ESG in B.C.: An opportunity for a sustainable economy

Event Description

Starting on May 17th, the Business Council of B.C., will launch a five-part series, ESG in B.C.: An opportunity for a sustainable economy, with lead sponsor Bennett Jones.

Over the next six months, BCBC will convene global and national leaders, industry, government decision makers, Indigenous leaders, and policy experts to examine problems, evaluate opportunities and define a path forward, together. Through the series' events, complementary publications, commentary and case studies, ESG in B.C., will feature diverse interests to explore the progress and possibilities for B.C., the forces driving the evolving framework, and the implications for business, supply chains, talent and investors.

The series will consist of five virtual sessions, each focusing on different aspects and opportunities of ESG.

Registration is now open for the full series, or for single tickets for the launch event on May 17th.

Launch Event: ESG in B.C., featuring series lead sponsor Bennett Jones and guest speaker, Nigel Topping, U.K.'s High Level Climate Action Champion

Monday, May 17, 2021 | 10:00 am - 12:00 pm (PST)

Session 2: ESG: Governance, measurement and reporting, presented in partnership with the CPAs of B.C.

Thursday, June 17, 2021 | 9:00 am - 11:00 am (PST)

Session 3: ESG: Meaningful engagement across communities, presented in partnership Global Container Terminals

Tuesday, September 21, 2021 | 9:00 am - 11:00 am (PST)

Session 4: ESG: Sustainability and infrastructure, presented in partnership with Deloitte

Thursday, October 7, 2021 | 9:00 am - 11:00 am (PST)

Session 5: ESG: Sustainable investing, presented in partnership with TELUS

Tuesday, October 19, 2021* | 9:00 am - 11:00 am (PST)

*Date subject to change with notice

All ticket sales are final. Please contact for any questions.

In an effort to support net-zero goals, the ESG in B.C. series will be carbon neutral through the purchase of carbon off-sets sponsored by Wheaton Precious Metals.

If you are a BCBC Member, please check your email for member pricing or email for the promo code. Please find the full list of BCBC members here.

  • Location:Online via Zoom
  • Date: Monday, May 17, 2021
  • Time: 10:00am - 12:00pm
  • BCBC Member Tickets:
    • Single Event Ticket:
      $15 + GST
    • Series Ticket:
      $40 + GST
    Non Member Tickets
    • Single Event Ticket:
      $30 + GST
    • Series Ticket:
      $80 + GST

Nigel Topping, U.K.'s High-Level Climate Action Champion

Nigel Topping, U.K.'s High-Level Climate Action Champion

Nigel Topping is the U.K.'s High-Level Climate Action Champion, appointed by the U.K. Prime Minister in January 2020. Nigel works alongside the Chilean High-Level Climate Action Champion, Gonzalo Muñoz. The role of the high-level champions is to strengthen collaboration and drive action from businesses, investors, organisations, cities, and regions on climate change, and coordinate this work with governments and parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Nigel was most recently CEO of We Mean Business, a coalition of businesses working to accelerate the transition to a zero carbon economy. Prior to that he was Executive Director of the Carbon Disclosure Project, following an 18-year career in the private sector, having worked across the world in emerging markets and manufacturing.

Jennifer Coulson, Vice President, ESG, Public Markets, British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI)

Jennifer Coulson, Vice President, ESG, Public Markets, British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI)

Jennifer Coulson has worked in the financial services industry for over 19 years. She began her career in the mutual fund business working for a national firm that specializes in responsible investing solutions. As a senior member of the Public Markets Department at BCI she now oversees Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risk analysis for portfolio companies; engages with companies to manage ESG risk; develops public policy submissions on ESG matters of broad relevance to the investment industry; and oversees the proxy voting program.

Jennifer has an undergraduate degree in Environment & Resource Management from the University of Western Ontario as well as a Masters in Environmental Studies from York University. She has attained the Institute of Corporate Directors designation (ICD.D); serves on the PIAC Investor Stewardship Committee; Chairs the Investor Group of the 30% Club of Canada; and serves on the Investment Advisory Committee for the University of Victoria Student Investment Fund. Jennifer was recently recognized as one of B.C.'s Most Influential Women in Finance by B.C. Business Magazine.

Radha Curpen, Vancouver Managing Partner & Co-head, Environmental & Aboriginal Law, Bennett Jones

Radha Curpen, Vancouver Managing Partner & Co-head, Environmental & Aboriginal Law, Bennett Jones

Radha is the Managing Partner of Bennett Jones' Vancouver office and Co-head of the firm's Environmental Law practice and Aboriginal Law practice. She specializes in Environmental, Aboriginal and ESG matters and the transportation of dangerous goods. Radha provides strategic counsel to clients relating to regulatory compliance, the management of environmental risks, the defence of environmental litigation, the avoidance and defence of environmental related prosecutions, crisis prevention and management, corporate social responsibility, mitigating business disruption and reputation management.

She has significant experience in and regularly advises corporations, Boards of Directors and Special Committees in connection with internal and regulatory investigations, governance, ESG and risk assessments.

Proficient in both French and English, Radha practises across Canada and in the United States, acting as strategic counsel to boards, executives and management teams.

