The NCFA Steering Committee

Our committee members oversee strategy, provide direction and are a decision-making governance body for the NCFA.

Namita Vikas - Group President & Global Head, Climate Strategy & Responsible Banking, YES BANK LTD.

Chair, Steering Committee, Natural Capital Finance Alliance

Namita Vikas is a distinguished Indian business leader with over 27 years of expertise in Climate Finance and Business Sustainability. Under the visionary guidance of Mr. Rana Kapoor, MD & CEO, YES BANK LTD, Namita leads the green finance, climate strategy, and environmental sustainability verticals, at India’s 5th largest private sector Bank. Her astute guidance has led YES BANK to emerge as a global front-runner in climate finance.

Her well-rounded global experience also spans specializations in triple bottom-line accounting, ESG performance, and CSR. She is also involved in climate action and advocacy efforts in India and at the global stage.

A prominent speaker at influential national and international platforms such as the UN General Assembly and G20 amongst others, Namita has been associated with key global institutions such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, International Finance Corporation and the United Nations, through her active role in mainstreaming climate action and green economics, globally.

Namita serves on the Board of YES FOUNDATION, and guides its overall strategy. She holds advisory board positions for Asia Venture Philanthropy Network, World Resource Institute – India GHG Program, and the Indian Centre for CSR (ICCSR), and serves on the Governing Council of the UN Global Compact Network in India. In the past she has successfully held leadership positions with Marico, Microsoft Corporation and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

For her exemplary efforts at integrating sustainability into business strategy and aligning it towards achieving global SDGs, Namita was awarded the WBCSD Leading Women Award by The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), in March 2017.

Rosemary Bissett - Head of Sustainability Governance & Risk, National Australia Bank

Rosemary Bissett, Head of Sustainability Governance & Risk, National Australia Bank and Chair of NCD Working Group 3. Rosemary Bissett’s role at NAB involves environmental and climate change-related strategy and reporting and the integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks into risk frameworks. Her expertise includes an understanding of emerging global climate change legislation, as well as natural capital value. Previous to her time at NAB, Rosemary spent two years at the Sustainable Energy Authority Victoria, as Board Secretary and part of the Executive team. She also worked in the water industry for ten years in areas including sustainability strategy, environment, trade waste management, cleaner production, customer and community education. Rosemary is currently a member of several not-for profit Boards including the Moreland Energy Foundation. She is also a board member of Sustainable Business Australia (an Australian network member to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development) and member of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute Advisory Board.

Giorgio Capurri - Group Sustainability, UniCredit

Giorgio is currently Environmental Management Representative of the largest Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) registration in the world and is responsible for climate related projects and coordination of Group wide initiatives on environment, including carbon reporting. His focus is to understand climate related impacts on banking business. He coordinated the development of a carbon model for rating assessment and led a dedicated effort to account for group’s lending portfolio externalities. He represents UniCredit in major industry sustainability associations, such as UNEP FI where he served five years as Climate Change Advisory Group Member.  He has been working as a banker for almost 30 years, previously at Credito Romagnolo, then Monte dei Paschi di Siena to finally join Credito Italiano, merged into UniCredit in 1999. He worked for several years in the investment banking division mainly in capital markets and fixed income derivative trading. From 2001 to 2005 he was head of UBM (former UniCredit investment bank) branch in Paris, as Permanent Representative before the French Treasury Agency. In 2006 he received a Master in Environmental Management at the University Bicocca in Milan and moved to the Group Sustainability Department. Giorgio holds a degree in Economics and Banking at the University of Siena.

Ray Dhirani - Head of Sustainable Finance and Extractives, WWF-UK

Ray Dhirani leads the sustainable finance and extractives team at WWF-UK, where he has spent the last six years. WWF-UK is part of the wider WWF global network. Previously, he spent eight years working in the markets division at Merrill Lynch in New York City within foreign exchange and fixed income sales and trading. His educational background includes a BSc. in Economics from the Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania) in the U.S. and a MSc. in Environment & Development from the London School of Economics in the UK. Ray’s areas of current focus include climate-credible investing, biodiversity risk, as well as policy and regulatory work across global sustainable finance.

Frank Hawkins - IUCN Director, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Frank Hawkins is a conservation biologist and policy advisor with many years of experience working with governments, civil society and local communities in Africa and around the world. In IUCN he works on a range of U.S. and international policy issues, including links between economic growth and natural resource use, mechanisms for promoting green investment, and multi-stakeholder engagement processes. In additional to membership fo the Steering Committee of NCFA, he is also a founder of the Coalition for Private Investment in Conservation and is working on metrics for biodiversity impact. He has organized events to highlight the potential for public-private partnerships to deliver nature-based development. Prior to joining IUCN, Frank was Senior Vice-President at Conservation International (CI). In addition to leading CI’s programme in Africa and Madagascar, he worked closely on green economy policy and land-use planning issues. He has written or co-authored over 60 peer-reviewed papers and 10 books.

