Cambridge Risk Summit 2021: Transitioning to Net Zero – Managing the Risks

23 June 2021 14:00 BST (Virtual)

A pandemic-inspired focus on corporate resilience is giving way to a new long-term agenda as companies begin truly to face up the disruptive implications and impacts of climate change. As governments push for transition to imagined ‘green economies’ and towards targets for net zero carbon, climate risk is moving to the centre of companies’ debates over their strategies and processes as well as their leadership, workforces and cultures. Post COVID, there is pressure for the resumption of global trade and the return of economic growth. But at what environmental and other external costs? Societal expectations are changing fast, and there is growing awareness of rising climate dangers associated with today’s economic paradigms. Can businesses keep up? Can they be part of the solution? Can they even lead the way?


Our 2021 Summit will explore how companies are responding to the real and present threats of the climate crisis. How are they beginning to finance themselves differently as they seek to show that their activities are more environmentally sustainable? Big investors wield huge clout and are making ever more demands for investable companies to show ‘green’ credentials, commitment and credibility. Can financial innovation play a role?

But it’s about more than just money. Supply chains have been exposed as vulnerable to systemic shocks, whether from pandemics, freak blockages of key trade routes, or geo-politics as US-China tensions mount. As climate change inexorably emerges as an ever-more important risk factor, how can companies reconfigure their operations to meet a more demanding future? What steps are required and how confident can we be that companies can not only respond to the climate crisis, but also thrive and create the future wealth required to sustain human ingenuity and prosperity?

We will explore these topics with a range of specialists and business managers, including senior executives, corporate advisors, financial and other experts.

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Watch On-demand

14:00-14:10 Welcome and Introductions

Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies, Professor Daniel Ralph and Andrew Freeman

14:10-14:30 Plenary Session One: Keynote Address: Climate Change, The Four Sciences, And What They Mean For Investors Who May be Confusing “Like” and “Likely”

Harald Walkate, Head of ESG, Natixis Investment Managers

14:30-15:15 Panel Discussion: Climate Solutions by Leveraging Capital Markets

Moderated by Andrew Freeman

Harald Walkate, Natixis Investment Managers

Herman Bril, CEO Arabesque Asset Management

Amelia Pan, ESG Advisor, PJT Partners

Audience Q&A or prior questions

 15:15-15.55 Plenary Session Two: Critical Aspects of the Net Zero Challenge: Research Presentation by the Centre for Risk Studies

16.00-16:20 Plenary Session Three: The Great Rebalancing of Corporate Balance Sheets: Re-Thinking Financial Steering

McKinsey Speakers: Sam Gibbons and Dilara Ege Cagatay

16:20-16:25 Cambridge-McKinsey Risk Prize for 2021 Announcement

Presented by Dr Aleksander Petrov, Senior Risk Partner, McKinsey & Co

16:25-17:05 Plenary Session Four: Getting There: Achieving Net-Zero Plans

Corporate Roundtable

Moderated by Professor Danny Ralph

David Croft, Product Sustainability, Reckitt

Hildagarde McCarville, CEO, Veolia (Netherlands)

James Whittingham, Sustainability Manager – Carbon, EasyJet

 17.05-17.25 Plenary Session 5: Keynote Summation

Professor Mauro F Guillén, Incoming Dean, Cambridge Judge Business School

17.25-17.30 Concluding Remarks and Summit Wrap Up

Professor Danny Ralph and Andrew Freeman


Herman Bril

Incoming CEO of Arabesque Asset Management and Partner of Arabesque

Herman is the incoming CEO of Arabesque and the Former Director of the Office of Investment Management at the U.N Joint Staff Pension Fund.

Dilara Cagatay

Specialist, McKinsey & Company

Dilara Cagatay is a Specialist in McKinsey London, and is part of the Risk Practice.

Oliver Carpenter

Environmental Risk Research Lead, Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies

Oliver leads research on environmental and climate change risks at the Centre for Risk Studies.

Andrew Coburn

Chief Scientist

Andrew is one of the early stage innovators of the catastrophe modelling industry for insurance.

David Croft

Global Director Sustainability, Environment & Human Rights, Reckitt

David is Global Director Sustainability, Environment & Human Rights for Reckitt.

Tamara Evan

Lead, Business Intelligence at Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies

Tamara is the Business Intelligence Lead at the Centre for Risk Studies and oversees the completion and final delivery of the Centre’s research outputs.

Andrew Freeman

Risk Fellow, Centre for Risk Studies

Andrew Freeman is a risk advisor, NED, investor, author and pensions expert who has been a Fellow of the Centre since 2012.

Sam Gibbons

Senior Expert, McKinsey & Company

Sam is a senior expert in McKinsey’s Risk Practice, focusing on Financial Resource Management.

Professor Mauro Guillén

Incoming Dean (from September 2021), Cambridge Judge Business School

Professor Mauro Guillén is an Incoming Dean at the Cambridge Judge Business School.

Hildagarde McCarville

CEO, Veolia

Hildagarde McCarville is the CEO of Veolia in the Netherlands, and a non-executive director of Veolia in Ireland.

Amelia Pan

Managing Director, Strategic Advisory Group, PJT Partners

Amelia Pan is a Managing Director in the Strategic Advisory Group at PJT Partners, based in London.

Aleksander Petrov

Senior Risk Partner, McKinsey & Company

Aleksander Petrov is Senior Risk Partner at McKinsey & Company and leader of the London Risk Advanced Analytics Group.

Daniel Ralph

Academic Director, Centre for Risk Studies

Danny is professor of Operation Resarch at Cambridge Judge Business School an authority on managing risk in business. He has been published widely.

Harald Walkate

Head of ESG, Member of the Executive Committee, Natixis Investment Managers

Harald Walkate is Head of Responsible Investment (ESG) at Natixis Investment Managers.

James Whittingham

Sustainability Manager, easyJet

At easyJet, James is responsible for reducing carbon emissions by working across the business to set and deliver reduction targets