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First Ever Chief Operating Officer At PRI



First Ever Chief Operating Officer At PRI

Peter de Graaf has today been revealed as the new Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)

Peter takes up his new role on 1 December. He will be based in London and report directly to the PRI’s managing director Fiona Reynolds. His appointment marks the first time that the PRI has had a COO role.

Peter joins from London-based management consultancy Carnstone Partners LLP, where he spent the last seven years as a Senior Partner. He served as the Operations Partner responsible for the firm’s operational management, including the coordination for the Senior Partner meetings and serving as Company Secretary for the Partnership. He also led the firm’s work on capital markets projects with clients and partners such as the Pension Protection Fund, Risk Metrics/MSCI and WHEB Asset Management. Peter has a particular interest in responsible investment.

Before joining Carnstone, Peter spent almost two years as Managing Director and Member of the Board at Trucost Plc. He also spent five years at FTSE, first as Managing Director EMEA and then as Managing Director for Public Affairs.

Earlier in his career, Peter worked for a number of communications consultancies including Edelman, Omnicom and Grayling.

Peter holds an MA in Political Science from the University of Amsterdam and an MSc in Economics of the European Union from the London School of Economics.

In his new role, Peter will have overall operational responsibility for companywide key projects and for operationalising the strategic plan and annual business plans across the PRI, ensuring ongoing oversight and reporting against these plans. He will provide coordination across the senior management team and have a direct responsibility for the Communication & Events team.

As the chief programme officer he will provide leadership to project planning and processes and will implement new programmatic strategic initiatives. Additionally, he will partner with the managing director and directors to implement the operational and cross organisational aspects of a new 10-year Blueprint for Responsible Investment.

Peter’s expertise in operational management, combined with his knowledge of business planning, budget management and reporting will ensure that we work smarter and more effectively as an organisation.

“The PRI has grown enormously in recent years, which means that, in order to meet the ongoing needs of our members, and develop new capabilities in the future, we now need a very senior individual who can coordinate projects and deliverables across the whole of the PRI,” said managing director Fiona Reynolds. “Peter’s expertise in operational management, combined with his knowledge of business planning, budget management and reporting will ensure that we work smarter and more effectively as an organisation. We are delighted to welcome him to the PRI.”

Commenting on his new role, Peter said: “The PRI has made a huge contribution to moving environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues into the forefront of the financial services sector but we know that there is still a great deal more to be done. I’m looking forward to working with the organisation and taking them into the next decade to ensure that responsible investments keeps moving forward worldwide.”


Green Weddings Trend: Why 70% of Newlyweds Are Going Green



A couple of months ago, my best friend got married to her new husband. They are both very eco-conscious people, so they decided to have a unique twist on their wedding. They asked for the following:

  • They arranged a carpool with their friends.
  • They didn’t have any balloons. Instead they used umbrellas.
  • They used plant materials instead of plastic confetti.
  • My friend insisted her husband not purchase a diamond. In addition to being ecologically conscious, she didn’t like the idea of having a stone that was used in conflict zones.

My friends aren’t the only ones making these changes. In fact, nearly a quarter of all newlyweds are organizing green weddings.

Green Weddings Are Becoming the Norm

People are more concerned about green living than ever before. They are trying to incorporate environmental protectionist ideas into every facet of their lives, even the most intimate, such as marriage. A growing number of people are trying to have green weddings, which can make a big difference in reducing their carbon footprint.

How much of a difference can this make? Here are some statistics to bear in mind:

There are a number ofreasons that green weddings are becoming more important. Here are a few.

People Are More Worried About Environmental Preservation than Ever Before

Green living in general is becoming a greater concern for most people. Even younger conservatives are breaking from their older counterparts by insisting on fighting climate change. According to a poll from Pew Research earlier this year, 75% of Americans say that they are very concerned about protecting the environment. Having green weddings is a good way to act on this concern.

