Materiality is a core concept in sustainability to effectively identify and manage risks and opportunities.  However, as a tool, Sustainability Materiality Assessments (recommended by the Global Reporting Initiative and others) continue to evolve and have yet to become an integral part of decision making for most businesses.

This workshop - presented by Professor Rodney Irwin (WBCSD) and Dr Todd Cort (Yale School of Management) - takes a deep dive into sustainability materiality.  It will include the building of a classic multi-stakeholder materiality matrix in order to explore the subjectivities and values of this tool, and a discussion of the hurdles to integrating multi-stakeholder (and other types) of materiality assessments into corporate decision making.   

The workshop will be interactive and open to all staff and students.

Lunch is included in this event, and places are limited!  If you are interested in attending, please contact a.stowell@lancaster.ac.uk to reserve a space.

 

Rodney Irwin

Professor Rodney Irwin is a 25 year experienced finance director and qualified Chartered Accountant who has gained an international reputation in Non-financial Reporting and Sustainability, financial control, internal auditing, business ethics, corporate governance, internal control over financial and non-financial reporting and has also taught at a university level.  He is regularly requested to speak at international conferences on measuring, valuing and reporting on natural and social capital, sustainability reporting, integrated reporting, internal control, auditing and assurance and risk management.  He has delivered governance and business ethics courses at Cambridge University, THe Hague University and IIA courses on business ethics and has developed Sustainability seminars for finance staff and is a regular contributor at Yale University and the Global Network of Advanced Management.

Rodney has experience at some of the world's leading organisations and has a global persepctive and empathy for cultural diversity including 12 years in senior finance roles reporting to the Board and Supervisory Board at TNT.  A trained and competent facilitator, Rodney has worked with Boards and Supervisory Boards in multinational organisations in the private and humanitarian sectors.  Rodney presented the idea of embedding enterprise wide risk managment into the the UN World Food Programme and was successful in getting a formal risk management programme rolled out at the WFP, the first of any UN organisation to do so.  As a result he has facilitated risk management sessions with senior staff in India, Sudan, Kenya, Somalia, Haiti, Washington and at the UN headquarters in New York.

Rodney has a motivational style of leadership and management, and develops and maintains a professional environment that encourages staff to meet their full potential.

 

Todd Cort

Dr. Todd Cort works at the intersection of corporate responsibility and sustainable finance.  His current research and advisory work focus on the barriers to moving capital (either corporate or investor) to more sustainable investments.  In this space, Dr. Cort is working on:

  • Metrics and standards for measuring the environmental impacts of fixed income investment products such as green bonds
  • Metrics and the underlying data for environmental, social and governance (ESG) that demonstrably drive corporate growth and improvement in equity value.
  • Metrics for underwriting more sustainable insurance products - particularly around the means to measure effective climate adaptation

Todd Cort is a Faculty member at the Yale School of Management and Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.  He also serves as the Faculty Co-Director for the Yale Center for Business and the Environment (CBEY), Adjunct Faculty member with the Columbia University Earth Institute and Member of the JUST Capital Science Committee.  He holds a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Master's and Bachelor's degrees in biochemistry and a Professional Engineer's license in California.  Dr. Cort previously served as Director of Sustainability Advisory services for TUV Rheinland and Det Norske Veritas where he consulted on sustainability matters including metrics, risk management and auditing practices.

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