Leadership - ESG and Sustainability Expertise

is it needed? how to get it?

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As anyone involved with ESG will attest, the current level of demand for ESG leadership talent is unsurpassed and unrelenting.


Even firms with long-standing track records of successfully integrating ESG principles into their organizations are finding it more difficult than ever to stay ahead of dynamic and constantly evolving ESG expectations. Companies that have previously resisted establishing a formalized ESG policy and framework are finally bowing to pressure from their investors, consumers, employees, boards and regulators, and now find themselves scrambling to catch up. As ESG has gone from being a functional requirement to a commercial imperative, best-in-class organizations are embracing ESG in part because they firmly believe in the financial benefits of incorporating sustainability into their corporate and investment strategies.


All of these factors have led to an avalanche of demand for ESG leadership talent, straining what was already a very thin talent pool. It is clear that next-generation ESG leaders will look quite different from earlier archetypes, as the scope of the role grows and requires a far more senior and agile executive to be considered as a credible “ESG 2.0” leader.


This article comes from Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance. The article provides further details regarding a study which was done to better understand the problem.

This webinar brings together a panel of wide experience in this area – from leadership to sustainability and ESG. Join this panel discussion to have your burning questions answered.

Who will benefit from watching this 60 minute video

  • Board and committee chairs
  • CEOs
  • Company secretaries
  • Governance officers
  • Sustainability officers
  • Integrated / ESG / sustainability reporters
  • Executive education practitioners
  • Training officers

What you will learn

forewarned is forearmed

Watch this video to learn how to:

  • Explain the importance of ESG competence for Executives and Directors
  • Instill such understanding in an existing structure

Kindly sponsored by:

Expert Guests

Alex Hetherington

Sustainability strategist | ESG investor |Climate scenario analyst
TCFD reporter | Third Line Group | Carbon Calculated | TonneZero

Member of the Advisory Committee

Alex Hetherington is a seasoned corporate sustainability professional with 25-years’ experience in carbon accounting, climate scenario analysis and investor insight into market-related climate risks and opportunities. He has worked with clients in Africa, USA, UK, Europe, Middle East and Australia.


Originally trained as a journalist, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Politics from the University of Cape Town (1993), Alex took a MSc in Environmental Management from Imperial College, London (2004), and recently completed a CPA in Sustainable Finance and Investment from Columbia University in the city of New York (2021).

Having established himself as an early pioneer in corporate sustainability strategy, Alex co-founded Carbon
Calculated, a carbon management and climate change consultancy, which has worked with over thirty companies and brands across multiple geographies. He currently consults on investor understanding of climate risk and response.

Sharron L. McPherson

Attorney, Banking & Financial Services Executive

An accomplished attorney, banking & financial services executive, Sharron has over 25 years of experience starting, building, and navigating businesses through competitive and complex regulatory environments. 


She possesses a diverse skill set and is recognized for her experience in pioneering innovations in finance for blue/green infrastructure development, strategic public/private partnerships, conceptualizing and launching new funds that drive job creation/enterprise development. She is also the chief architect behind some of Africa’s most iconic women’s investment initiatives and funds. She is Co-Founder and former CEO of Africa’s largest women’s infrastructure investment group, Women in Infrastructure Development & Energy Pty Ltd (WINDE) – a consortium with over 2,000 women SME owners in infrastructure and the related sectors. To date, WINDE has measurably impacted over 1.5 million people and has created over 2,000 high quality, sustainable jobs.


She is a member of the faculty of Singularity University and also a Co-Founder and former Executive Director of the Centre for Disruptive Technologies (CDT), an affiliate of the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business where Sharron is a Senior Adjunct in Project Finance. She is a pioneer in systems thinking for inclusive and sustainable development and is one of the creators of nexus modelling (integration of externalities relating to interconnected water, energy & food systems). She has advised on the structuring of a number of successful pubic private partnerships for smart city development including the Iskandar Project in Malaysia (one of the world’s largest smart city developments). Today, CDT is one of South Africa’s leading advisory firms on blue/green infrastructure technology, sustainable cities concept development and digital transformation policy & strategy development.


Sharron is presently the CEO of a climate technology start-up company, The Green Jobs Machine.

She is a published author and accomplished public speaker with a lifetime interest in building better communities through social impact investing. Sharron earned a Doctorate in Jurisprudence (Columbia University School of Law), Honours in International Trade & Finance (University of Toulon), Bachelor of Arts in Economics (The College of William & Mary), and Post-Doctoral Studies in Exponential Technologies (Singularity University).


She serves as a Non-Executive Director on a number of publicly traded and private boards including Alexander Forbes (South Africa), Momentum Metropolitan Holdings (South Africa), the African Banking Corporation Holdings (Botswana), the Centre for Financial Regulation & Inclusion (CENFRI), and the Chartered Institute of Development Finance Professionals (CIDEF). She is also a member of the South African Institute of Directors (IOD) and in the National Association for Corporate Directors (NACD) (United States).

Mary Adams

Member of the Technical Committee

In a career spanning high risk finance, strategy consulting and entrepreneurship, Mary Adams has been a leader in the global conversations about integrated thinking/reporting, ESG and intangible capital.


She is one of three co-founders of Insights7, a software company that recently re-launched its performance management platform to integrate sustainability information alongside financial and operational data to support both external reporting and internal decision making.  She is also a co-founder of two communities: The Exit Planning Exchange, a forum for promoting long-term thinking in private companies, and the Integrated Reporting U.S. Community, a forum for promoting long-term thinking in public companies.


Mary is the co-author of Intangible Capital: Putting Knowledge to Work in the 21st Century Organization.


Prior to starting her Smarter-Companies consulting firm in 1999, she spent 14 years as a high-risk lender in the U.S. and Latin America.

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