How Innovation Can Drive Growth and Trust in Environmental Markets

Sameer discusses the role of innovative technology in navigating emerging environmental markets with experts across the industry.

May 17th, 2022 | 43:40

Summary Keywords net zero, decarbonization, fossil fuel, renewable energy, environmental markets, risk analytics, risk software, innovation, cloud


Howard WalperCEO, Americas, Commodities People

Pierre LebonDirector, Analysis,

Sameer SolejaFounder and CEO, Molecule

Scott WellcomeDirector, Grains Risk Management, Goodmills Group

Sonia GhoshSenior Business Analyst, Vattenfall


Howard Walper Alright. Well good morning, everybody. I'm Howard Walper with Commodities People. It's a pleasure to welcome you to this final installment of Environmental Markets Week Online, which will be focused on how innovation can drive growth and trust in environmental markets.

Now, we've got a great discussion group together this morning we'll introduce in just a couple seconds, but first, some really quick housekeeping points. We will be taking questions throughout this event, so please submit your question in the Q+A box, not the chat box, at the bottom of your screen. The icon is right down there in the bottom toolbar.

Also, if you've enjoyed these discussions over the last couple days, please make sure to register for our new Environmental Markets Week conference series, which is going to take place in London, Houston, and Singapore. The London event is in September, the 28th and 29th. The Houston event is in October, the 26 and 27th, and the Singapore event is in January, the 24th and 27th. So, we look forward to seeing a lot of you at different events around the world.

So, let's get into it. It's a pleasure to introduce this fantastic group of panelists today. We have from, Pierre Lebon. Pierre, welcome. It's great to have you here. From Molecule Software, our friend Sameer Soleja. Sameer, welcome. We have - and speaking of welcome - we have Scott Wellcome from Goodmills Group joining us, as well. Scott, it's a pleasure to see you again. And, of course, Sonia Ghosh from Vattenfall. Sonia, welcome, as well. It's great to have you all with us today.

So, kicking right into it. I think this question, maybe we should start with Sonia and Scott. Let's discuss what the challenges are here. You both work for companies actively producing food and energy. In your particular roles as part of the commercial and trading group, what are you being asked to do to reduce your carbon footprint, and where is that pressure coming from? Is it coming from customers, management, shareholders? Where are you getting that pressure?


Sonia Ghosh I can go first. So first off, thanks, Howard, for the lovely introduction and for having me in the panel.

I would say the pressure is coming from all sides. So, with the 2030 climate target plan, the EU Commission proposes to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions to at least 55 percent below the 1990 levels by 2030 and also have at least 32 percent share for renewable energy. Now, Vattenfall's vision to enable fossil free living within one generation is completely in line with that goal.

So, we have strong commitments towards reducing our emissions along the entire value chain. We are actively phasing out fossil fuels, expanding renewable generations seeking collaboration, both through PPAs and direct ownership shares and projects, and heavily relying on sustainable supply chain.

For example, I'm currently working on onboarding the first subsidy-free farm in Europe in the Dutch offshore, which has the renewable electricity output capable... I mean the capacity of Batman Park is equivalent to around over 2 million Dutch households, annual consumption. Sorry, I have a bad cough.

So, a lot is going on at this moment. It starts from the political pressure or regulatory pressure, but the internal ambitions, like the company ambitions, are also aligned to that. Plus - come on - let's not forget sustainability is a mega trend now, right? Customers look for climate smart solutions.

The market incentivizes the environmental product offerings. The investors are increasingly focusing on ESG criteria regarding investment decisions. The company's reputations heavily depend on the sustainability performance. We, as employees, also want to work on sustainability projects. So, I would say we are past that stage when sustainability is a nice-to-have in a parallel process. It has somehow, and rightly so, come to the heart of strategy.


Howard Walper Did you have anything to add to that?


Scott Wellcome Yeah. I mean, I would say we're in a slightly different predicament as a food producer in that we're a little bit in the middle because you've got the farming side, the supply side, that honestly don't see the financial benefit for them to do anything at the moment.

