2020 | Climate Leadership

Climate Leadership: Disrupting Business As Usual

As we enter this new decade, we are rapidly approaching the deadlines we have set to protect our planet. This year’s symposium brings together representatives from the world’s most powerful industries to discuss the role of business in addressing today’s pressing sustainability challenges.


12:00 – 12:30 PM | Registration & Check-in

12:30 – 12:45 PM | Opening Remarks

12:45 – 2:00 PM | First Panel: Industry Leaders Shaping the Sustainability Agenda

  • JPMorgan & Chase Co. | Sam Stockdale, Vice President of Global Sustainability Operations
  • JetBlue | Sara Bogdan, Manager of Sustainability and ESG
  • Estée Lauder Companies | Al Iannuzzi, Vice President of Sustainability 
  • Mara Hoffman | Dana Davis, Vice President of Sustainability, Product and Business Strategy
  • Simon Property Group | Mona Benisi, Vice President of Corporate Sustainability
  • UN Global Compact | Adam Gordon, Engagement Director

2:00 – 2:40 PM | Fireside Chat: Driving Innovation: Making Zero Waste Mainstream

  • TerraCycle (Loop) | Michael Waas, Global Vice President of Brand Partnerships
  • Arup | Tom Kennedy, Principal 
  • Cisco | Faith Lagarde, Circular Economy Solutions Strategist 

2:40 – 3:00 PM | Coffee Break & Networking

3:00 – 3:40 PM | Fireside Chat: The Big Energy Transition

  • Terraform | Peter Toomey, Vice President of Commercial Strategies 
  • Lockheed Martin | Gillian Frances, Senior Sustainable and Impact Investments Strategist
  • Plankton Energy LLC | Dan Giuffrida, Founder and CEO

3:40 – 4:50 PM | Second Panel: Finance as an Enabler to Reach the Climate Goals

  • State Street Global Advisors | Michael Younis, Assistant Vice President of Asset Stewardship
  • BNP Paribas | Cambyse Parsi, Director of Sustainable Finance 
  • Acumen | Esha Mufti, Insights Lead, Innovation and Social Impact
  • Forbes & FCLTGlobal | Bhakti Mirchandani, Contributor & Managing Director
  • Columbia Business School | Bruce Usher, Professor of Professional Practice and the Elizabeth B. Strickler ’86 and Mark T. Gallogly ’86 Faculty Director of the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School

4:50 – 5:00 PM | Closing Remarks

5:00 – 6:00 PM | Reception

FIRST PANEL: Industry Leaders Shaping the Sustainability Agenda

Sam Stockdale – Vice President of Global Sustainability Operations, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

As Vice President and Head of Global Sustainability Operations at JPMorgan Chase, Sam Stockdale oversees a Real Estate portfolio of ~7,000 properties in 63 countries comprised of office, retail, and data centers with an annual utility spend of $250 Million and management of 2 Terawatt hours of annual energy use. Sam is responsible for development of the JPMorgan Chase 2020 operational sustainability strategy and is the program manager for JPMorgan Chase’s RE100 commitment. Sam developed and executed one of the world’s largest energy efficiency campaigns and has developed 300+ MWs in solar/fuel cell/distributed energy generation projects as principle energy investments serving JPMorgan Chase’s corporate real estate footprint in addition to execution of a 100 MW virtual power purchase agreement. Sam leads all sustainability business case development including project finance, underwriting, modeling, technical feasibility analysis required to evaluate various energy initiatives, liaising with partners/vendors to negotiate contracts, as well as overseeing corporate strategy with respect to all energy and operational sustainability initiatives and energy/sustainability technology globally.

Prior to joining JPMorgan Chase, Sam was Director of Portfolio Operations at Tishman Speyer where he managed a 12 million square foot portfolio of over 20 Class A iconic commercial properties and directly contributed over $30mm in asset value through dispositions.

Mona Benisi – Vice President of Global Corporate Sustainability, Simon Property Group

Mona Y. Benisi is VP of Global Corporate Sustainability at Simon Property Group.  

Mona joined the company as the first Sustainability leader for Simon – the largest US developer, owner, and operator of premier shopping, dining, entertainment and mixed-use destinations with a portfolio of 230+ shopping centers across 241M square feet of GLA in North America and Asia. Mona established Simon’s comprehensive strategy and vision aimed at advancing the company’s goals towards implementing sustainable practices and reducing its carbon footprint across the portfolio for existing buildings and new mixed-use developments.

