Five Questions about SRI – Weekly Expert Interview with Lauren Smart, Executive Director, Trucost, London, United Kingdom – March 16, 2012
By Geoffrey on March 16, 2012
Each week Emerging Markets ESG publishes an interview entitled, “Five Questions about SRI.” The interview features a practitioner’s insights about SRI in emerging markets and through Emerging Markets ESG shares this expertise with a wide global audience. The goals of Five Questions about SRI are fourfold:
To collect a catalogue of examples of SRI in practice in emerging markets;
To raise awareness about SRI in emerging markets;
To reflect on what SRI in emerging markets means to practitioners; and
To enable SRI practitioners in emerging markets to network with peers around the world.
This week’s interview is with Lauren Smart, Executive Director, Trucost, United Kingdom.
Trucost helps its clients understand the true cost of business, in order to use resources more efficiently across operations, supply chains and investment portfolios. Key to its approach is that it not only quantifies environmental impacts, but also puts a price on them, helping clients understand environmental risk in business terms. The utility of this has been highlighted over the past two years, with volatile commodity prices, driven by environmental and political shocks to the global trading environment driving businesses to change the way they view their supply chains. Trucost’s data helps its customers understand the magnitude of these systemic risks. Our customers are no longer driven by fear of regulation, but business logic. It isn’t “all about carbon”; it’s about water, an increasingly expensive and scarce resource; it’s about waste management; it’s about energy efficiency; and about where inputs are sourced and processed as risk varies according to location. Over the last 10 years, Trucost has researched, standardised and validated the world’s most comprehensive data on corporate environmental impacts, including carbon, water, waste and pollutants. This provides Trucost’s clients with: the most efficient approach to measuring carbon and wider environmental impacts across operations, supply chains and investment portfolios; clear identification of focus areas for reducing material environmental risks; validation of source data, including completion of gaps in data which are currently not being tracked or reported; comparison of environmental performance against peers, sectors, investment benchmarks and portfolios; and the ability to transform quantitative environmental data into environmentally-oriented investment strategies. Trucost helps its clients manage the environmental impacts from operations, supply chain and investments. Lauren Smart heads Trucost’s global business development and partnerships teams. She also serves on Trucost’s board and senior managment team. Prior to joining Trucost in 2005, Lauren was a Senior Investment Associate in the Global Equity Research division at Putnam Investments and was a consultant at the UK Government’s Department for International Development. Lauren holds a BA (Hons) and MA from Cambridge University in Archaeology and Anthropology and an MSc from the London School of Economics in International Development and Anthropology.