sponsored by


    Evening reception sponsor




    Evening reception partner






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