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Leading Voices in Global Sustainability

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Line Asker

Senior Sustainability Advisor, DNB

10 Questions to Change The World

March 2022

How do you think climate change and the global sustainability agenda will
impact your industry over the next 3-5 years?

I think sustainability will be more fully integrated in the financial industry in 3-5 years, including in credit processes, risk management, investment analysis and strategy. We will also have more ESG data available, which will make ESG analysis much more sophisticated and comprehensive. In addition, topics beyond climate - like nature risk and social sustainability - which have gained Increased attention the last year will become more integrated in financial markets. I also believe that industry players that fail to integrate ESG sufficiently will be less competitive and less able to secure long-term value creation. 

What have you observed as being the biggest issues for organisations ability
to transform into a more sustainable operation?

It has been said a lot of times - but cannot be repeated too often; you need to identify your material ESG topics and impacts. Where does your organisation have a material impact today and how can you work on these topics? This can be both on the negative side and on the positive side. How can you minimize your negative impact, and where can you make a positive contribution? When you have done this exercise, you need to set goals, link these goals to your strategy and measure progress.

Topics beyond climate - like nature risk and social sustainability - which have gained Increased attention the last year will become more integrated in financial markets

Why have you embraced sustainability in your professional career?

It gives a larger meaning and purpose to my career. Working with ESG and sustainable finance has made It possible for me to combine my Interest and competence in finance with my wish to contribute to a more sustainable and inclusive future for the planet and humanity. 

What are some of the wins you have achieved in your career to date?

I think sustainability competence is a key factor for success in the sustainability agenda.  

Wins.. That's difficult to answer. What’s important for me, is to raise the competence on sustainability in business and the financial industry. I think sustainability competence is a key factor for success in the sustainability agenda. 

What do you want to have achieved before you retire?

I want to see ESG and sustainability completely integrated in capital markets, the financial sector and business. I think this will happen before I retire. When I retire, I want to be able to look back and think that I have been a part in the joint efforts to get us there.

What advice would you give for organisations looking to start or advance on their sustainability journey?

Build competence by taking ESG courses, attending seminars, reading relevant literature, and follow the sustainability discussions on different platforms. And be proactive. Maybe you can Initiate a small project in your organisation, which might grow to something larger down the road. 

Also, try to combine sustainability with another area where you have interest and/or competence. Sustainability is a broad topic, so you need to focus on a part of sustainability where you have a deeper insight. For me it has been sustainable finance. For others it could be green technology, building inclusive and sustainable societies, sustainability within specific industry sectors etc. Find your speciality or "edge".

Who do you go to for inspiration in this space?

Sustainability is a broad topic, so you need to focus on a part of sustainability where you have a deeper insight.

LinkedIn... There are so many knowledgeable ESG people sharing articles, insights, news and commentaries on LinkedIn.

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- Line Asker -

How do you offset your own footprint?

I use public transport for work and for going to the city, I try to limit my own and my family's meat intake, I buy carbon offset when flying, and I live in an energy efficient house.

What is your one ‘guilty / non-eco’ pleasure? (that you can’t live without)

Flying abroad. However, I have limited my long-distance travels and I buy carbon offset when I book my flight tickets.

If you had to choose one person, organisation or community to lead the world in sustainability, who would it be and why?

I think it must be the UN. They are global and they have the organisation, competence and structure needed.

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Are you our next Leading Voice?

If you have a story to tell, we want to tell it…

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"If working apart we are a force powerful enough to destabilise our planet, surely working together we are powerful enough to save it. In my lifetime I have witnessed a terrible decline. In yours you could - and should - see a wonderful recovery.”

 

-​ Sir David Attenborough