(Bloomberg) -- Top executives, policy makers, scientists and activists are gathering this week for the first-ever Bloomberg Green Festival. The virtual event focuses on the core issues of climate change.
The conference kicked off Monday with speakers, including actor and co-founder of Water.org Matt Damon and HP Inc. Chief Executive Officer Enrique Lores.
Tuesday’s lineup includes money manager Jeffrey Ubben of Inclusive Capital Partners, Royal Philips NV CEO Frans van Houten and Iberdrola SA CEO Jose Ignacio Sanchez Galan. They are addressing the need for climate action and debate climate solutions such as sustainable investing.
Philips CEO Says ESG Goals Attract Talent (9:15 a.m. NY)
Royal Philips NV Chief Executive Officer Frans van Houten has found that by focusing on ESG goals, the company is able to attract talent that is “amazing.”
“We are seeing a generation of people who are much more aware of what is happening around them in the world,” he said. “This generation, especially millennials, wants to have a positive impact on the world around them.”
“This is a very positive development and we are early in being part of this transformation and it has paid us dividends,” he said.
The Dutch company also has seen that its customers are increasingly taking sustainability into account as well, he said, giving the example of hospitals that evaluate their vendors based on ESG scores.
“We do not want to cause harm while we innovate,” he said.
Jeffrey Ubben Says Climate Is ‘New Place’ for Excess Return (8:45 a.m. NY)
Jeffrey Ubben, the activist investor who left his hedge fund to launch a new firm called Inclusive Capital Partners focused on social and environmental investing, said the stock market has moved into an era where equity values are increasingly reflecting environmental and social failings.
That provides investors with an opportunity to become activists that can push companies to make improvements in those areas and thus find the “new place” to find excess returns, he said.
“To a certain extent, we caused the harm we’re trying to address,” he said. “If you can fix climate change or at least mitigate it, that’s the next breakout opportunity.”
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