The Global Goals: Maximizing Benefits & Minimizing Risks

Three years since their launch, what benefits are big businesses expecting and experiencing while incorporating the SDGs into their business? Learn from the leaders of companies that are pioneering an SDG-focused sustainability strategy. This session is an opportunity to discuss how a focus on the SDGs can help companies with their long-term visioning and goal setting while avoiding “SDG-washing”.

The Bottom Line: How the FSB Task Force is Impacting Climate-related Financial Disclosures

Climate change presents global markets with risks and opportunities that cannot be ignored. More than 100 firms, with market capitalization of over $3.3 trillion and financial firms responsible for assets of more $24 Trillion, have provided statements of support for the recommended disclosures and encourage take-up of the TCFD recommendations. Providing climate risk disclosure to investors, this framework is beginning to be implemented across industries around the world. We spotlight those taking on the challenge and assess the recommendations’ practical implications to business. This session will examine such questions as:

  • What are the building blocks required for successful implementation?
  • What can we do to push the levers?
  • What are the roles of securities and auditors, in a pre-regulatory environment to get it to move?
  • How can we provide assurance on these statements that are being made?

Straight from the Top: How Boards are Responding to Climate Risk and Sustainability Disclosure

The number of directors that think that disclosure of sustainability risk is important to understanding a company’s business jumped from 24% to 54% in 2017 compared to the year prior. The world’s top three asset managers are calling upon the companies that they invest in to adopt climate risk disclosure. As investors ratchet up the pressure on companies to analyze their exposure to the impacts of a warming planet, they’re calling on boards to be knowledgeable about material climate risk and capable of preparing for its impacts and capitalizing on its opportunities. Directors can no longer ignore the inherent impact of these issues on the long-term value creation of the corporate world. This session will bring two investors and two businesses on stage together to get straight to the heart of the matter and provide guidance on the evolution of boards.

Beyond 100% Renewable

More than a hundred global firms have made commitments to 100% renewable energy. But how can we move the dial further? In this session we will focus on lessons learned and highlight the actions companies are taking to go beyond 100% renewable.

Goodbye Greenwashing: Designing Powerful and Engaging Sustainability Campaigns

Discover how companies can harness the latest marketing trends to tap into new consumer identities, create brand loyalty and communicate sustainability messaging in an effective and engaging way. An expert panel on creating next level engagement that empowers rather than bombards, especially with younger generations.

Productivity & Health: Getting the Most out of our Human Capital

This session will focus on the growing understanding of the importance of a healthy workplace (e.g., innovative design, WELL standard) and its impact on productivity, talent recruitment and more.

So, What Does the Low Carbon Economy Supply Chain Really Look Like?

This interactive session will bring together experts to address reducing supply chain risks, strategies to engage suppliers, and metrics to measure impact in the low carbon economy. We’ll share insights for companies on best practices for success and collaboration with other suppliers/buyers/competitors.

The Elephant in the Room: Businesses’ Dependence on Annual, Compounding Growth

Despite efforts to decrease corporate impact on the environment, every indicator of the health of the planet continues to trend in the wrong direction. It’s time to address the elephant in the room.

Harnessing Emerging Leadership in Innovation and Sustainability

An interactive session aimed at highlighting the importance of youth in the innovation cycle, entrepreneurship, and spurring private sector engagement based on the divide around the “future we want”. How can companies, organizations and governments leverage young innovators successfully?

Communication Strategies to Support Sustainability in C-Suite Decision-Making

To ensure sustainability gains a permanent seat at the C-Level Suite, sustainability professionals must evolve the current language used between environmental and business leaders to ensure effective collaboration. A new communication framework and scripts that create shared ideology, dialogue, and competitive urgency to elevate policies and practices that measurably promote business growth and advance the circular economy is necessary. This interactive session will review concepts, case studies and strategies to assist professionals in creating customized verbal and written narratives to frequently asked questions posed by their clients, staff and relevant stakeholders. It will also provide specific tools for professionals to more effectively communicate their capacity and commercial value to assist others in elevating sustainable practices while also supporting overall stakeholder objectives.

Climate Journalism in the Age of Fake News

A discussion with three prominent North American editors about a range of issues and opportunities facing today’s news agencies.  Themes to be explored include:

  • What role should media play on the issue of climate change?
  • Should coverage be enhanced, and if so how, given competing priorities?  
  • What role does social media play in the conversation?
  • How are polarizing politics affecting journalism around these important issues?

Mayor’s Roundtable: Cities, Sustainability & Competitiveness

Hosted by Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, learn from top-hitting municipal leaders at the forefront of innovation in low-carbon and resilient policymaking. Global participation from city mayors with a focus on greenest cities, linking to positive economic and social outcomes for government and business alike.