She leads and oversees the execution of initiatives across the different platforms and regions focused on enhancing energy efficiency, increasing recycling, water conservation and scaling renewable energy use. She chiefs the company’s LEED and Fitwel health and wellbeing certifications.  Mona also leads social topics related to employee and community development. She is Simon’s global sustainability spokesperson and is responsible for creating Simon’s internal and external sustainability communication strategies. She created and leads Simon’s Sustainability Executive Task Force and the Sustainability Field Network comprised of the local teams across the portfolio, to facilitate the stakeholder buy in and implementation of the sustainability vision. Finally, she manages and directs the measurement and reporting of key sustainability metrics including submitting annual reports to CDP, Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) and GRI.

Mona previously worked for the Chief Sustainability Officer in the Corporate Sustainability office of Siemens Corporation in Munich, Germany. Mona recognized for her efforts in the area of Sustainability leadership by Environmental Leader and was the recipient of as “Person of the Year” Award in 2018. The National Association of Real Estate Investment Trust named Mona as the Real Estate Sustainability Council Chair in 2019.  She holds a B.A. in International Business with a major in Finance and Law from Georg- Simon-Ohm University in Nuremberg, Germany and an M.S. in Sustainability Management from Columbia University in New York.

Sara Bogdan – Manager of Sustainability and ESG, JetBlue Airways   

Sara started in the field as a researcher of climate change impacts. Looking to where she could personally make the greatest impact, she moved her career toward business sustainability, recognizing the significant opportunity to work within an organization to identify initiatives both good for the environment and company.

Sara currently helps manage JetBlue’s sustainability program, leading multiple operational projects that reduce fuel and waste output, and better prepare the organization for a changing and resource-constrained world. Specifically, she leads the airline’s carbon neutrality execution, conversion to electric ground service equipment, aircraft fuel savings initiatives, and onboard waste and sustainable product management.

Sara was selected as one of GreenBiz’s 2016 “30 under 30 – Emerging Sustainability Leaders” winners. She previously led the sustainability program for a system of hospitals and clinics based out of California, where the system was recognized as top 10% of hospitals nationwide in sustainability. She graduated with a BA in Environmental Earth Science from the University of California at Berkeley and a Master’s of Environmental Management (MEM) from Duke University.

Dana Davis – Vice President of Sustainability, Product & Business Strategy, Mara Hoffman

Dana Davis graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City in 2003, and immediately co-founded a design label and retail store in Brooklyn, NY. After several years, her passion in production and design led to her to work across the apparel industries at various companies such as Urban Outfitters, Macys and Carlisle Group.

In 2010, was recruited by Mara Hoffman to lead and grow the company’s Production Department, where she secured partnerships with facilities across the world while optimizing internal processes. In 2012, Davis became the Director of Production and Design and was integral in the company’s transformation into the recognizable and widely distributed brand that it is today. In 2015, Founder and President Mara Hoffman appointed Davis to spearhead the company’s transition towards sustainability. Since then, the Mara Hoffman brand has taken critical steps to mapping, evaluating, and reconfiguring its supply chain in order to make positive changes.

Dana, now the Vice President of Sustainability, Product and Business Strategy is also an advisor for Fashion Revolution USA and is engaged with industry organizations, educators and innovators such as Fashion Positive, Textile Exchange, CFDA, and the SAC.

Al Iannuzzi – Vice President of Sustainability, Estée Lauder Companies

Al Iannuzzi is Vice President, Sustainability at The Estée Lauder Companies, where he directs enterprise-wide sustainability efforts and establishes and executes on sustainability goals and objectives. Al has more than 30 years’ experience in the Environment, Health, Safety and
Sustainability field.  He is also an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University, where he teaches Product Improvement and Sustainability.

Prior to working at The Estée Lauder Companies, he worked for Johnson & Johnson, where he led Design for the Environment and Green Marketing programs and developed sustainability strategies for Consumer Product, Medical Device and Pharmaceutical sectors. He served as the chief architect of the Earthwards® greener product development program. Al has also worked as an environmental consultant and as a regulator
for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Al has authored three books, his latest: Greener Products: the Making & Marketing of Sustainable Brands (2018) and has written numerous articles on sustainability and product stewardship.

Adam Gordon – Engagement Director, UN Global Compact 

Adam Roy Gordon is Engagement Director for Global Compact Network USA, the US Network of the United Nations Global Compact, the Secretary-General’s corporate sustainability initiative. The UN Global Compact is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative with over 10,000 members across 160+ countries. Adam leads the UN Global Compact’s work with US companies. In 2019, he was named to the Environment + Energy Leader 100.

