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Environmental Professionals Network

School of Environment and Natural Resources


Sustainable Investing: Decarbonizing portfolios and financing green development

Jan 18, 2022, 8:00am - 10:00am



Program Overview

Discovering methods to combat our world’s steepest challenges, including climate change, biodiversity loss and socioeconomic inequality, requires effective and innovative financial strategies. This program addresses pathways corporations, philanthropists, independent investors, and financial institutions evaluate sustainability funds, assess climate change risks, improve sustainable investing, and measure their impact.

In 2021, global carbon emission levels rose to record highs after a brief COVID-19 related drop.1 Results from the 2015 Paris Agreement and the recently completed COP26 (26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties) provide mixed signals on whether legally binding and voluntary national and international frameworks will reign in carbon and other greenhouse gas pollutants in the next decade.2 3

In this context of climate uncertainty, society is seeking strategies that finance sustainable development and unlock new opportunities to tackle the drivers of climate change. This includes the ever-growing and complex world of “ESG” and other sustainability measurement and investment tools, green bonds and the decarbonization of holdings.4

If you are passionate about sustainable development and decarbonization and want to improve your understanding of leading-edge financial approaches in this arena join this program!

This EPN event will shed light on

  • Collecting, measuring, and utilizing "ESG" data (Environmental, Social, and Governance) to evaluate company and organizational performance

  • Evaluating sustainable development and real-world impacts financed by green bonds and other green investments strategies

  • Describe ways for large and small entities to make decisions to decarbonize their financial portfolios and other methods to reduce carbon emissions of their holdings.

1Global Carbon Budget 2021, Earth System Science Data (in review, 2021)

2The New York Times. 6 takeaways from the U.N. climate conference (November 13, 2021) 6 takeaways from the U.N. climate conference

3For more insight into COP 26 view feedback from Ohio State’s Dr. Michael Charles and representative of the Indigenous Caucus at EPN’s Building hope in a space and movement where change feels unlikely

4Sarah Murray, The Financial Times, Navigating the thicket of ESG metrics (October 24, 2021)

Resources shared by panelists during the webinar


7:55 a.m. Waiting room opens

8:00 a.m. Broadcast begins; Jeff Sharp, PhD (director, Ohio State’s School of Environment and Natural Resources) provides welcome remarks.

8:05 a.m. Paul Rose, JD (associate dean for strategic initiatives, Robert J. Watkins/Procter & Gamble professor of law, Ohio State’s Moritz College of Law) provides program remarks about Ohio State’s exploratory research group on sustainable finance, Ohio State receiving the University System of Ohio’s first green bond designation and other university sustainable development initiatives

8:15 a.m. Satyajit Bose, PhD (professor of practice and associate director for the program in sustainability management, Columbia University) outlines ESG, green bonds and other investments strategies, and their relevancy to financing sustainable development and decarbonizing financial portfolios

8:30 a.m. Sandy Nessing (managing director of corporate sustainability, American Electric Power (AEP)) applies these topics to her work as sustainability professional, including AEP’s methods for gathering and reporting ESG data, the company’s Sustainable Finance Framework to issue sustainability bonds, AEP’s climate impact analysis and use of second party verification

8:45 a.m. Andrew Shea (quantitative associate, Global Sustainable Finance, Morgan Stanley) relates this program’s topic areas to his work developing innovative financial and investment products and solutions, offers research-based and experiential perspectives on market trends, and advice on leading informational resources that are influencing future directions in the sustainable investment field

9:00 a.m. Audience Q&A with Speakers

9:20 a.m. Closing comments by Dr. Sharp

– Additional networking opportunity with professionals and speakers on program topic areas –

9:25 a.m.  Details to join this networking session will be provided

10:00 a.m. Networking program concludes


Headshot of EPN speaker, Satyajit Bose

Satyajit Bose, PhD, professor of practice and associate director for the program in sustainability management, Columbia University

Satyajit Bose, PhD teaches sustainable investing, cost benefit analysis and mathematics, and serves as Associate Director of the Program in Sustainability Management. His research interests include the value of ESG information, carbon pricing, the link between portfolio investment and sustainable development in emerging markets and the optimal use of environmental performance metrics for long horizon investment choices. He is co-author (with Dong Guo and Anne Simpson) of The Financial Ecosystem: The Role of Finance in Achieving Sustainability, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2019. His other research is available at the Research Program on Sustainability Policy & Management at the Earth Institute.