We're getting pressure from our customers who say they want a more sustainable end product. And then, we're in the middle with our processing plants, which we've always looked at ways to improve the impact it has on the environment - reducing waste, reducing water use, reusing energy where we can. So, this is not something new for us.

And, I think the one... the two main issues are, is it viable financially? Because, A) at the end of the day, we have to generate a return to our shareholders. And, B) we're still lacking a clear unified standard within the food industry within Europe.

Yes, with the European Union, but as we've seen with energy supplies and subsidies to Farmers, it's still at... there's still 27 different interest points there, and governments have their own people to to please, so it's a real tricky one at the moment. We're really still summing up which way we move because we don't want to move in the wrong direction, and then have to play catch-up.

So, yeah. It's definitely wanted, and we're in a bit of pressure definitely coming from our customers' side rather than, sort of, politics and shareholder pressure.


Howard Walper Yeah, it's so... when it comes to the regulatory, it's the no knowns and the unknown, unknowns, right? so it's


Scott Wellcome Yeah.


Howard Walper It's not just two groups of... it's not just the regulatory requirements versus voluntary internal requirements. It's regulatory, and then trying to guess what the next regulatory, or the interpretation of which regime, or that sort of thing. So, it sounds like there's sort of three buckets there of pressure

What metrics are you guys being asked to deliver to quantify your efforts? You know, what kind of new tracking requirements are you using? And, Scott, particularly in your business, is there support to absorb the, kind of, added cost and time and manpower and system development?


Scott Wellcome I would say no, not enough. And, the same difference from country to country. We operate in seven countries within Europe, and I would say the difference is from country to country.

And, I think it's a difficult one because if you ask anybody, do they want sustainable products? Do they want to help towards a green transition? They will say, "Yes." But, if you ask them, "Well, how much are you willing to pay, or how much are you willing to sacrifice?" Then, that's a different question. I think that's kind of where we're stuck in at the moment.

So, at the moment, all the cost is borne on us as a producer. And, we do what we can because, ultimately, again reducing waste, reusing energy helps our margins, our bottom line. So, we've always been focused on that. But, I would say at the minute given, our industry, there isn't any subsidies or financial outcome from anybody.

Some of the measuring tools available are being helped by [unintelligible] in our mills. But, in terms of anything else, it all comes down to us to better financial responsibility.


Howard Walper Sonia, did you want to add anything to that, in terms of what you're being asked to track and quantify?


Sonia Ghosh Yeah, I think for us, the goal is to secure a long-term success by leading the [unintelligible] energy transition. And, in the energy sector, the energy transition is real, and you can touch it. I mean, it's being discussed. It's being implemented everywhere, right?

So, environmental sustainability criteria are integrated in one file strategy in decision-making, in reporting, and risk management process along the entire organization. And, to achieve it, the first step has been to understand the regulations - number one. And also, to understand our own ambitions, and accordingly, the strategic priorities were decided.

And then, they translated it into actionable, bite-sized goals. Like, what is... what should be our quarterly reduction target per business unit so that we can put them into our product backlogs, and then define a bottom-up plan to achieve them.

So then, the fun part begins, right? So, you asked, "What are the performance KPIs or targets that we have?" So, that was the critical part because there are more than, I would say, 1000 extended ESG KPIs available in the market. And, if you run after tracking all of them, then you're running after a lost cause, right?

So, the tricky part was to find out what are the most relevant funds, or the most important KPIs that we should measure our performance against? So, there were some external, I mean, KPIs for external communications to rating agencies, to regulators, and for stakeholder goodwill, where we were highlighting... we are highlighting the sustainability efforts. The percentage of emission reduction growth in renewable production climate smart energy solutions that Vattendall can offer to its customers.

So, those are the external KPIs, and then there are the internal KPIs, which are primarily there to track the progress against holds. And, those are like the cash flow from renewable assets or the cash flow from new environmental products, which we traded in the market. And, it's equally important to keep these KPIs clear and transparent to ensure quality and trust.

And yeah, often what we saw within the organization is, when we started tracking these KPIs or steering these KPIs, it often triggered a change in the business process model or even gave rise to a new target operating model. So, there was a drastic re-definition of the roles and responsibilities and the enablement of stakeholders were also involved. Then, there were audits and corrective plans for the right creations, and that's the whole process in a nutshell.


