The expert panel discussed how sustainability-linked finance can advance climate protection, food security and SDG 2: Zero Hunger at Gulfood Manufacturing 2022
Left to right: Khurram Waheed, Managing Director, Corporate Finance - Dalma Capital; Jeffrey Beyer, Managing Director - Zest Associates; Pratap Kumar, Group Regional Treasurer, MENA - Royal Golden Eagle; Jonathan Keyes, Senior Manager of Sustainable Finance, HSBC
Zest's Managing Director Jeffrey Beyer moderated a panel to discuss how sustainability-linked finance is being used to direct investment towards a sustainable transition in the food and agriculture sector.
Jonathan Keyes, Senior Manager of Sustainable Finance at HSBC, discussed how sustainability-linked finance is for companies that set and achieve meaningful targets across a range of sustainability metrics, including environmental, social or governance-related. It differs from other instruments like green bonds since bonds raise capital specifically for sustainability-related projects like renewable energy or energy efficiency. Sustainability-linked finance can be used for normal operations and to support a broader sustainability transition.
The need to work with existing business to help them transform was impressed upon by Khurram Waheed, Managing Director, Corporate Finance at Dalma Capital. There is a role for sustainability-linked finance to support the transformation of both large-scale agribusiness and small-scale farmers as they invest in new agricultural practices and protect their business from the inevitable impacts of climate change through adaptation measures.
Pratap Kumar, Group Regional Treasurer, MENA at Royal Golden Eagle, discussed the critical need not to lose sight of sustainability measures other than climate change. While COP27 is happening at the same time of this Summit, other sustainability dimensions, including social inclusion, food security and nutrition are critical. Sustainability-linked finance is flexible enough to make progress on these dimensions.
Valued at over $700 billion in 2021, sustainability-linked finance has outgrown the green bonds market just five years after the first such instrument was offered in 2017. The market is set to continue to grow.
Pratap Kumar is the group regional treasurer for RGE, a global integrated, resource-based industrial group, with businesses in paper, palm oil, construction and energy, property and asset management. Pratap is responsible for MENA treasury functions at RGE. He was previously the head of Corporate Banking at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, VP of Corporate Banking at Emirates NBD, also with experience at Mashrek Bank.
Khurram Waheed is the Managing Director of Dalma Capital, an award-winning global alternative investment platform, fund manager and accelerator. He also has a history in commercial banking, including as Executive Director of international banking at First Abu Dhabi Bank, at Emirates NBD and at Saudi Investment Bank.
Jonathan Keyes who is the Senior Manager of Sustainable Finance at HSBC. HSBC is a leading global bank with innovative products to support sustainability projects and sectors. Jonathan previously worked at JPMorgan Chase, as a consultant at Environmental Resources Management (ERM), and as Sustainable Development Advisor at Arrow Energy.