Author Archives for Veena Ramani

Why You Should Care About Climate-Competent Boards

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Vanguard Group CEO William F. McNabb III just tipped the list. The world’s top three asset managers—Blackrock, Vanguard, and State Street Corp.—are now calling the companies that they invest in to adopt climate risk disclosure. In a recent open letter to corporate directors across the globe, McNabb explained that Vanguard, the $4.5 trillion mutual-fund management firm, expects businesses to embrace materiality-driven disclosures to shine more light on sustainability risks. Summing up the challenge of climate risk, McNabb wrote that it’s the kind of risk that tests the strength of a board’s oversight and risk governance. That’s the crux of the... Read More


Five Key Steps for Building a Climate-Competent Board

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Last month, Exxon Mobil Corp. appointed a leading climate scientist to its board. Exxon’s move underscores the growing pressure shareholders are exerting on the issue of climate-competent boards. Climate competency of boards—and broader corporate attention to escalating climate change risks—isn’t just a hot topic for one set of shareholders and one oil company. It is a key investor imperative for all sectors of the economy. Look no further than the new guidelines from the G20’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure to understand how profoundly expectations are shifting. The task force, chaired by Michael R. Bloomberg, was created by the... Read More


Living in a Material World

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It is clearer than ever before that sustainability practices can affect corporate value. That was the main thread of a panel that I led at the National Association of Corporate Directors’ 2016 Global Board Leaders’ Summit in Washington, D.C. My co-panelists Christianna Wood, director at H&R Block, and Seth Goldman, founder of Honest Tea, and I discussed the potential risks and opportunities that environmental and social issues pose to companies. Sustainability is a broad term, and not every environmental or social issue belongs on the board agenda. But when an environmental or social issue has the potential to affect corporate... Read More