Howard Walper Thank you. Sameer and Pierre, does this sort of jibe with what you guys are seeing in the markets and what you're seeing with your clients?


Sameer Soleja Yeah, I think to both Scott and Sonia's points, the needs that we see in the market are evolving rapidly. People are trying many different approaches to net zero, either all simultaneously or in sequence. For example, it may be offset trading one day to sustainable fuels the next.

And certainly, as a software vendor, it's been an interesting challenge to sort of keep up with that and to try to anticipate people's next moves in order to support the industry and to do what we do best.


Pierre Lebon Yeah and at, as a provider of analytics solutions, what we've been seeing is that the market is evolving with a wider range of participants that used to be, for us, focused on talking to large producers or wholesale sellers of energy in various forms.

And now, we see, you know, every part of the industry looking at their energy portfolio and looking for analytic solutions to essentially optimize their consumptions of energy when they are consumers of energy.

But, as Scott mentioned as well, they need to do that and that needs to be done in a way that is financially acceptable and that's where the need for these, you know, analytical new tools, or new ways of looking at your portfolio, is important. So, that's how the technology that we can bring it could be helpful to to optimize the portfolios of these market participants.


Howard Walper Thank you for that, and it's actually... this is a good point maybe to launch this poll question to the audience.

You know, we actually went back and forth a little bit on how we should phrase this, whether we should get deeply into some of the tools out there or not. We decided to keep it fairly vague. Do you have the... do you as a participant in the market feel you have the right tools that you need for pre-investment in environmental market analysis?

And, I realized that it would be different from companies. So, are you ready, and are you prepared? And, while we're tallying those results, let's also maybe direct this to everybody. Where do trading companies... where do the typical technology stacks tend to fall short when trying to meet some of the challenges of working in environmental markets or tracking, you know, carbon or things like that?


Sameer Soleja Certainly from what we've seen and understood of the rest of the industry, things like tracking carbon emissions from a particular trade or a particular position - that might be Scope 2 or Scope 3 emissions. That's usually not baked into systems.

And then, also tracking the attributes of an offset or a credit as those markets are revolving and connecting to the registries where those credits are being managed. Those are really rapidly evolving markets, and it's unusual to see systems keep up with that.


Howard Walper Anyone else like to weigh in on that?


Scott Wellcome Yeah. For us, we look at the systems, and until we know exactly what we, as a company, want to put a statement out in terms of our CO2 target. It's very difficult then to utilize, fully, the systems that are out there. So, it's like a chicken and egg situation for us at the moment.

But, we know we have to do it, but as I say from which styling spot do we take? Do we take one country - do we take Austria which is already a little bit further down the road in terms of its carbon footprint than, let's say, Bulgaria? So, yeah. That's sort of the internal discussion we have at the moment.


Sameer Soleja And, of course, your software vendors will get a call the next day once you figure it out like, "Hey. So, you support this, right?"


Pierre Lebon Yeah and then, you need to be inventive to have the ability to capture these new products and be able to value them and analyze them is essential, which is one requirement of the market of It's the high flexibility on that and not having to, you know, constantly start looking around for, you know, a patch solution for these new products is really key.


Sonia Ghosh Yeah and I think that we're waiting for version releases. To let the new products be integrated into the solution is just too, I mean... too outdated, I mean.

I think that's what I wanted to add, the adaptability. Because the market is changing at a make-break speed. The existing products are also getting standardized and restructured, and hence the sustainability strategy within the company is also changing so fast.

The systems also need to quickly adapt with the changing internal and external requirements and opportunities. And - just to add there - I mean, as the share of intermittent renewables increase, the price volatility also follows. And, the price gap widens across the different grid areas.

For example, if there is a high wind speed, then the electricity price in Denmark suddenly drops. Or, if there is rain in the northern part of Sweden with all the hydropower plants, I mean, the price gap between the south of Sweden and the north of Sweden is, like, enormous, right? We need system support or algorithms or, I don't know, AI also helped to analyze these signals for optimal product placement and also increase the efficiency to balance markets.