Niki Mardas - Executive Director, Global Canopy

Niki has a strong entrepreneurial track record, over two decades of a career split between the private and non-profit sectors.

His commercial background is in technology and communications, advising clients including DDB Worldwide, Volkswagen and BSkyB. In the early 2000s he co-founded 3 successful startups: a digital consultancy, an incubator with a seed investment fund of 1 million Euros, and a pioneering mobile marketing company, Upstream, that now works in over 40 countries and has handled 25 billion mobile interactions.

Andrew Mitchell - Founder of Natural Capital Finance Alliance

Andrew W. Mitchell is the Founder Director of Global Canopy in Oxford and Senior Adviser to Ecosphere Plus (E+), an impact investment and marketing company specialising in environmental assets. He is an international thought leader on tropical forests, climate change and natural capital. He has extensive field experience in Asia, Africa and Latin America, across a forty-year career spanning scientific research, conservation and finance for forests. He works to demonstrate the scientific, political and business case for safeguarding sustainable forests and landscapes as natural capital that underpins water, food, energy, health and climate security for all. Under his leadership, Global Canopy has strongly advocated for a halt to the global destruction of rainforests and inclusion of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) in the UN climate regime.

Ivo Mulder - Finance and Private Sector Coordinator, UN Environment (UNEP) – Terrestrial Ecosystem Unit

Ivo Mulder coordinates the economic, private sector and finance work on forests and sustainable land use. This includes the UN-REDD Programme and a few innovative private finance facilities that UN Environment (UNEP) is setting up.

Mulder has initiated a number of innovative projects that develop business cases for the private and finance sector to tackle environmental challenges. He co-founded and directed the Natural Capital Declaration (NCD) – now rebranded as the Natural Capital Finance Alliance (NCFA). This includes the development of various practical tools for the financial industry to address deforestation risks related to soft commodities, integrating water risk in the valuation of corporate bonds and stocks, as well as environmental risk integration in sovereign credit analysis (ERISC). He co-initiated the REDD+ work at UNEP Finance Initiative in 2011 to scale up private sector engagement in the UN-REDD Programme, and over the past years worked with several governments on building the economic case to reduce deforestation. At present, Ivo is focusing on developing a number of novel private finance facilities that aim to unlock and direct private finance towards zero deforestation agriculture and restoration of degraded land. Ivo Mulder has over twelve years of professional experience working for UN Environment (UNEP), private consulting firms and with non-governmental organisations. He has published more than fifty reports, blogs and articles and sits on the Steering Group of the Natural Capital Coalition and (NCC) the Steering Committee of the NCFA. Ivo is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and a member of the Dutch Association of Sustainable Investors (VBDO).

Eric Usher - Head, UNEP Finance Initiative

Eric Usher brings twenty five years experience in the sustainable energy and finance sectors, including an entrepreneurial venture in Morocco, financial sector development across emerging markets and responsible investment uptake globally. Prior to heading the UNEP FI Secretariat in Geneva, Mr. Usher was responsible for a programme portfolio advancing new public/private instruments for financing cleaner energy infrastructure and improving energy access. He was seconded to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change for development of the Green Climate Fund, specifically the fund’s Private Sector Facility. Eric is co-editor and co-author of various studies examining the role of public and private finance in climate mitigation and was lead author for finance of the IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources. Before joining UNEP, Eric was General Manager of a solar rural electrification company based in Marrakech. He holds an MBA from INSEAD, France, and a BSc in Electrical Engineering from Queen’s University, Canada.

Elizabeth M. White - 1Global Head of Strategy-Sustainability, International Finance Corporation

Elizabeth M. White, Global Head of Strategy-Sustainability, International Finance Corporation, and Vice-Chair of NCFA Working Group 3. Elizabeth M. White is responsible for IFC’s global sustainability strategy, including solutions for environmental and social challenges to private sector led growth in emerging markets. In her current role, Elizabeth focuses on unlocking business investment and de-risking markets in a way that leaves the environment and society better off, and economically sustainable. She has significant global experience (Africa, Asia, Latin America) in emerging markets. Prior to joining IFC, Elizabeth served at the World Bank, founded three startup companies, and worked as a management consultant in the software, consumer products, tourism, and retail industries. She serves on several not-for-profit Boards and holds degrees in international business, economics, corporate finance, and engineering.