Welcome to the first October edition of Solutionists Making Moves. 

From established ESG professionals to rising Solutionists, we want to share their successes and celebrate the achievements of those leading the charge in bringing net-positive solutions to the world. Here’s this week’s roundup of Solutionists making waves in their respective industries.

Vanguard Renewables Names Neil H. Smith Chief Executive Officer

Vanguard Renewables, a national leader in organics to renewable energy, announced recently the appointment of Neil H. Smith as their Chief Executive Officer. Smith is the former President and CEO of InterGen, an international energy company. Following his leadership, InterGen went from a 20-person startup to a global, multi-billion dollar energy infrastructure company.  “Neil’s decision to join the Vanguard team is a validation of the importance of our vision and the success of our work until now. Neil and I plan to continue to build on that foundation and act as a catalyst for the transition to a circular, sustainable, and profitable economy,” said John Hanselman, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Vanguard. Vanguard is part of the debate on the future role of fossil fuels in an economy committed to decarbonization, they plan to reduce their waste and generate clean energy on an increasingly impactful scale according to Smith.

Carbon Measurement Platform Persefoni Names Rakhi Kumar to Advisory Board

Carbon footprint management company Persefoni recently announced the appointment of Rakhi Kumar to its Sustainability Advisory Board (SAB). Kumar will provide counsel to Persefoni leadership and support their development of their platform and product offerings. Tim Mohin, Chief Sustainability Officer of Persefoni, says: “Rakhi joins a burgeoning group of ESG and sustainability experts that comprise the SAB, and brings expansive cross-sector and international experience in sustainable investment and insurance which adds a critical perspective to our business strategies.” Persefoni uses AI to provide users with contextual sustainability performance scores and allow them to manage their carbon transactions. “I am honored to join the Sustainable Advisory Board of Persefoni and be part of a company that is building much needed climate tools that leverage standardized measurement frameworks, such as the PCAF, to help their clients streamline carbon emissions data.” said Kumar.

GoCardless bolsters ESG efforts with two senior hires

GoCardless, a global financial tech firm, has appointed Ben Knight as Head of Environmental Sustainability in a move that strengthens its commitment to ESG. Knight joins GoCardless from telecommunications company OneWeb. He plans to lead the firm’s drive towards reaching net zero as a founding member of the Tech Zero initiative. His strategy includes measuring GoCardless’ impact on the planet, creating a roadmap for reducing their carbon footprint, and embedding sustainability across the board, engaging and inspiring employees to get involved. Knight said: “The role of fintech in the net zero transition – and wider sustainable development – is huge. I’m excited to join GoCardless, a company with commitment to this mission from the highest levels and employees that are already enthusiastic about sustainability. My aim is to develop a sector-leading strategy that is ambitious and transparent, delivers measurable change aligned with science, and helps create value for customers, society and the natural environment.”

Benevity Hires Former Adobe Executive as Chief Product Officer to Bring Next-Generation ESG Products to More Companies

Benevity, Inc., a leading provider of corporate software, announced recently that Scott Lee, former VP of Product at Adobe will join the company’s executive leadership team as Chief Product Officer. The newly created role will further develop their ‘impact-as-a-service’ platform to enable more businesses to further engage in ESG and purpose strategies and initiatives. In his new role based in Salt Lake City, Lee plans to oversee Benevity’s team of Product Management, UX, and Design, to evolve the company’s employee engagement across the board. “I’ve been fortunate in my career to help create new categories for how we play, with Xbox online console gaming, and how we work, with Workfront enterprise work management. Now, with the talented team at Benevity, I’m excited about the opportunity to make it even easier and more impactful for corporations and their people to make a positive difference in society,” said Lee.

Apollo Hires Dave Stangis for Newly Created Chief Sustainability Officer Role

Apollo Global Management, a Global alternative investment managing firm, recently announced the appointment of Dave Stangis as a Senior Partner, who will join the firm in the newly created position of Chief Sustainability Officer. He will be responsible for leading Apollo’s sustainability efforts, building on the firm’s existing ESG program. Stangis has held a variety of senior sustainability-focused roles at several large companies, he has formerly served as Chief Sustainability Officer for Campbell Soup Company, and as Director of Corporate Responsibility for Intel. “I am thrilled to join the Apollo team at such an exciting time for the Firm. Apollo is clearly committed to driving sustainability across the Firm and its funds’ portfolio companies, creating value for its investors and the communities in which it operates. I look forward to working with the entire team to deepen that mission and take the Firm’s sustainability strategy to new heights.” said Stangis.