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Novisto ESG Forum 2023: Embracing the Change 

Text saying Embracing the Change - A Novisto ESG Forum

Novisto's 2nd forum united 170+ sustainability leaders to exchange insights on best practices and technologies.

Thursday, December 7th, 2023 Novisto is pleased to announce that it successfully delivered its second annual thought leadership event, the Novisto ESG Forum: Embracing the Change, on November 3rd, 2023.  

Held at Zú in downtown Montréal, the one-day conference was attended by 170+ business leaders and ESG practitioners from across Canada, the U.S., and Europe. Representing diverse sectors and industries, attendees met to discuss the latest best practices, technologies, and trends in corporate sustainability reporting. 

The theme of this year’s event, “Embracing the Change,” reflects the current transformation in corporate sustainability reporting in light of heightened calls for a global “paradigm shift” in the way companies operate.

Charles Assaf, CEO of Novisto, announcing the Forum

“The world is changing, and therefore, so must we,” said Charles Assaf, CEO of Novisto. “In the context of that change, non-financial considerations have become as important as financial ones, and that’s what’s driving the current transformation in corporate ESG reporting,” he added. 

Speakers discussing biodiversity at the ESG Forum

The generous and insightful contributions of an array of distinguished speakers contributed to the success of this event:

  • Michael Jantzi (ISSB Board member; Founder/former CEO of Sustainalytics)
  • Paul Desmarais III (Sagard)
  • Monique Leroux (Board Director, Former Chair/CEO of Desjardins Group)  
  • Frederic Gaurier (Trencadis Group) 
  • Denis Sangulin (Balchem) 
  • Bibigi Haile (The Beauvoir Group)
  • Hélène V. Gagnon (CAE) 
  • Marc Escande (Sustain it Right) 
  • Sean McPhillips (Asana) 
  • Asheen Phansey (PagerDuty) 
  • Roddell McCullough (First Financial) 
  • Brooke Tucker-Reid (Manulife) 
  • Bianca Nijhof (Anthesis Group) 
  • Gabriela Hermosilla Goncalves (UNEP FI) 

Key takeaways from the event include:

  • Companies continue to require support to address emerging demands for regulated, standardized, audited, and digitized sustainability disclosures;
  • Board and CEO buy-in is a critical success factor in developing a successful ESG data management strategy;
  • Leading and overseeing change management initiatives is an ongoing challenge for most ESG practitioners;
  • While assessing readiness and developing action plans for the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) is a significant challenge, companies should embrace this as a means of truly integrating sustainability into their business model and strategy; 
  • The topic of nature and biodiversity loss is continuing to rise on corporate agendas, heightening the need for corporate responsibility and behavioral change; 
  • The shift towards integrated corporate reporting continues to accelerate, connecting sustainability with financial performance and strengthening the requirements for cross-functional collaboration between ESG and finance teams.
Speakers on the stage talking at the Novisto Forum

The second ESG Forum reflects Novisto’s ongoing efforts to build an international community of practice. “We’re striving to break down silos, to unite professionals across diverse backgrounds and sectors for the purposes of knowledge sharing, networking, and mutual support. Embracing the changes ahead requires that we work and think together,” said Assaf.  

To walk the talk on their commitment to sustainability, Novisto made every effort to source the event responsibly. It also calculated the carbon footprint associated with the travel of all guests and speakers. Consequently, Novisto will make a charitable contribution to ClientEarth, a unique environmental charity that uses the law to address climate change; this donation will be based on a carbon price aligned with the Paris Agreement.

About Novisto

Novisto has developed an ESG management platform that goes beyond data, helping companies clarify, build, and evolve their sustainability performance for the long term. Founded in Montréal in 2019, Novisto is a private company backed by Inovia, White Star Capital, Diagram Ventures, Portage, and SCOR Ventures.

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