Speaker: Assheton Carter

Assheton Carter
Head of Performance & Risk, Ecosphere Capital Partners LLP

Speaking Topics Include:

  • Bonds of Gold: where your wedding band comes from and why you should care
  • ESG is Alpha: How a dominant ESG lens can reduce risk and enhance upside
  • Politics and Persuasion: Launching, leading and managing business-NGO social-change initiatives
  • Strange Bedfellows: Effective NGO-business partnerships
  • An Iron Fist in a Velvet Glove: the merits of voluntary assurance and certification
  • 10 reasons why donors and philanthropists will never save the world; and 10 reasons why private business will.
  • FPIC and all that: what it really means for businesses to have consensual relations with their neighbors

About Assehton
Assheton L. Stewart Carter, Ph.D. is Head of Performance and Risk at Ecosphere Capital Partners LLP, a mission driven asset management firm focusing on blended-value investing in Africa and emerging markets; Corporate Vice President at Equitable Origin, a new eco-certification and certificate trading enterprise for the oil and gas industry; and, board advisor to natural resource companies and a number of luxury jewelry and fashion brands on their sustainability and sourcing strategies.

Over the last 25 years Assheton has built a track record for designing and leading cross-sector initiatives and supporting responsible business ventures and social enterprises that demonstrate the power of business to have positive social impact. He believes that business school gurus and civil society advocates continue to overlook the opportunity for society to prosper from investments and innovations that address our fundamental environmental and social problems. A systems thinker, Carter focuses on ‘purpose’ as the key factor determining in achieving economic and social sustainability.

Many emerging economies are largely dependent upon natural resource development; consequently, Assheton has launched and led standard setting and “best practices” initiatives with the oil, gas and mining industries. He has built two successful advisory and public-private partnering practices providing services to companies in the precious metals and gems value chain from extractive industries in the field to helping luxury brand companies to de-risk their supply chains and capture the value of the CSR commitments in positioning their products.

Working with the largest retailer in the world, Assheton conceived the first fully traceable line of gold and diamond jewelry. His success in bringing together suppliers, mining companies and civil society partners enabled Wal-Mart to bring its Love, Earth line to market in 2008. This pioneering effort led to engagements with luxury brands, such as Cartier, Chopard and John Hardy, to source precious metals from “ethical” mines. Assheton designed a responsibly recycled line of jewelry for a major retailer which included developing a new standard for responsibly sources of recycled silver and gold. From 2009 to 2011 Carter built a program to assure the physical traceability of ‘conflict-free’ metals from the Congo for use by electronics manufacturers in the U.S.A. and signed on behalf of civil society a groundbreaking public private alliance with the U.S. Department of State, the electronics industry and representatives of government from East Africa.

He brought to market two standard systems for incorporating biodiversity conservation into business practices of oil, gas and mining companies – the Energy and Biodiversity Initiative and the Business and Biodiversity Offset Program, which built the first system for industry to compensate for ecological loss at their project. As well, he designed and launched the open-source Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool for developers and investors to understand and manage their impacts on important ecosystems using the combined data and analysis from the world’s biggest conservation groups.

He is Chair of AccountAbility Standards, sits on the technical committee of the Responsible Jewelry Council and the Stakeholder Council for the Better Coal Initiative. He has contributed to the development of standards and best practices through participation in the Alliance for Responsible Mining; International Council on Mining and Metals; International Union for the Conservation of Nature; IPIECA – the global oil and gas industry association for environmental and social issues; the Global Reporting Initiative; the Global Compact; the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition; the Aluminium Stewardship Council; the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance; and the Voluntary Principles of Security of Human Rights. Currently he is working with social enterprise start-up Equitable Origin to build a new B2B exchange for ethical oil from Amazon Rain Forest.

He has enabled companies as diverse as Disney, Fiji Water, Marriott, and United Airlines to develop corporate environmental and forest-based carbon offset strategies. Assheton established and led REDD+ programs at two NGOs, which set out to incorporate community rights and development into forest-based carbon storage projects through working with developers and influencing policy makers.

He has established a wide sphere of influence by publishing more than 20 articles and book chapters on business and sustainable development. He has been quoted in and written for a number of international papers including the Financial Times, the Washington Post and the Guardian. He has served on the advisory boards to large-scale extractive projects in Ghana (submerged timber), Iceland (aluminum), Madagascar (mineral sands), Honduras (Gold), Peru (copper), Canada (Oil Sands) and on non-profit, corporate advisory and editorial boards.

Assheton has lived in the United States, United Kingdom, Thailand, Peru and Spain. His work has taken him to more than 60 countries. He has participated in missions to promote best practices for resource management and human and economic development to the political leadership of Ghana, Iceland, Madagascar, Peru and Suriname.

Assheton draws on a background that encompasses financial management, CSR strategy consulting, standard setting, and non-profit management in international development and conservation. He holds a Ph.D. in Business Strategy and Sustainability from the University of Bath, School of Management, United Kingdom.

For additional information about Assheton’s work, please visit: