An initiative of the CSR Committee, AMCHAM’s 7th CSR Conference: Impact of Climate Crisis was held on September 21st over Webex. Ms. Valerie Swope, Program Coordinator, AMCHAM welcomed participants and introduced speakers. Mr. Harish Krishnan, Chairman – CSR Committee, AMCHAM and Managing Director & Chief Policy Officer, Cisco Systems, India & SAARC, in his opening remarks set the tone for the session highlighting the importance of climate commitments. He encouraged participants to ask questions during the sessions and challenge ideas of how to sustain an inclusive and regenerative future for all.
Session 1: Importance of Climate and Role in CSR was moderated by Mr. Aaron Schubert, Deputy Director, Indo-Pacific Office, USAID with Mr. John Holm, Senior Vice President, Partnership Development, PYXERA Global and Ms. Sumi Mehta, Vice President, Environmental and Climate Health, Vital Strategies. The panel discussed regenerative and equitable transition for corporates, how to counterbalance the power dynamics at play, desire for true systems change, intersection of health and climate, air pollution, protecting vulnerable populations and using data to set priorities and measure benefits of actions taken. Examples of partnerships in the climate arena with USAID around the world were shared. Ideas on the circular economy and how supply chain leaders can identify and prioritize opportunities to apply circular economy principles were shared.
In Session 2: Innovative Ways of Funding Climate Impact, Mr. Peter Tavernise, Climate Impact and Regeneration Lead, Cisco Foundation Climate Initiative and Director, Chief Sustainability Office, Cisco gave a presentation on ‘Climate Impact & Regeneration Portfolio.’ In terms of capital needs, he spoke about access and affordability to underserved markets, blended finance solutions for nature-based and indigenous solutions and catalytic grants. He also shared specific success stories of blended finance and investment partners from Cisco’s grant portfolio. He shared his expertise about how to push for collaborative sustainability and climate action with vendors and his experience in designing a climate investment strategy.
Both sessions included a Q&A segment with participants. In concluding remarks, Mr. Harish Krishnan, Chairman – CSR Committee, AMCHAM, thanked the speakers for their wisdom and gave some hope that together, organizations, corporations and people, together, can make a difference. Private sector has the potential to scale climate mitigation operations. The conference was made possible by event partner: Cisco.