I mean having good forecasting tools, calculation algos, marketing analytics definitely provides a high competitive advantage to monetize on these volatility.


Scott Wellcome And how just, if I may - the other thing I just wanted to add is what the world seems to have forgotten is that, in the last three years, we've had to deal with COVID. We've had to deal with the war and all the disruptions through supply chains to people just happy to get food and energy. And, people working in more... hybrid. And, I would say there's a little bit of exhaustion out there amongst the industry.

And, I think we're like, "Okay, guys. Let's get over the last few years. Let's take a little bit of a breather. Let's recharge our batteries, and then let's move on." So, I think that's also forgotten about a little bit that we - and we still have the ongoing war. So, to then, to start really refocusing again on the sustainability in the carbon footprint, it's like, "Uh, come on. Let's take a time out for a little bit."


Howard Walper You know, it's funny you mentioned that. I was actually running a conference right before COVID back in... yeah, like right before COVID hit. And, it was the first time I'd heard the phrase, ESG. And, everyone was learning.

Sameer was at the same talk actually, I believe. And, you know, it was... it seems like we came out of COVID. You know, guns a blazing in that direction. It's amazing how much happened in that time period in this area.

I'm going to end this poll really quick. At least we seem to have gotten quite a bit of feedback. And, the results are in. And, you know, to your point earlier, Scott, when you're talking about the things you don't know, more than half the audience aren't sure if they have the right tools to do this type of thing.

And, I think that speaks probably - you guys correct me if I'm wrong - to the fact that there's still a bit of uncertainty around what it is that you're being asked to do.


Sameer Soleja Yeah, that's definitely a resounding "maybe" on the poll results. I think what's really interesting from the point of view of a service provider of any sort is that we get to see the approaches that people are trying to take as they approach the same problems from, you know, from the same place which is zero.

And, you know, we start to see commonalities in people's approaches. And then, every so often, something will come out of left field, and it'll be interesting to integrate it into our model of the world. But, I would say commonalities are starting to emerge, which is interesting.


Howard Walper Anyone else want to weigh in on that? Okay, let's move along. So, in addition to mitigating some of the carbon footprint of traditional generation, power production has the additional challenge of renewals being added to the portfolio. And, of course, these have their own benefits, risks, and limitations.

You know, what does this mean for the types of systems you need and, I guess, particularly in the ETRM space. So, maybe we could start with Sonia and Sameer, though I suspect Pierre also has a few things to say about renewables, as well. So, Sonia, why don't you start with that?


Sonia Ghosh As I said, right, the environmental markets are growing, and they are constantly introducing these complex and dynamic market instruments to incentivize forums to engage practically with the carbon markets, and hence all these new profit pools and business models are emerging. So, there is a continuous updating of the sustainability strategy.

The systems also need to quickly adapt accordingly. And then, for example, I was trying to configure some virtual power plant trades in the system, in the ETRM. And, I struggled with that - with the one that we have, I mean.

It's kind of necessary now to be able to configure these special trades with fewer clicks. And, not only configure them, but also track them along the entire trade lifecycle, right? So, automatic execution or expiration, automatic settlements - so, these features would be more and more important while selecting the right ETRM, I would say.

Then, there are so many PPAs. Like I said, I was working on onboarding a new wind park, and there are CPPs involved. There is a direct investment or portfolio shares of owners. And, setting those trades up in the ETRMs are also, I would say, complex now. So, the adaptability of the ETRMs to incorporate these changes and create standardized models are something that I would look for, to be honest.

And then, simple reference data mapping so that, you know - I mean, ETRM is just one block in the entire puzzle of systems. So, easy interface mapping or reference data mapping is something that would also be of extreme importance, I would say.

Oh, not to forget the regulatory part, right? I mean the regulation is also interpreted differently across the different country boundaries. So, while doing all these things, it's very important to remain compliant, and at the same time, not lose out on the market opportunities.


Sameer Soleja Yeah, I would agree completely.

I think one of the things that we see is the need - with the emergence of more and more renewables in the stack - we see people needing finer and finer grain shapes in the power deals, for example, if they buy and sell shapes that vary. Shapes that go all the way down to the hour and have arbitrary peaks and valleys in them - well, it would seem arbitrary to the system. So, that's definitely been a challenge.

