ESG and the Role of the Board

Driving sustainable business practices in companies requires oversight, insight & foresight from the board of directors. Today there is an imperative that sustainability be added to the board's agenda as part of the board's critical role to consider Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risks and opportunities.


Our speakers will focus on the following key areas in ESG:

  • Environmental: climate change, sustainability report, community/environment, renewable energy and waste avoidance/diversion;
  • Social: internal human-capital management, board diversity, external stakeholders, human rights issues in a business and its supply chains and the social license to operate; and
  • Governance-what processes does the board need to put in place to ensure board accountability on sustainable business practices?

October 29, 2020

9:00am-10:00am PT/ 12:00pm-1:00pm EST

Moderator & Panelists

  • Caireen Hanert (Partner at Gowling WLG)

    Caireen Hanert

    Partner at Gowling WLG

    Caireen E. Hanert is a partner in Gowling WLG's Calgary office. Her practice is focused on both restructuring and insolvency litigation, and commercial litigation.

    In her insolvency practice, Caireen advises parties involved in insolvency proceedings, including debtors, creditors, interim lenders, critical suppliers and court-appointed officers in proceedings under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) and the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.

    In her commercial litigation practice, she focuses on complex corporate/commercial matters with an emphasis on energy and construction matters, securities issues, shareholder disputes, oppression actions and derivative claims, commercial fraud matters, and breach of contract matters generally. In particular, Caireen has wide-ranging experience as counsel in energy industry disputes, including CAPL contract matters, gas supply contracts, oil and gas facilities and processing contracts, operator disputes, royalty disputes, accounting disputes and disputes in relation to fiduciary duties. She represents a diverse group of clients, including financial institutions, major and junior resource companies, oil and gas service companies and trusts, first nations, major land holding corporations and developers, and international retailers.

    Caireen has extensive trial and appellate experience and has appeared at all levels of court in Alberta and the Northwest Territories. She has also appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada, the British Columbia Supreme Court, the Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench, the Federal Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Appeal.

    Prior to joining Gowling WLG, she practised at another national law firm for several years.

    In addition to her practice, Caireen serves as Chair of the Western Canada chapter of the International Women's Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC).

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  • Beth Burton (Lawyer, Partner, Financial Services Practice Group Leader at Gowling WLG)

    Beth Burton

    Lawyer, Partner, Financial Services Practice Group Leader at Gowling WLG

    As a partner and leader of the Financial Institutions & Services Group in Gowling WLG's Calgary office, Beth Burton works with a variety of financial institutions and corporate clients, delivering strategic advice with syndicated and bilateral financing transactions.

    With an extensive background in financial services law, Beth has represented lenders and borrowers in financing transactions across a diverse range of industries. Beth's practice has a particular focus on financings in the energy and real estate sectors, as well as in First Nations and Indigenous business ventures and law.

    Beth is also a trusted adviser in restructuring financings (including exit loans, debtor-in-possession loans and forbearance arrangements), intercreditor arrangements, private equity issuances, real estate, and general corporate and commercial matters. She has been admitted to both the B.C. and Alberta bars.

    Prior to joining Gowling WLG in 2014, Beth was a senior associate at the Calgary office of another national law firm.

    Beth is an active member of her community, committed to supporting diversity and active living. She is a member of the National Women's Strategy Advisory Committee of Pride at Work Canada and has previously been involved with the Law Society of Alberta's Justicia Project. She has also been a member of the North West Calgary Community Advisory Group for the Rocky Ridge (Calgary) recreational facility which opened in 2017 and participates in the local sports community.

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  • Linda Hogg (Partner at Gowling WLG)

    Linda Hogg

    Partner at Gowling WLG

    Linda Hogg is a partner in Gowling WLG’s Vancouver office. She practises corporate and securities law with a particular emphasis on corporate finance for public and private companies, mergers and acquisitions, mining, and corporate governance.

    Linda’s practice involves:

    Mineral property options
    Joint ventures, option/earn-ins, royalties
    Public and private equity and debt financings
    Corporate reorganizations and acquisitions
    Corporate governance
    Corporate and securities regulatory compliance
    Shareholder meetings and dissident proxy solicitations
    Stock exchange listings
    Securities regulatory compliance
    Linda has represented both domestic and foreign companies with interests in mining, oil and gas, alternate energy (wind and run of river), local industries and European business investments.

    In conjunction with the TSX Venture Exchange and British Columbia Securities Commission, Linda teaches a course at Simon Fraser University on public companies. She has taught almost as long as she has practised, having also lectured at the University of British Columbia and for continuing legal education programs.

    Linda has served on the TSX Venture Exchange Advisory Committee, advising on policy development for the TSX, and as Chair of the Securities Subsection of the B.C. Branch of the Canadian Bar Association.

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  • Geeta Sankappanavar (Founder & CEO of Akira Impact)

    Geeta Sankappanavar

    Founder & CEO of Akira Impact

    Geeta Sankappanavar is the founder and CEO of Akira Impact, an essential assets investment firm that invests to support UN Sustainable Development Goals 5,6,7 and 12. Prior to Akira, she was co-founder and President of Grafton Asset Management, a ~$1B energy investment firm based in Calgary Alberta. Geeta began her career as a consultant with McKinsey and Company out of the New York Office and is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    Geeta is recognized as an international thought leader, an unrelenting advocate for women’s equality and a committed philanthropist. She has been honoured as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women, Alberta’s 50 Most Influential People and Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40.

    Geeta serves as the Chair of the Board of Governors for the University of Calgary, as a board member of UNICEF Canada, to help the world’s most vulnerable, the Palix Foundation supporting the Alberta Family Wellness initiative in the areas of early childhood development, addiction and mental health and also serves as a member of the Calgary Foundation Investment Committee.
    She has also served as a board member for OCIF – the city of Calgary’s $100 MM investment fund, attracting and supporting transformative investments as catalysts for economic growth and diversification.

    In addition to her non-profit boards, Geeta serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for Daytona Power Co., as well as serves on the Board of Directors of Pipestone Energy Corp.

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ESG and the Role of the Board

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