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WWF sustainable finance VP Helena Wright joins FAIRR

Wright will lead policy for a sustainable finance initiative that raises awareness of the risks and opportunities in the food sector.

Helena Wright, the vice president of sustainable finance at World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Singapore, has joined the Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return (FAIRR) Initiative in a policy role focusing on food and farming risks and opportunities.

FAIRR, which was founded by the Jeremy Coller Foundation in the United Kingdom, aims to alert investors to the impacts of intensive livestock production. 

Wright joins as policy director, and will devise policies for FAIRR’s investor network — which is worth about US$27 trillion in assets under management — to navigate climate and pandemic risks linked to food, assist with global outreach, and contribute to the Jeremy Coller Foundation’s broader policy interests.

She will relocate from Singapore to London to take on the role, starting in February.

Wright told Eco-Business that the environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks related to animal agriculture are high as it is one of the leading causes of deforestation and climate change, but there are also growing opportunities for investors in areas such as alternative proteins and plant based products.

“2021 will be crucial year for climate and biodiversity action with the UN Climate and Biodiversity Summits taking place - as well as a year in which pandemic risks will be at the forefront of the policy agenda, and I am excited to support FAIRR’s work and outreach,” she said.

The Briton moves on after a year with WWF, where she was also global infrastructure finance lead based in Singapore. Wright’s job was focused on building the business case for sustainable infrastructure investment in Southeast Asia, Japan and Korea. Wright was part of the team that worked with CIMB on developing the region’s most progressive coal policy to date.

Her departure comes some months after WWF’s sustainable finance team also lost former VP Lise Pretorius and department head Jeanne Stampe.

Wright, who holds a doctorate in climate finance, moved to Asia from London in January 2020 from climate change think tank E3G, where she was senior policy advisor.

Over her career, she has also worked for the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change as a negotiator for the British Government at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations, and consulted to the United Nations on the effectiveness of climate adaptation technologies.

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