Previously, Adam worked at CDP, supporting the integration of climate change, water, and deforestation disclosure into corporate performance. He was an EDF Climate Corps Fellow at Colgate-Palmolive Company and has diverse experience in sustainability that ranges from advising the government of Montenegro on green building policy to founding NYC’s first commercial composting waste hauler. He holds a B.A. from Oberlin College and a M.S. in Sustainability Management from Columbia University.

FIRST FIRESIDE CHAT: Driving Innovation: Making Zero Waste Mainstream

Faith Legendre – Circular Economy Solutions Strategist, Product & Business Strategy, Cisco

Faith believes that we can bring the global circular economy to fruition together by strategically connecting things and people with technology at the right points in the interconnected loops. Her background spans advisement, education, training, implementation, innovation, and design thinking. Through the Aspen Institute First Movers Fellowship she created change by applying social intrapreneurial methodologies, frameworks and bringing global thought leaders together. Her decade at Cisco Systems, Inc. encompassed many roles providing services to over 200 clients worldwide. In previous organizations she’s held Director and Vice President leadership positions. She serves on the advisory boards as a circular economy advisor for Sparks & Honey and Each Thing. As well as the Orkestai Farm, a farm teaching those with different abilities organic, sustainable and regenerative farming. She was awarded trainer of the year and serves as an SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) awards judge.

Tom Kennedy – Principal, Arup

Tom is a Principal with Arup based in New York. He has a background in infrastructure design and civil engineering and has influenced and lead several key projects in NYC including, JetBlue’s Terminal at JFK, Hunters Point Waterfront development in Queens, East River Waterfront, elements of Hudson River Park. He has lived and worked in many different countries including Russia, Singapore, Qatar, Poland, Germany, and Korea as well as the UK gathering a body of knowledge that enables a considered approach to materials and practices which influence his approach to design. He has held many different positions within Arup including Global Civil Engineering leader, and Chicago Office leader and is currently spearheading Arup’s Circular Economy business for the Americas region.

SECOND FIRESIDE CHAT: The Big Energy Transition

Gillian Francis – Sr. Business Capture Manager/Sr. Portfolio Manager, Lockheed Martin

Gillian Francis is a Sr. Business Capture Manager and Sr. Portfolio Manager at Lockheed Martin Energy and has over 15 years of capital markets, alternative investments, social impact, and green technologies expertise. Previously, as an investment officer at Citi, she sourced, structured, executed and managed transactions for a $750 million portfolio of social impact private equity and real asset funds, co-investments, and direct equity investments focused on clean energy, sustainable cities, green real estate and efficient transportation.

Over the past 8 years, she has developed expertise in green technologies, renewable energy and energy storage. She develops and structures innovative financing and investment products for energy efficiency, demand management and renewable energy infrastructure projects using private capital, public funds, debt and tax equity financing. Gillian also manages the strategy team at Lockheed Martin Energy that develops new business models and identifies green technologies to address the disruption that is occurring in the electricity sector by partnering with start-up companies and helping to manage deployment of their innovative cleantech products among utility customers, and supporting the commercialization, growth and performance of these companies.

Additionally, Gillian is involved with various incubators and accelerators in different capacities, such as mentoring, because she is motivated by entrepreneurial environments and passionate about discovering the newest innovations in smart and sustainable cities, smart grid, clean energy, transportation and IoT (Internet of things).

Peter Toomey – Vice President of Commercial Strategy, Terraform Power

Peter Toomey is the Vice President of Commercial Strategy at TerraForm Power.  Peter joined TerraForm in 2018 and is responsible for driving revenue for the company’s 2,700 MW portfolio of wind and solar projects in the U.S.  Peter and his team perform a wide range of commercial functions including power and REC marketing, congestion management and project repowering.

Peter has spent his entire 15-year career in the renewable energy sector, with exposure across the spectrum of projects and markets, from small rooftop solar in Massachusetts to large utility-scale wind in Texas.  Prior to joining Terraform, Peter held a variety of front-office positions at SunPower Corporation, Evolution Markets and Avangrid Renewables.  

Before beginning his career in renewables, Peter served as an Americorp volunteer working on environmental conservation projects throughout the western U.S.  Peter has a Bachelor’s degree from Yale University and Master’s degree from Roskilde University (Denmark).

