72 episodes

ESG Insider is a podcast from S&P Global that takes you inside the environmental, social & governance issues shaping the business world today. In each episode, co-hosts Lindsey Hall and Esther Whieldon interview ESG experts, leveraging S&P Global data to shine a light on the sustainability opportunities and risks that business leaders and investors need to know about. Lindsey Hall is head of ESG Thought Leadership at S&P Global Sutainable1 and Esther Whieldon is a Senior Writer on the team.

ESG Insider: A podcast from S&P Global S&P Global

    • News
    • 4.6 • 11 Ratings

ESG Insider is a podcast from S&P Global that takes you inside the environmental, social & governance issues shaping the business world today. In each episode, co-hosts Lindsey Hall and Esther Whieldon interview ESG experts, leveraging S&P Global data to shine a light on the sustainability opportunities and risks that business leaders and investors need to know about. Lindsey Hall is head of ESG Thought Leadership at S&P Global Sutainable1 and Esther Whieldon is a Senior Writer on the team.

    How whisky, yoga pants and a trash burning plant are helping tackle climate change

    How whisky, yoga pants and a trash burning plant are helping tackle climate change

    What do Glenfiddich whisky, yoga pants and a trash-burning waste-to-heat plant in Europe have in common? They’re all part of efforts to use emerging technologies to tackle climate change. 

    As companies and countries around the world pursue net zero targets, one big question is: How do you ensure the carbon removal technologies we will need 20 to 30 years down the road are available, affordable and easily scaled?

    In this episode of ESG Insider, we bring you the second part in our miniseries about emerging climate technologies. We hear how Scotch whisky maker Glenfiddich uses a part of its distillery process to power delivery trucks. We explore how biotech company LanzaTech is using bacteria to recycle gases into ethanol that is used to create everything from yoga pants to shampoo bottles to low-carbon aviation fuels.  

    And lastly, we learn how Fortum Oslo Varme’s waste-to-energy trash-burning plant in Norway is being converted to capture carbon emissions and send them to be permanently stored deep under the North Sea. This technology is often referred to as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, or BECCS, and can be used to help tackle climate change when done in a sustainable manner. 

    Photo credit: William Grant & Sons 

    • 38 min
    Direct Air Capture: A high-tech fix for climate change?

    Direct Air Capture: A high-tech fix for climate change?

    Can a global array of CO2-sucking machines save us from the worst ravages of climate change? This episode is the first in an ESG Insider miniseries about new carbon-removal technology. This week we examine a method called Direct Air Capture, or DAC Right now, DAC is expensive and only at the nascent stages of development. But there’s growing support from entrepreneurs and some large companies to deploy the approach on an industrial scale.
    In this episode, we interview Steve Oldham, CEO of a Canadian company called Carbon Engineering, which is building a giant carbon-sucking plant in America’s oil-rich Permian Basin. Oldham explains how the technology works; why his company almost shut its doors; and why it now has the backing of Bill Gates and a host of fossil fuel companies, including Occidental, BHP and Chevron.
    We also talk to Daniel Egger, Chief Commercial Officer of Swiss firm Climeworks. The clean tech company recently switched on the world’s largest DAC plant in Iceland. A smaller DAC plant run by Climeworks in Switzerland already sells the CO2 it extracts to greenhouses and to Coca-Cola, which uses the gas to put the fizz in its namesake drink.
    Our third guest is Stuart Haszeldine of the University of Edinburgh, which describes him as the world’s first official professor of carbon capture and storage. Haszeldine explains how DAC technology can help remove the large volumes of CO2 that humans have pumped into the air since the Industrial Revolution. He also points out that, despite recent progress on DAC technology, most politicians and policymakers have yet to back the idea because it “seems to promise magic out of thin air.”
    Photo credit: Getty Images