One of the biggest changes people are making is using recycled products for their green weddings. This is explained by the research from Pew:

“Overall, 32% of U.S. adults say they are bothered a lot by people throwing away things that could be recycled. Roughly six-in-ten Americans (61%) who say they always try to live in ways that protect the environment say it bothers them “a lot” when others throw away things that could be recycled. Among those who are less focused on environmental protection, only a quarter say it bothers them a lot when others don’t recycle. People who are environmentally conscious are also twice as likely as others to say that seeing someone incorrectly putting trash in recycling bins bothers them a lot (42% vs. 21%).”

Indifferent Politicians Are Driving them to Take More Initiative

Many politicians in power have been very hesitant to take action on climate change. Many of them have openly stated that it is a hoax. These politicians are forcing people to do what they can in their own lives to make a difference. Making small changes, such as hosting green weddings, is a great way to improve the environment without waiting for political momentum.

Cost and Simplicity

A couple of the biggest reasons that people want to host green weddings have nothing to do with their concern for the environment. Running green weddings is simply cheaper and simpler than having a massive, traditional one. One of the biggest changes is that they are buying green engagement rings from the best brands.

Green Weddings Are the Future

Green weddings have become very popular over the past few years. They will probably account for close to 90% of all marriages by 2025. People that are planning to get married should look into the benefits and plan accordingly.

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Green Tech Start-Ups: Are they the Future?



Endless innovations are occurring in green companies, reinventing the industries they belong to. Gradually, they are beginning to amass more success and popularity. Consequently, these factors serve as a good indicator for green technology businesses, and their development must begin somewhere.

Green tech start-ups boast a wide array of opportunities for the economy and environment, while boosting recruitment openings with valuable services. While the technology industry is littered with high revenues and competition, the green tech start-ups are the clear sign of a cleaner future.

Fulfilling a Genuine Need

Many tech companies will market themselves as the ultimate tech giants to shift stock and make profit. As they all vie for attention through warped corporate rhetoric, there is only one ethical winner; the start-up green tech company.

Some argue that mainstream tech businesses have grown far too big, branching out into other industries and standing between the consumer and practically everything they do. However, green tech start-ups go beyond the shallow ambitions of a company, answering a call to sincerely help the customer and climate in any way they can. Of course, this is an attractive business model, putting customers at ease as they contribute to a humanitarian cause that is genuine through and through.

After all, empathy is a striking trait to have in business, and green tech start-ups maintain this composure by their very nature and purpose.

Creating Opportunities

Despite the pursuits for clean energy still needing more awareness, green tech is an area that is ripe for contribution and expansion. There’s no need to copy another company or be a business of cheap knockoffs; green tech start-ups can add a new voice to the economy by being fresh, fearless and entrepreneurial.

Technology is at its most useful when it breaks new ground, an awe that eco-friendly innovations have by default in their operations. Of course, green tech start-ups have the chance to build on this foundation and create harmony instead of climate crisis. Ultimately, the tech advancements are what revolutionise clean energy as more than an activist niche, putting theory into practice.

Despite the US gradually becoming more disengaged with green technology, others such as China and Canada recognise the potential in green technology for creating jobs and growth in their respective economies. The slack of others spurs them on, which creates a constant influx of prospects for the green tech sector. Put simply, their services are always required, able to thrive from country to country.

A Fundamental Foresight

Mainstream technology can seem repetitive and dull, tinkering with what has come before rather than turning tech on its head. Since 2011, technology has been accused of stagnation, something which the internet and petty app services seem to disguise in short reaching ideas of creativity.

However, green tech start-ups aren’t just winging it, and operate with a roadmap of climate change in the years ahead to strategize accordingly. In other words, they aren’t simply looking to make a quick profit by sticking to a trend, but have the long-term future in mind. Consequently, the green tech start-up will be there from the very start, building up from the foundational level to only grow as more and more people inevitably go green.

They can additionally forecast their finances too, with the ability to access online platforms despite the differing levels of experience, keeping them in the loop. Consequently, with an eye for the future, green tech startups are the ones who will eventually usher in the new era.

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