SDG Hive


Deep-dive working sessions, co-curated with our partners, held on Tuesday 19th and Thursday 21st September at the NatWest Group Business School, Gogurburn Campus, Edinburgh and include a residential format. See some impressions from the day.


Fantastic to kick off our SDG Hive sessions at EFGlobal23 with a session on Purpose and Leadership with Amy Clark (Tribe Impact Capital), Anuradha Chugh (Pukka Herbs), and Louise Kjellerup Roper (Volans).

The next session continued with a discussion on leadership, and how to imbue it with purpose, featuring Simon Thompson of Chartered Banker, Dame Susan Rice of The Financial Services Culture Board  and our global steering group, and Noripah Kamso of Arabesque.

Another great SDG Hive session kicked off with LeapFrog Investment, The Scottish National Investment Bank and Z/Yen Initiative, looking at impact investing and national performance frameworks.

Irina Kurochkina explains Aegon Asset Management‘s unique approach to integrating ESG and government policy, through SDG-linked bonds. Uniquely, governments actually do have a lot of the data on sustainability that many corporates sadly still lack.

“The planet cannot afford small ambitions”, says Satya Tripath of the Global Alliance for a Sustainable Planet, highlighting the need to think big. At our EF Global 2023 SDGHive, he outlined work done to transform communities while delivering financial returns, by focusing on needs of those communities.

A great update from Modupe Ladipo explaining how people in Nigeria view (or rather, do not view) ESG, highlighting the need to deliver practical and transformative finance to communities, not just discuss the latest regulations.

Participants join a training session hosted at the DIFC Academy.


“Regulators asked ‘How do you use ESG ratings to make a decision?’ We don’t. We look at them, and it opens a door to ask more questions. Then we do our own research, and make decisions based on that.” says Leon Kamhi of Federated Hermes. 

One reason ESG has been politicised is a sense of unfairness. We need to say “what we’re trying to do is to NOT leave people behind…we want to invest in companies that are making a return & doing good” says Lauran Halpin of Martin Currie.

Should an asset manager be a leader or a follower on sustainability? Fascinating debate with Aegon Asset Management, Martin Currie, Federated Hermes and Mercer at the SDG Hive emphasises the value of honestly and integrity – be true to yourself and your client.

A great introduction to the Nature Finance Learning Group UK Project Pipeline Review from Bruce Howard, who summarises the state of play as “on its way, but ‘artisanal’”. We need better aggregation, better quality of projects to attract investors.

Karen Ellis of WWF UK sets out research into nature positive Transitions, and how the finance sector can contribute. In particular, to start by integrating nature into climate transition plans and then developing nature-specific plans.

In partnership with the UKIFC, delegates thoughtfully discussed how Islamic finance and its approach can be integrated with the wider ESG movement and what can each discipline learn from the other?

In our Empowering Women session Vanessa Collingridge led an upbeat, interactive and practical workshop to help women gain the confidence and skills of public speaking.