Panel Livestream

The Role of Financial Institutions for Sustainable Food Systems

Tuesday, October 3, 2023 From 13:30 to 15:00 (CET) Centre International de Conférences Genève - Room B
Climate & Energy Innovative Finance Nature

While about 10% of the world population is facing food insecurity, food systems are already driving climate change and is the principal force behind biodiversity loss. Financial institutions can support the development of resilient and sustainable food systems by investing in companies and practices that encourage sustainable land use. This session will explore ways to build sustainable food systems through responsible investing, blended finance schemes and other financial services.


Jessica Smith

Nature Lead at UNEP FI - UNEP FI

Jessica Smith has led the Nature programme at the UNEP Finance Initiative since 2020. For the previous 7 years she directed a consultancy firm undertaking environmental finance project development and evaluation, and leading secretariats for the Equator Principles Association and the Cross-Sector Biodiversity Initiative (applying IFC performance standard 6 on biodiversity in oil & gas, mining, and finance). She has worked extensively to mobilise and evaluate environmental finance, globally and across Africa. Her key areas of interest are mobilising private and blended finance for ecosystems (SDGs 14 and 15) and managing biodiversity-related risks in banking and investment.

Sébastien Soleille

Global Head of Energy Transition and Environment - BNP Paribas

Sébastien Soleille is the Global Head of Energy Transition and Environment at BNP Paribas, and is a member of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD). He has more than 20 years professional experience in energy transition and environment, biodiversity and circular economy. Before joining BNP Paribas, Mr. Soleille worked at the French National Institute for Industrial Environment and Risks (INERIS), TOTAL and Deloitte.

Melanie Beyeler

Sustainability Equity Fund Manager - EFG Asset Management

Melanie Beyeler joined EFG Asset Management (EFGAM) Switzerland in August 2017 and is the Lead Manager of the Climate Transition Strategy. Previously, she worked at Credit Suisse where she held a variety of roles including Equity Institutional Sales and Client Portfolio Manager. Ms. Beyeler holds a Masters HSG in Banking and Finance from the University of St. Gallen. In addition, she has successfully completed the “Sustainable Finance” program at the University of Cambridge and the “Business Sustainability Strategy” program at MIT Sloan School of Management.

Victoria Leggett

Equity Fund Manager and Head of Impact Investing - Union Bancaire Privée

Victoria Leggett is Head of Impact Investing at UBP in addition to co-running a listed equity Biodiversity Restoration portfolio. She has 20 years of experience in portfolio management and analysis, and prior to UBP, worked in equities at Colombia Threadneedle. Victoria Leggett believes that collaboration is critical to systems change and is co-chair of the Investment Leaders Group’s working committee (CISL) in addition to being involved in several other initiatives including the Big Exchange, the PRI Nature Reference Group, and the UBP Biodiversity board, which has representation from several conservation experts (CCI, PPF). 

Marianne Haahr moderator,

Lead, Support on Specific Guidance - TNFD

Marianne Haahr currently works with TNFD as lead support on specific guidance for the agriculture, fishing and aquaculture sectors. She is also the Nature-related Finance Lead at Global Canopy, where she leads TNFD engagements via pilot testing of the TNFD framework and sector guidance development. Prior to these roles, Ms. Haahr served as Executive Director of the Green Digital Finance Alliance, a not-for-profit foundation working on scaling green finance with digital technologies, co-founded by UNEP. There, she developed publications on tokenised green bonds, alongside other topics, and developed data supply maps for financial service institutions. She has served on the TNFD Informal Technical Expert Group and she has developed input papers to the G-20 Sustainable Finance Working Group on sustainable digital finance and to the UN SG’s Task Force for fintech and SDGs. Ms. Haahr holds an MSc from Copenhagen University.