9:25-9:30 AM

Welcome Remarks

9:30-10:30 AM

Using Sustainable Investing to Transform the Status Quo at Scale and Create a Sustainable and Inclusive Economy

Cyan Capital Partners works to connect new and talented sustainable investment firms with what they need to thrive, and to support institutional investor’s deployment into new sustainable investment strategies. What industry trends can accelerate pools of institutional capital into sustainable investments at scale? In this keynote session, speakers will share insights into the creation of their investment firm and investing thesis, their pathway into the field of sustainable investing, as well as advice for those exploring careers in the sector.

Geoffrey Heal

Geoffrey Heal
Donald C. Waite III Professor of Social Enterprise and Bernstein Faculty Leader at Columbia Business School

Geoffrey Heal, Donald C. Waite III Professor of Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School, is noted for contributions to economic theory and resource and environmental economics. He holds a bachelor's (first class), master's, and doctoral degree from Cambridge University, where he studied at Churchill College and taught at Christ’s College. He has also taught at Sussex, Essex, Yale, Stanford, École Polytechnique, Stockholm, and Princeton. He holds an honorary doctorate from the Universite de Paris Dauphine.

Author of eighteen books and about two hundred articles, Professor Heal is a fellow of the Econometric Society, past managing editor of the Review of Economic Studies, past president of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, recipient of its prize for publications of enduring quality and a life fellow, recipient of the 2013 Best Publication Prize of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, a director of the Union of Concerned Scientists,and a founder and director and chairman of the board of the Coalition for Rainforest Nations, developers of the REDD policy for reducing deforestation by awarding carbon credits for forest conservation. Recent books include Nature and the Marketplace, Valuing the Future, When Principles Pay, and Whole Earth Economics (forthcoming).

Professor Heal chaired a committee of the National Academy of Sciences on valuing ecosystem services, was a commissioner of the Pew Oceans Commission, was a coordinating lead author of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, was a member of President Sarkozy’s Commission on the Meaurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress, was a member of the advisory board for the World Bank’s 2010 World Development Report, and the United Nations Environment Program’s 2011 Human Development Report, and acts as an advisor to the World Bank on its Green Growth project. He is also a director of Public Business, a foundation that promotes in-depth public interest journalism, and a member of the advisory board of Green Seal.

He has been a principal in two startup companies, a consulting firm and a software and telecommunications company, and until recently was a member of the investment committee of a green private equity group. He teaches the MBA courses Current Developments in Energy Markets, Business and Society: Doing Well by Doing Good?, and the Business of Sustainability, and he teaches a doctoral course on advanced microeconomic theory, and he also advises doctoral students interested in sustainability.

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Donald C. Waite III Professor of Social Enterprise and Bernstein Faculty Leader at Columbia Business School

Peter S. Knight

Peter S. Knight
Co-founder and Managing Partner at Cyan Capital Partners

Prior to Cyan, Mr. Knight was a founding partner of Generation Investment Management and president of the North American Business. At Generation, he served on the management committee, the Generation foundation, and still serves on several of Generation’s fund boards. Prior to Generation, Mr. Knight was a managing partner at Met West Financial. Mr. Knight started his career at the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department and then served as chief of staff for Rep. and then Senator Al Gore from 1977 to 1988. Mr. Knight served in senior positions in four presidential campaigns, including as campaign manager for the 1996 Clinton/Gore Campaign. Mr. Knight has served on numerous public company boards. He currently serves as chair of the Climate Museum, the board of Emergent, a Forest Finance Accelerator, and the board of Gratitude Railroad. Mr. Knight holds a BA from Cornell and a JD from Georgetown University Law School.

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Co-founder and Managing Partner at Cyan Capital Partners

Beth Richtman ’07BUS

Beth Richtman ’07BUS
Co-founder and Managing Partner at Cyan Capital Partners

Beth has deep expertise in sustainability, ESG Integration, underwriting assets and asset managers, talent development, and portfolio management. She is a co-founder and managing partner of Cyan Capital Partners, whose mission is to bridge gaps for the Institutional Investor community and new firms pursuing sustainable investment strategies capable of generating financial returns and significant impact at scale.

Directly before co-founding Cyan, Beth served as the first managing investment director of sustainable investments for CalPERS. In this role, Beth led a team providing centralized leadership for integration of ESG factors into investment decision-making across CalPERS’ approximately $400 billion total fund and served as part of the executive leadership team overseeing the CalPERS Investment Office. During her years at CalPERS, Beth also managed a $7 billion portfolio of infrastructure and real estate assets and served on the Real Assets Investment Committee.