And then, you know, again to Sonia's points about the regulatory question, about just how much of the regulatory components can you bake into a platform like an ETRM? We've definitely had the questions in-house about, "Hey, do we advise our customers on whether this particular certificate is eligible in this other market? Do we want to take that risk? Do we simply capture the data?" You know, what is the right answer? I think that's an outstanding question.


Pierre Lebon Yeah and a lot of our job is to actually find solutions for - you know, I heard already there's a wide range of PPAs as new products. Finding solutions to be able to map them and to incorporate them into the broader analysis is definitely the challenge at the moment.

The rate at which people are contemplating various different products that have various different characteristics and the ability to incorporate them is very challenging. So, I think that's where - and I heard earlier Sonia talking about, for example, having to wait for these things to be pushed into the latest version - that's where I've seen the latest technology can help.

Like, when you have a novel cloud solution that, you know, works like an app on your phone, right? And then, you don't have to worry about having IT heavy support from both internal and in relationship with your vendor.

But, when you can essentially rely on just a cloud platform that works for you, you just have to think about, "How do I log into it?" So, that can help on the technology side of things and that definitely makes it more adaptive and more fluent when you have to deal with these back and forth of, "Hey, I have a new product. Can you help me with setting it up?" And, you see it showing up in the platform on the cloud.


Howard Walper Pierre, maybe you could take it a little deeper and specifically into analytics. What does innovation really mean in that space? You know, without having to implement all new systems, what can you do to gain flexibility? And, how can using analytics be sort of a game changer with renewables?


Pierre Lebon Yeah, sure. So, I think, what it means - innovation these days - I think it means first, a novel way of conducting your analysis. Having the ability to dissect and look at your pre-trade analysis or even your post-trade analysis in various different ways is extremely important.

Having the ability to communicate across the different business units between the front-office and the middle-office and the credit risk team - it used to be very siloed. I think over the last three years with all the events that, you know, Scott mentioned, that people have come to realize that having these teams to work collaboratively and having the ability to share their knowledge together is extremely important.

It's not just like, "Oh, I'm doing a pre-trade analysis. It works X." And, you know, the risk team sees a different value, but no one really cares. And then, ultimately, the credit risk department is yet another story of the same deal. So, having a holistic view, not just across a portfolio but across business units, is something that is quite novel these days. And, that is definitely a requirement.

These things that we said already about the various number of new products, financial and physical, right? You have financial PPIs - physical power plants, obviously - renewable batteries are... battery storages are coming, you know, quite heavily in the market. And, for this, you really need to have the ability to stay ahead of the game by having turnkey solutions.

Like, solutions where you don't need to have a huge IT project that, you know, you start designing it, and you need to wait, and then you have a year and a half before you can start using anything. You really need a turnkey solution where you say, "Hey, I have this problem. Can you offer a solution where, you know, I can do 95 percent of what I need to do?" And, the five remaining percent... must not be the key side of what you're looking at, right?

So, that's the reporting side. Other things - it could be data science, right? Having the ability to use AI or other means of technology. Because important aspects of the renewable energy in the carbon targets that have been set by the governments is that the market conditions, the prices, the relationship between them, is evolving quite rapidly.

And, you can somehow relate on historical price paths and the way that it behaves. But, you need to be able to do scenario analysis, looking forward to what happens if there is a significant penetration of a particular renewable type of energy. What does it do to the system load, of course, but what does it do to the prices, as well?

Because, you know, all in all, it all comes back to that question, which is it financially viable to source my energy from these renewable assets or not, right? Otherwise, you know, you can have all the goodwills that you want to bring more carbon free energy. But, if at the end of the day, it's not economical, no industry would do it. So, that's the key set of signs which are around innovation here.

And, what can we do without, sort of, implementing new systems? Well, we can already start looking internally and seeing how we can build new ways of looking at the portfolio. I already said it, but you know, using the existing tools and new ways of slicing and dicing and doing scenario analysis is something that can be done with not a lot of investment. But, just with a reuse of the existing tools that are available sounds good.