Radha joined the Board of Governors for the Business Council of B.C. (BCBC) in May 2020. She has also served as a member of the YWCA of Metro Vancouver's Culture Shift Advisory Council. Radha was an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law for the Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility course. She was a sessional lecturer at Robson Hall Faculty of Law for the Environmental Law course.

Susannah Pierce, Country Chair & President, Shell Canada

Susannah Pierce, Country Chair & President, Shell Canada

Susannah Pierce has held senior positions in the energy and technology sectors in Canada, the United States and Europe, most recently as Director of Corporate Affairs for LNG Canada.
She joined LNG Canada in 2013 as a Shell secondee and has been responsible for the project's federal and provincial regulatory approvals, Indigenous relations and negotiations, government relations, media relations, community consultation and communications. Under her leadership, the project achieved federal and provincial environmental approvals on schedule and received unprecedented support from First Nations, communities and governments. This support underpinned LNG Canada's Final Investment Decision in October 2018, making it the largest private sector investment in Canadian history.

Prior to joining LNG Canada, Susannah served as Vice President, Value Chain Integration, Shell Canada. In this capacity, she was responsible for identifying new business opportunities across Shell's multiple businesses in Canada. Prior to this position, Susannah was Vice President, Communications, Upstream International based in The Hague, where she oversaw a diverse communications and government relations team consisting of approximately 200 professionals in Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Africa, Russia/CIS and Europe.

Susannah was previously Head, Government Relations for Shell Canada, where she established the government relations practice to support Shell Canada's upstream, downstream, and manufacturing businesses.

Prior to joining Shell in 2009, Susannah was Director, Government Affairs for TransCanada Pipelines based in Washington, D.C. and New York City, where she was responsible for driving government policy at federal and state levels in support of TransCanada's existing power and pipeline interests, as well as new business development activities.

Susannah was named one of Vancouver magazine's Power 50 in 2019 and on B.C. Business's 2015 Most Influential Women in Business list. She was also recognized as a 2019 Most Influential Woman in Business by Business in Vancouver magazine.

Susannah is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and The George Washington University, and speaks English, Spanish and French. She lives in Vancouver with her two children, Robert and Gabriela.

Mark Podlasly, Director, Economic Policy, First Nations Major Project Coalition

Mark Podlasly, Director, Economic Policy, First Nations Major Project Coalition

Mark Podlasly (Cook's Ferry Indian Band, Nlaka'pamux Nation, B.C.) provides strategic advice at the intersection of Indigenous-corporate governance and infrastructure issues. He has over 20 years of experience in the development of capital projects connected to energy, natural resources and community infrastructure around the world.

Mark is the Director of Economic Policy at the First Nations Major Projects Coalition, a national 70+ Indigenous nation collective that seeks ownership of major projects such as pipelines and electric infrastructure. He is also engaged as the Chair of the First Nations Limited Partnership (Pipelines), a 16-First Nations $500 million commercial partnership with Chevron's Kitimat LNG project.

In addition, Mark informs Indigenous governments on the establishment of sovereign wealth funds/trusts to capture and invest revenue from resource extraction industries. He currently manages an eight-figure fund shared by eight First Nations in Western Canada.

Prior to his current roles, Mark ran a successful executive consulting practice in Asia, USA and Europe where he delivered corporate education, strategy, leadership and globalization programs for clients including GE, Unilever, General Mills, and Goldman Sachs.

Mark holds a master's degree from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and is a regular speaker at global business and governance events including the International Finance Corporation's annual sustainability conference in Washington, D.C.

Asifa Samji, Executive Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer, Stantec

Asifa Samji, Executive Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer, Stantec

As Stantec's Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO), Asifa is accountable for all the human resources functions within Stantec. Asifa and her team are focused on our ability to attract, retain, and develop the right people for Stantec - those with strong technical knowledge and skills who are inspired by the work they do and are highly engaged with the organization. To do this, the organization will continue to build an inspiring, inclusive work environment that supports world-class talent.

Prior to moving into the CHRO role, Asifa was the business leader for revenue growth in Stantec's Environmental Services business, delivering services to a wide range of clients from oil and gas, mining, commercial, and the public sector. Throughout her 21-year career at Stantec her focus has been achieving effective outcomes for clients and positive impacts for the community. Her career has specialized in leading and growing professionals through effective and efficient operations management, project and client management, business development, and staff development. She has led substantive growth within the environmental services practice area while creating a culture that attracts and retains talented professionals and develops high performance teams.

Asifa serves on Stantec's Diversity and Inclusion Council where she chaired the Women's Leadership Development committee for North America for five years. Outside of Stantec, she served as a mentor for the Vancouver Board of Trade's Mentorship Program, has completed a six-year term as a director on the British Columbia Institute of Technology's Alumni Association Board, completed a five-year term as a board member for the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies for B.C., completed a term with the Board of Governors for the British Columbia Institute of Technology, and currently serves on the Executive Committee for the Business Council for B.C. Proudly, Asifa was recognized with the Women's Executive Network's 2015 Canada's Most Powerful Women Top 100 Award.