Learning from the Past, Looking to the Future: Building Urban Resilience

In the wake of devastating hurricanes, fires and floods in 2017, we bring together experts to assess “why do some communities recover faster than others?” The session will explore climate adaptation, lessons learned, and resilient infrastructure financing, as well as the implications for business and communities.

City Strategies for Going 100% Renewable

Cities the world over are developing policies to achieve their 100% renewable goals, some are already there. In this panel, we take a look at unique city strategies, ranging in focus from buildings to transportation to electricity.

Building It Right: Infrastructure for Tomorrow’s Cars Today

In cities around the world, innovation and policy focus is shifting to Autonomous, Connected, Electric and Shared vehicles. This session focuses on the latest infrastructure innovations as we transition to ACES transportation and we learn how municipal governments are preparing for growth in this market with public-private partnerships.

Showcasing the World’s Most Innovative, Eco-Resilient Infrastructure

This highly-visual session will highlight the latest designs in line with adaptation, infrastructure, and urban planning for a low-carbon future.

Shaping Smart Cities: Making the Most of Data Solutions

‘Big data’ has become a buzzword in the municipal world. Around 90% of the world’s available data has been produced only in the last few years. Cities are employing ‘digital officers’ – how can their data be managed, shared, and monetized in a useful way to provide direction and influence developments towards sustainable outcomes? This session will explore the opportunities, costs, and hindrances linked to tapping into and using data to make cities more sustainable.

The Circular City in Action

Cities are engines for economic growth, generating about 85% of GDP. This level of growth puts enormous pressure on urban resources, carrying capacity, and quality of life in general. City leaders are being challenged to rethink their essential services. From landfill diversion to infrastructure planning, cities will explore how to approach circular economy implementation within complex urban systems, share challenges, and showcase new tools.

As I Live and Breathe: Cities as Novel Ecosystems in the Anthropocene

Are cities natural? Ecologists define an ecosystem as a unit of the landscape – typically seen as a forest, a lake, or a river. Ecological studies of cities are a relatively new phenomenon. Nutrient cycling in natural areas are dominated by the lifecycles of plants and animals, while in cities it is human activity that controls material flow. While currently designed with aesthetics, functionality, and ease of maintenance top of mind, this session we will examine how ecological function and biodiversity shall also be considered.

THE ENERGY TRANSITION Part 1 – Your Energy Forecast

Hear from one of the world’s foremost international energy forecasters in this compelling armchair dialogue on our global energy future.

THE ENERGY TRANSITION Part 2 – Clean Energy Policy: Realigning Regulatory Regimes for Shifting Energy Markets

Are energy markets evolving manageably or do they face discord and disruption? This session will speak to the economic policy required to reduce risk as we decentralize energy systems and manage turnover in major assets.

THE ENERGY TRANSITION Part 3 – Ramping up the Energy Storage Solution

To fully unlock the potential of renewables, energy storage is required for both for large scale and distributed / micro-grid power solutions. This session will examine how we are currently managing renewable energy distribution versus opportunities to optimize our grid.

Industry 4.0: Sustainability Impacts of Big Data & Digital Disruption

Will data and analytics drive sustainability 4.0? A plenary focused on the emerging digitalization trend and its potential positive and negative impacts on sustainability. The session will address the technology disruption and where sustainability sits as the dust settles.

Carbon Positive: Technologies at the Forefront of Innovation

Radical decarbonization is required to meet the terms of the Paris Accord. Simply reducing emissions is not sufficient to our climate needs and, instead, technologies that absorb and utilize emissions are required. This session will examine some of the latest products tackling this issue and assess the barriers are to their implementation.

Scaling Cleantech Through Innovative Financing

A discussion on the latest innovative finance models and mechanisms for enhanced cleantech development and uptake, especially in emerging markets.

Shifting Gears: Logistics and Integration of Multiple Mobility Technologies

Have we sounded the death knell of the combustion engine too soon? Drawing on the current attention EVs are receiving, to national announcements on the phase out of the combustion engine, is this merely hype or are we experiencing a fundamental fuel transition? This session will have experts engaging on the future face of mobility, from fleet to commercial to consumer.

Innovation Funds: Setting Up for Success

This session will showcase some of the world’s best innovation funds and address how they have programmed for maximum impact.

Understanding the Emerging Role of Blockchain in the Clean Economy

This interactive dialogue will focus on blockchain technology’s impact in securing the energy grid, trading/tracking carbon emissions and increasing transparency in supply chains across industry.

The Internet of Water: Leveraging Data to Build Water Resilient Infrastructure

In cities with aging infrastructure, up to 40% of water sent through their systems may be lost to leaks along the way. Just as data and Internet of Things (IoT) companies have entered the energy management marketplace, we’re beginning to see similar innovation to analyze and decode the water infrastructure deficit facing cities around the world.  What does the Internet of Water look like today and where must it go if we are to secure an efficient and abundant water future?