Dan Giuffrida – Founder & CEO, Plankton Energy

Dan is the CEO & Founder of Plankton Energy, a commercial-scale solar developer based in New York. At Plankton, Dan focuses on developing and financing solar and battery storage projects for schools, houses of worship, and small businesses. Prior to founding Plankton, Dan was a Vice President at Safari Energy, a solar developer based in New York. Dan led the Project Finance & Development team, with a focus on tailoring financial solutions for clients and structuring and arranging debt, lease, and tax equity financing. At Safari, Dan was involved in developing over 100 MW of distributed generation projects in operation.

Prior to joining Safari, Dan was a Lok Capital Fellow at Suryoday Microfinance where he led new market strategy & product development. Dan began his career in investment banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch where he focused on the Power, Utilities & Renewables industry. Dan received an M.S. in Sustainability Management from Columbia University and holds a B.A. cum laude in Economics from Wake Forest University.

SECOND PANEL: Finance as an Enabler to Reach the Climate Goals

Cambyse Parsi – Director of Sustainable Finance, BNP Paribas

Cambyse Parsi works in Sustainable Finance at BNP Paribas in New York, where he develops and structures green and sustainable finance solutions for corporate and institutional clients in the Americas. He also manages the development of impact finance and ESG risk management for the bank in the region. Prior to this role, he worked in Leveraged Finance for 3 years. Before that, he worked for two social impact investing startups. He started his career with BNP Paribas’ Risk division. Cambyse holds a B. Eng. in Electrical Engineering from McGill University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Michael Younis – Assistant Vice President of Asset Stewardship, State Street Global Advisors

Michael Younis is an Assistant Vice President on State Street Global Advisors’ Asset Stewardship Team. Michael and his colleagues on the Asset Stewardship Team are responsible for developing and implementing SSGA’s global proxy voting policies and guidelines across all investment strategies, and managing SSGA’s proxy voting activities and issuer engagement on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

 Prior to joining State Street Global Advisors, Michael worked in various capacities in the environmental NGO domain. Michael has experience working for international organizations, product stewardship advocates, as well as social lenders. Michael earned his Master of Environmental Management (MEM ’15) with a concentration in Environmental Economics & Policy from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment and his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Degree (BSBA ’09) from the Boston University School of Management. Michael also holds a Certificate of Inclusion and Diversity from Duke University.

Bhakti Mirchandani – Managing Director, FCLTGlobal

Bhakti Mirchandani is a Managing Director at FCLTGlobal, a consortium of investors and businesses that encourages long-term behaviors in investment and business decision-making.  She is also an ESG advisor to a large hedge fund of funds, a Commissioner for the New York State Insurance Fund, a monthly contributor on sustainable investing at Forbes.com, and an adjunct lecturer on impact investing in Columbia’s Masters in Sustainability Management Program.  Previously, Bhakti served as senior vice president for strategy and director of environmental, social and governance (ESG) at One William Street Capital Management, built the North America coverage practice for global development organizations while at Barclays, worked in investment management strategy and microfinance at Lehman Brothers, and co-founded the Global Microentrepreneurship Awards (later called the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards), and pioneered micropensions at Women’s World Banking.  Bhakti earned her MBA at Harvard Business School (where she earned the Dean’s Award, the program’s highest honor), her MPA at Harvard Kennedy School and her AB in chemistry at Harvard College.

Bruce Usher – Co-Director of the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise, Columbia Business School

Bruce Usher is a Professor of Practice and the Elizabeth B. Strickler ’86 and Mark T. Gallogly ’86 Faculty Director of the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School. Professor Usher teaches on the intersection of finance, social and environmental issues, and is a recipient of the Singhvi Prize for Scholarship in the Classroom and the Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

Prior to his work at Columbia, Professor Usher was CEO of EcoSecurities Group plc, which developed greenhouse gas emission reduction projects in developing countries. EcoSecurities was acquired by JP Morgan in 2009. Professor Usher was previously the co-founder and CEO of TreasuryConnect LLC, which provided electronic trading solutions to banks and was acquired in 2001. Prior to that, he worked in financial services for twelve years in New York and Tokyo. Professor Usher is an active investor and advisor to entrepreneurial ventures focused on climate change and clean energy (UsherWorks.com). He is a board member of Community Energy Inc., OptiRTC Inc, the United Nations Fund for International Partnerships, and is Chair of the Tamer Fund for Social Ventures. Usher earned an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School.