Satyajit has extensive expertise in investment banking, asset management, financial restructuring, and automated weather risk management. Among other positions, he was a mergers & acquisitions banker, directed quantitative trading strategies at a convertible arbitrage hedge fund managing $1.5 billion in assets and developed machine learning algorithms to optimize weather-based decision tools. He served as Chief Sustainability Officer for Balbec Beauty, Inc for six years and CFO for Fred Leighton Holding Inc for two years. He received his PhD and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Columbia University.

Headshot of EPN speaker, Sandy Nessing

Sandy Nessing, managing director of corporate sustainability, American Electric Power

With nearly 25 years in the utility industry, Sandy Nessing has responsibility for managing sustainability strategy, corporate stakeholder engagement and annual performance reporting for American Electric Power (AEP). She also chairs AEP’s Enterprise Sustainability Council and ESG team. She is a versatile, high-performing leader with proven success inspiring, planning, directing, implementing, and managing enterprise sustainability, cultural change, stakeholder engagement and ESG/sustainability disclosure.

Nessing leads AEP’s participation in the Electric Power Research Institute’s sustainability programs. She also serves on the Edison Electric Institute’s ESG/Sustainability Reporting Committee, which developed a groundbreaking sector specific ESG/Sustainability Reporting Template for investors. She led AEP’s participation in development of an industry template for providing large customers with GHG emissions and renewable energy data.

Nessing currently serves as President of the Board of Directors for NAEM, a national organization for environment, safety & health and sustainability professionals. In Ohio, Nessing serves as Secretary on the Franklin Park Conservatory Board of Trustees and is Executive Sponsor of the Ohio Chapter of the Women’s International Network of Utility Professionals. Prior to joining AEP in 2006, Nessing led corporate communications for Yankee Energy System and Yankee Gas Services Company, which are now Eversource. She began her career in broadcast journalism and public relations. She is a graduate of the former Briarwood College in Southington, Connecticut.

Headshot of EPN speaker, Andrew Shea

Andrew Shea, quantitative associate, Global Sustainable Finance, Morgan Stanley

Andrew Shea is a quantitative associate in the Global Sustainable Finance group at Morgan Stanley, where he contributes to the firm’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) data efforts, advances the quantitative integration of sustainability into investment products across all asset classes, and furthers the development of digital tools for sustainable investing.

Prior to joining the Firm, Shea studied at Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, earning a Master of Applied Economics (2018) and a Bachelor of Science degree in Environment and Natural Resources with an Environmental Economics specialization (2018). During his time at Ohio State, he wrote a thesis in Environmental Economics, completed a risk modeling and analytics graduate project with Huntington Bank, and was a corporate sustainability intern at Sodexo and Extended Stay America. In his free time Shea’s personal interests include water skiing, snow skiing, rock climbing, ice-climbing, cycling, surfing, wood-working, and philosophy.

Headshot for EPN January speaker, Paul Rose, JD

Paul Rose, JD, associate dean for strategic initiatives, Robert J. Watkins/Procter & Gamble professor of law, Ohio State’s Moritz College of Law

Professor Paul Rose teaches Business Associations, Comparative Corporate Law, Corporate Finance, Investment Management Law, and Securities Regulation. He has written extensively on sovereign wealth funds, corporate governance, and securities regulation, and he has consulted with and provided testimony on these topics to numerous regulators and other agencies, including the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission; the Government Accountability Office; and the Congressional Research Service. He is an affiliate with the Sovereign Wealth Fund Initiative, a research project at The Fletcher School at Tufts University, a non-resident fellow of the ESADEgeo-Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics, an affiliate with IE Business School, and an affiliate with the Sovereign Investment Lab, a research project at Università Bocconi.

Prior to joining the faculty at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Professor Rose was a visiting assistant professor in securities and finance at Northwestern University School of Law. Before joining Northwestern, Rose practiced law in the corporate and securities practice group of Covington & Burling LLP’s San Francisco office. He worked as an assistant trader in equity and emerging market derivatives at Citibank, N.A. in New York prior to attending law school.

Additional Information

We strive to host events that are inclusive and accessible to everyone. If you have a disability and require accommodations to fully participate in this activity, please reach out to Cecil Okotah ( Requests made five business days in advance will generally allow us to provide seamless access. However, we will make every effort to meet requests made after this time frame. You will be contacted by someone from our staff to discuss your specific needs. For the virtual audience, a closed captioning option via EPN’s YouTube live stream will be available, as well as other accommodations as requested on the registration.

This program will be recorded, edited, and posted to the EPN YouTube page by January 25, 2022.

EPN Breakfast Series

The Environmental Professionals Network hosts a monthly breakfast series with compelling speakers on important innovative topics at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center on Ohio State’s campus - open to all!