Howard Walper Sounds good.

Yeah, we're going to go to some questions from the audience in just a moment. Before we do, we'll watch this other poll, which actually was supposed to be the first one. I might have gotten the order reversed.

But, the question is a show me the money question. What percentage of your CapEx funding are you willing to invest in technology over the next five years? And, I think this specifically refers to the type of technology to track the things we've been discussing today. So, let's keep that poll running while we go to some questions from the audience.

First of all - I did more of an European question - what impact is changing policy and regulatory frameworks, such as the Paris agreement and the EU green seal, have on development and adoption of environmental solutions and technology?


Scott Wellcome Well, it doesn't make it any easier, that's for sure. And, I think that's the one trouble with Europe. Yes, it's the European Union, and they did a fine job being unified last year in terms of its energy supply. But, you can already see signs that it's fragmenting, a bit of protection is going on.

When it comes to the UK Green Deal, I just don't know whether, as a society, we're already willing to make the sacrifices of higher food prices, if I put it back into my industry. Because we are used to - and it's a big government vote winner - low food prices. Already, again, we're having pressure to lower our prices because energy prices are lower. Grain prices are lower. We've got a cost of living crisis.

And so, how do we marry those two together with less land but a growing population? Don't forget, we've taken in six million people into Europe from Ukraine. And, eat high food standards. I mean, it somehow doesn't quite all fit together. So, I think we have to be honest with ourselves, as a society. And, we're all customers at the end of the day. What are we willing to pay and what are we willing to sacrifice to get to it?

That's really the disjoint for me at the moment. And, hopefully, there's some clever people out there who are figuring it out. But, at the moment, I don't see it. It sounds good, and it's a good slogan to have is kind of how I see it for the moment.


Howard Walper Actually, you know that leads sort of to another - there was a question specifically that came in around ags with food. Ags and food are requiring more identity preserved supply chain origination. So, how has the ability to track that sort of CO2 - do some CO2 accounting - developed? And, where do you still find there's need for development along the supply chain?


Scott Wellcome I don't know if it has, and maybe the tools are out there. But, I mean, we mail three million tons a year, and I would say 85, maybe 90 comes within a 200 kilometer radius of each of our 24 mils. We don't ship anything from outside of Europe, and I don't see that that's being tracked at all. The vessels come from the US, from South America into Europe and vice versa.

Grain leaving Europe to go to wherever it goes. We could be self-sustainable but different markets pay different prices, and market dynamics lead. But, I think that's really what we want to see is, "Yes I could probably measure the carbon and savings I've made at a facility."" But, is that better than, "I'm only trucking this grain from 50 kilometers away,"" versus some other facility that ships in 3000 miles from a different continent?

And, I don't know whether the technology is out there to do that full supply chain at the moment. I've not seen any evidence of it. But, I think that we would welcome. And then, you move on to another discussion, which is probably the food v. fuel discussion, but that's probably for another kind of discussion.


Howard Walper That's for another webinar all together.


Sameer Soleja Yeah, I... sorry, go ahead.


Howard Walper No - go ahead, Sameer. I was just seeing if anyone else had any comments.


Sameer Soleja Yeah, I was just going to add to that. I think you know one of the nice things that we can do while markets are evolving is to try to find close analogs and see if we can't sort of jerry-rig the needs that we have today into the solutions of the past.

And, as Scott was talking, I was thinking about how we've had traceability for things, like diamonds and other precious items, for quite some time. And, I think that technology is maybe a first step on the road to tracking carbon emissions better, Scope 2 and Scope 3 type of emissions. But maybe, embedding that sort of tech into our core systems might be a good next step.


Sonia Ghosh Yeah, I would just like to add one thing. I mean, the changes look pretty ambitious. I mean, the EU commission's ambitions are pretty big, right? So, I don't have a crystal ball, but I think going forward in short term or in midterm, there will be a shortage of fossil free electrons in the market and that would also give rise to price productivity.

So, maybe it's a good idea to start riding on the wave a bit earlier than being disrupted eventually because there is a lot of geopolitical influence in this. Then, the war act in Ukraine and the lack of fossil fuels or the lack of energy security is also not playing in the favor of continuing as it was.