Prior to her time at CalPERS, Beth was director of business development for Enel Green Power North America, where she worked on various business and finance aspects of over 1600 MW of renewable power assets. She earned a BS in science, technology, and society from Stanford University and an MBA in finance from Columbia Business School.

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Co-founder and Managing Partner at Cyan Capital Partners

John-Austin Saviano

John-Austin Saviano
Co-founder and Managing Partner at Cyan Capital Partners

John-Austin serves as a strategic advisor to investment firms and the institutional pools of capital who back them. He draws on his 25 years of investment experience that includes two ten-figure endowment launches.

Previously, John-Austin was the founding president and chief investment officer for UC Berkeley's endowment management company. In this role he was responsible for investing its portfolio, creating its management company, and leading its investment team.

Before joining Berkeley in 2009, he advised a wide range of institutions and institutional-sized families at Cambridge Associates and served on the founding investment team at the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation. He began his career financing the growth and operations of public and private companies, as both a senior creditor at a commercial bank and as venture investor.

John-Austin earned a BA in economics from UC San Diego, an MBA from Duke University, and is a CFA charterholder.

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Co-founder and Managing Partner at Cyan Capital Partners

10:30-11:00 AM

Coffee Break

11:00 AM-12:00 PM

Embedding Sustainability Into PepsiCo Beverages North America’s Value Chain

PepsiCo Beverages North America recognizes the importance of prioritizing sustainability throughout its entire value chain. How does the company embed sustainability into the organization to ensure the company’s success and financial returns tie to its impact on agriculture and climate, packaging, and with its internal and external stakeholders? This keynote session will explore how PepsiCo Beverages North America is creating scalable solutions to produce and distribute its beverage portfolio, while minimizing waste. Jason Blake, ’05BUS, will also share insights on career paths into the sustainability sector.

Watch the recording →

Jason Blake ’05BUS

Jason Blake '05BUS
Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer at PepsiCo Beverages North America (PBNA)

Jason Blake is senior vice president, chief sustainability officer for PepsiCo Beverages North America (PBNA). PBNA is PepsiCo’s $21 billion beverage business in North America as well as Global Foodservice with an iconic portfolio of beverages including, Pepsi, Gatorade, Tropicana, bubly, MTN DEW, Naked Juice, Starbucks ready-to-drink coffee, LIFEWTR, Rockstar Energy Drink, and KeVita.

Jason is a 12-year PepsiCo veteran. In his current role, Jason leads PBNA’s efforts to deliver its long-term sustainability targets across the full beverage portfolio.

Prior to returning to PepsiCo in August 2020, Jason served as vice president of commercial at Delta Airlines since June 2019 where he led the diversification and de-risking of the company’s revenue model and led key innovation and business development initiatives.

Since joining PepsiCo in 2007, Jason held a variety of roles of increasing responsibility, including senior vice president of customer management and channel strategy for Frito-Lay North America (FLNA), in which he led PepsiCo’s Target and Costco teams and channel strategy for FLNA in traditional and emerging e-commerce; region vice president for the Southeast Region of FLNA; and senior director of customer management for the Great Lakes Region of Pepsi Beverages Company.

Jason is a member of the board of directors of the American Beverage Association. Jason holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Morehouse College where he graduated cum laude. Jason is married with two children.
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Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer at PepsiCo Beverages North America (PBNA)

Vanessa Burbano

Vanessa Burbano
Assistant Professor of Management at Columbia Business School

Vanessa Burbano is an assistant professor of management in the strategy area at Columbia Business School. She was named to Poets and Quants’ 2019 list of Best 40 Business School Professors Under 40.

Burbano researches the strategic implications of socially responsible and irresponsible firm practices. Her research has been recognized with awards including those from the Strategic Management Society, the Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability, the Responsible Research in Management Award, the Impact for Investment Research Prize, the Berkeley Sustainable Business and Investment Forum, the International Association of Business & Society, and the Industry Studies Association. Her work has been published in Organization Science, Management Science, Strategic Management Journal, California Management Review, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, and Organization & Environment, and has been featured in Forbes, Fortune, The Financial Times, and the New York Times.

She holds a PhD from UCLA Anderson School of Management and an MPA from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Prior to academia, she worked as an associate at Goldman Sachs and as a strategy consultant at Monitor Group.

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Assistant Professor of Management at Columbia Business School

12:00 PM

Closing Remarks