New Tools to Waterproof Your Business

Water is fundamental to all businesses. The volume and quality of available resources impacts your bottom line. From ever-improving data sets to science and context-based targets and SDGs, the understanding of water valuation and the risk of water scarcity is being addressed with a host of new tools for business. This session will explore the impact of these new tools, how we can best respond to this information, and what it all means to investors.

How Will We Feed Our Grandchildren?

Local vs. international, smallholder vs. commercial scale farm, organic vs. conventional modern farming: to meet humanity’s nutritional needs we will need to engage a wide variety of approaches. Achieving the type of scale required to feed the estimated 9.7 billion humans by 2050 will be one of our key challenges. This SPARK session will highlight the innovations which might just get us there.

Bioeconomy: Enabling Products of the Future

Bioeconomy investment and research is scaling up as a priority around the globe. This session to explore the leaders, challenges, and opportunities for scaling bioeconomy innovation through both business and policy lenses.

Responsible Sourcing for Metals and Minerals: From Mining to Retail

Environmental citizenship is driving increased focus on the sustainability of products which is in turn posing questions all the way up the value chain. Nowhere is this more evident than in the mining sector where questions of responsible sourcing are creating real challenges within the complex market of commodities where metals and minerals may originate from multiple sources. A line of sight from supplier to product may be needed but how can this be created where in such a complex supply market that includes recovered materials as well. This panel will explore the need for a value chain that allows manufacturers, retailers and consumers to identify with sustainable sources and how this process might advantage Canadian producers and global brands.

Turning Tides: Attacking Ocean Plastics from All Angles

Global production of plastics is set to double in the next ten years, plastic packaging can be found across industries, plastic makes up 95% of the waste in our oceans – 8M+ metric tons per year. As a global community, we’ve addressed the low-hanging fruit – microbeads. What’s next? This session focuses on solutions to the four pillars of ocean plastics reduction – lifecycle management, energy recovery, waste stream minimization and ocean plastic mitigation.

Eco-design Best Practices: Eliminating Waste at the Source

Design is responsible for up to 90% of a products environmental impact. Get inspired from leading designers on best practice design thinking that can be applied to all businesses.

The Two Degree World: Avoiding Stranded Assets

The notion that some fossil fuel assets cannot be developed to hold warming to below two degrees Celsius is now well accepted, including by many oil and gas companies. But how do we determine which oil and gas projects should be prioritized, what action do investors expect of companies regarding these high cost assets? Should they be sold off to protect shareholder value? What is the future for the oil and gas workforce in such a transition?

Mitigating Capital Risk and Enhancing Returns as we Move to a Clean Economy

Global markets are rapidly evolving as low carbon innovation accelerates, price signals shake traditional markets, government policy drives us towards a clean economy, and financial institutions begin to address financial risk disclosure and shift portfolios around ESG parameters. This CEO panel will discuss the impacts of these and other global drivers, key approaches to attract capital and mitigate risks around climate change, and the leadership values necessary to enhance returns and drive growth during this turbulent transition.

The True Impact of Impact Investing

An expert dialogue aimed at assessing the breadth of impact of socially responsible and sustainable investment. In many cases, a more significant impact leverages broader social, environmental and business benefits and unlocks other sources of financing. We’ll help you determine how to measure impact and assess how it can enable increased growth.

The Carbon Cycle: Connecting Carbon Markets & Green Investment

Finance is a key element in the transition to low-carbon economies. Trade and infrastructure goals can be met by effectively recycling revenue from climate finance. Targeted redistribution of the public revenue that comes in from cap & trade and other programs may be the solution. Learning from leaders in banks, industry and international cleantech, this session will illuminate how to effectively target revenue from carbon pricing programs.

Clean Energy Ministerial: Mission Innovation & Scaling Cleantech’s Global Impact

A high-level dialogue on enabling growth of clean technologies and accelerating public and private innovation to address climate change, make clean energy affordable to consumers, and create essential opportunities for business across the world.

Growing Pacific Markets for Clean Technologies

Major change is occurring in North America, Europe and Asia. China’s coal use for energy production is waning while clean power is being produced with solar and wind. Energy efficiency and sustainable building products are finding new markets, and cleaner products and raw materials are being introduced into existing supply chains. What are new markets emerging for North American exporters, and what are the best strategies for diversifying trade in sustainable products and services in Asian markets?

Climate Policy: Who’s Leading the Charge?

New leadership is appearing on climate: hear from jurisdictions at the forefront of climate action at the national and sub-national level, including in the US and emerging markets.

Preparing for Emerging Green Jobs

This expert dialogue will address the pressing considerations for policymakers around green job growth:

  • What are the green jobs of the future?
  • How will they be created?
  • Are we training people for the right jobs?