    • 20 min
    At COP26, connecting the climate and nature agendas

    At COP26, connecting the climate and nature agendas

    Protecting biodiversity and adopting nature-based solutions: Both play a critical role in addressing climate change and therefore cannot be ignored. This is a key theme we heard repeated at COP26, the U.N.’s big climate conference that took place in Glasgow over the first two weeks of November.
    In this episode of ESG Insider, we explore the emerging dialogue on climate change and nature-based considerations. For example, 92% of country climate pledges, known as Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs, submitted for COP26 included nature in their plans, Capitals Coalition CEO Mark Gough tells us. The Capitals Coalition advocates for companies to identify, measure and value their impacts and dependencies on natural capital, social capital and human capital.
    "Climate change is a driver for nature change," says Mark. "But also, nature can help to drive the changes that we want to see in the climate to make improvements there."
    In this episode, we also talk with Sarah Bratton Hughes, Global Head of Sustainability Solutions at UK-based asset management firm Schroders. She outlines how the firm is moving to reduce deforestation risks in its portfolios.
    And we'll hear how hard-to-decarbonize sectors such as steel and chemicals use nature to help meet their climate targets from Anthony Hobley, who is co-executive director of the Mission Possible Platform, a partnership between the World Economic Forum and the Energy Transitions Commission.
    For further coverage of COP26, listen to the podcast episode on Article 6 here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/at-cop26-why-article-6-matters-to-companies-and-investors/id1475521006?i=1000539436647
    And listen to the podcast episode where we interviewed the co-chair of the Task Force on Nature-related Financial Disclosures, or TNFD, here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-new-task-force-in-town-tnfd-co-chair-talks/id1475521006?i=1000528412510
    Photo credit: Getty Images

    • 31 min
    Inside COP26: Chaos, optimism, progress

    Inside COP26: Chaos, optimism, progress

    There have been a lot of headlines coming out of COP26, the big United Nations climate conference that took place in Glasgow the first two weeks of November. In this episode of ESG Insider, we bring you inside the event through interviews with COP attendees. 
    We hear about the mood on the ground: chaotic, but with an overriding sense of optimism that the world can make progress toward the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees C relative to preindustrial levels. 
    “For the first time, that target seemed to be in reach,” says Mike Wilkins, Head of Sustainable Finance Research at S&P Global Ratings and a member of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, or TCFD, who has attended many previous iterations of COP.
    Part of that sense of progress came from the growing presence of the financial sector at COP. 
    “The finance sector was really clearly present and active, and communicating the need for financial institutions to take account of climate change. And that was a new part of the dynamic this year,” says Divya Mankikar, Global Head of ESG Market Engagement at S&P Global Sustainable1. 
    We saw many private sector pledges during COP26, including an announcement from the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, or GFANZ, that financial institutions representing $130 trillion of assets have committed to Paris Agreement goals. We should celebrate that progress, says James Vaccaro, Executive Director of the Climate Safe Lending Network, a group with the goal of bringing international bank lending in line with the Paris Agreement. 
    “A few years ago, if anyone was really talking seriously about large global banks making net zero carbon commitments … it would have been seen as quite fringe or radical,” James tells us.
    But he says there is more work to do. “Once you do have people in the tent … you want to move very quickly from a situation of normalized best practice into raising the bar for everyone.”
    Photo credit: Getty Images

    • 32 min
    COP26 climate commitments send “clear signal” on how banks should finance transition

    COP26 climate commitments send “clear signal” on how banks should finance transition

    The 26th U.N. Climate Change Conference, known as COP26, is well underway in Glasgow. A big theme during the first week of the conference was the financial sector’s role in addressing climate change.
    In this episode of the ESG Insider podcast, we talk to Samu Slotte, global head of sustainable finance at Danske Bank, Denmark’s largest bank by assets. Samu talks about Danske Bank’s recent decision to join the Net-Zero Banking Alliance, a group of banks committed to aligning the greenhouse gas emissions of their lending and investment portfolios with net zero by 2050 or sooner, in line with the Paris Agreement.
    A challenge being discussed at COP26 is ensuring adequate climate financing makes its way to developing nations. “The overarching picture is that there's plenty of cash around looking for suitable investments,” Samu says. But he warns that the money is just not getting where it is needed. “The cash seems to be stuck in proven technologies in stable jurisdictions.”
    Photo credit: Getty Images

    • 29 min
    2021 proxy season marked “new era” of shareholder support for ESG issues

    2021 proxy season marked “new era” of shareholder support for ESG issues

    The 2021 proxy season brought a new level of shareholder support for key ESG-related themes ranging from climate change to diversity disclosures.
    In this episode of ESG Insider, we talk to Sustainable Investments Institute founding executive director Heidi Welsh.
    “We've entered a whole new era” of shareholder support for ESG issues, Heidi tells us.
    “Investors want more information on climate change, on diversity and inclusion, on corporate political influence,” she says.
    For additional information about the 2021 proxy season, listen to our episode on the implications of shareholders' ouster of several Exxon Mobil board members: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/exxon-board-ouster-over-climate-change-has-big-implications/id1475521006?i=1000524283710
    And you can also find all our coverage of COP26 at http://spglobal.com/cop26
    Photo credit: Getty Images

    • 17 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
11 Ratings

11 Ratings

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A diverse covering with pros and cons

I like this podcast on ESG because the guests come with different perspectives on specific topics. I like the sound quality of the podcast.

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