Things will change, so it's better to brace your seat belts before being disrupted.


Howard Walper I'm going to end this poll now and see where some of the results are on the investment-side. Let's share the results.

A resounding maybe! Well, it's great news for guys like me who produce conferences and webinars because that means there's a lot of people trying to find things out. A good excuse to bring people together to talk like this.

Another question from the audience. Let's see - what role do investors play in driving innovation and growth in environmental markets, and what factors do investors consider when assessing potentials of new environmental technologies and solutions? and uh you know

I guess I'm maybe a little unclear on the... which investors were talking about, whether it's on the trade finance side or investment in technology or investment in... from a shareholder perspective. But, I'll throw it open for you all to interpret as you will.


Pierre Lebon I'm sure there will be a far wider answer, but I think what we certainly hear from an analytics standpoint is that uncertainty is risk. And, we heard a lot of uncertainty in this discussion.

So, the investor wants reassurance. And, how do they get reassurance in a world of uncertainty like this? It's through analysis. So, what investors are after are lots of charts, lots of pretty pictures, essentially the story about what they are investing on. And, how this investment is going to potentially evolve over time.

Any investor knows that there is no crystal ball to predict how the investment is going to go, but you can mitigate that uncertainty by having the ability to assess certain scenarios. And, the role of the investor would be to essentially have a feel of the market so that they can be confident that a scenario is going to take precedence over another.

So, I think that's what we hear a lot is, you know, having the ability to analyze and re-analyze and analyze again an investment before it is made so that pre-trade analytics type functionality and analysis.


Howard Walper Excellent. I'm going to - we have about four minutes left to chat here. So, maybe it's a good capper... it would be great if ever we go around the board here. Everyone give me one sentence in your final closing pithy thought on how technology can help the commodity energy trading function be more efficient and effectively reducing a group's overall carbon footprint.

So, um one quick line. Who wants to go first? If no one raises their hand in the picture...


Scott Wellcome I'll start. I mean, I think from the food side, I think it will help create a unified playing field, so we all know where we're starting from and how we get there.

And, I think it helps to create transparency both internally, so we can manage our risk and have a good deep dive analysis of our risks, and also to our customers. We can show them clearly with evidence from the tools that we use how, where we started and how we've have improved our carbon footprint going forward, the transparency I think is a key one for us.


Howard Walper Sonia, how about you?


Sonia Ghosh I think the energy markets will continue to grow at a make-break speed, so I think good data, internal enablement, and definitely the right use of technological development can help us leverage the environmental market based instruments to facilitate decarbonization at the least cost.

And also, in addition to that, I think forecast - a good technology can also help in forecasting the production volumes and shapes.


Howard Walper Excellent. Sameer, how about yourself?


Sameer Soleja I think that, occasionally, really good technology can actually help lead an industry down a path. And so, things like USB and the app store opened up opportunities, and I think perhaps technology might be able to do that here to help lead standardization in the market.


Howard Walper Excellent. That's a really great point. And, Pierre, you get to close us out.


Pierre Lebon Oh, well that's a huge responsibility. Well, from my perspective, review your analytic workflow, and make sure you serve the parts of the business that in need of, essentially, clearing out the uncertainty on the market.


Howard Walper Excellent. And with that, I want to thank our panelists - Pierre, Sameer, Sonia, and Scott, thank you very much. Around the world, there's people sitting behind their computer giving you a round of applause. I appreciate your participation this morning.

Again, for everybody who's joined us today, thank you for joining us. If you enjoyed these conversations over the last couple of days, please make sure to register for our new Environmental Markets Week conference series, which is going to take place in Houston, London, and Singapore.

The London event is in September, the 28-29; the Houston event is in October, the 26th and 27th; and, Singapore is the 24th and 25th. These will be co-located with our Energy Trading Week conference series, so we're going to be bringing together a really great mixture of people from all different functions in both energy and environmental markets. A great opportunity to learn and to meet new folks in the space.

And with that, ladies and gentlemen, everyone have a great day or evening, depending where you are. And, we'll see you soon in another program.

Thanks again, good bye!

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