The first Sustainability Committee meeting of this year was held on Tuesday March 10th.
The committee members went through the exclusions proposal and began by discussing Novartis stance. Due to bribery allegations and ongoing trials after US doctors were offered dinners and other events in return of prescriptions, the drugmaker was previously on the Blacklist. The Committee has decided to reinstate the company onto the Whitelist considering its efforts provided to progress with regards to the UNGC principles.
Professor Julien Harou, one of the world’s leading experts in water sustainability, was invited to speak to the committee on the latest developments in water sustainability. This was later followed by an interesting discussion on how water sustainability might be taken into account in a sustainable investment framework and what data would be required to do so.
Caroline Ramscar asked about potential data that could be applied to indexing today for a scoring methodology or sector exclusions. As water governance is at its early stage, there is not a sufficiently substantial and universal approach to monitor essential underlying factors yet, such as consumption measurements, optimal water usage and reporting across corporations. As a result, the ability to create a water scoring methodology is challenging and not available for the time being because of the lack of existing data. Though, the Sustainability Committee is continuously questioning and challenging the current ESG landscape, keeping the door open to new terms of determinations.
Profession Julien Harou
Professor Julien Harou is Chair in Water Engineering since 2013. Previously he was a lecturer at University College London. He has a PhD from the University of California Davis in water resources engineering and economics and a Master’s degree from Cornell University.
Julien’s group contributes globally leading research in water resources planning and management, water-energy-food systems, and environmental management software. He is research director of the $10M RCUK-funded FutureDAMSproject, lead of NERC’s Water Stewardship Portal project and a coinvestigator of NERC’s UMFULA project. Recently his group worked with IUCN on the German-funded WISE-UP climate change adaptation project, the NSF-Belmont funded Jordan water security project, the EU SmartH20 project on smart metering and dynamic pricing, EPSRC Transforming water scarcity through trade project, and the EPSRC Adaptation and Resilience to climate change project. His group co-built the analytical engines behind the Water Resources of the South East, and Water Resources East regional infrastructure investment planning projects, and is a contributor to TNC’s Hydropower by Design approach and WWF’s Connected and Flowing initiative. Current and recent collaborators include the World Bank, IUCN, UK water regulators (EA, Ofwat), UK water companies, TNC, IWMI, WWF, IFC, DEFRA, the European Commission, IHA, and various consultancies.
In 2010 he received a NASA Launch Innovator award for his group’s contributions to water management and open software. Julien is an Honorary Professor at UCL.