Dynamic forces such as climate change, human capital and social injustice have accelerated the focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. The spotlight on these topics has only intensified with the attention they are receiving under the Biden administration. To lead the market response and help clients rise to the challenge, Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) has appointed Orlan Boston as Americas ESG Markets Leader; Velislava Ivanova as Americas Chief Sustainability Officer; and Megan Hobson as US Corporate Sustainability Leader.
“Greater demand for ESG insights and perspectives has risen significantly due to the pandemic, natural disasters, social inequity and shifting preferences from institutional investors,” says US Chair and Managing Partner and Americas Managing Partner Kelly Grier. “As we engage with clients on ESG developments and support them on their sustainability journey, this team will play a critical role in helping to unlock strategic value for a wide range of stakeholders.”
For more than 20 years, EY US has helped companies and public sectors with their sustainability challenges. In response to the current pandemic, EY US teamed with clients to expedite COVID-19 vaccine distribution while addressing health inequities and working for social justice. The global EY organization also recently announced its ambition to be carbon negative in 2021 and net zero in 2025.
“Having a strong ESG strategy can help create more inclusive economies and establish sustainability as the norm,” says Sam Johnson, EY Americas Vice Chair, Accounts. “C-suite and board leaders are recognizing their responsibility and seizing the opportunity to unlock ESG value to build long-term competitive advantage, enhance resiliency to accelerating sustainability risks and attract the increasingly socially conscious investors, talent and customers their organizations seek.”
As investors’ expectations of ESG disclosures and communication continue to rise, EY US is helping companies to be responsive to investors’ expectations, offering knowledgeable advice on leveraging the quantitative data around ESG metrics, performance and goals. And with advanced technology and analytics at the heart of its ESG approach, EY US is well-positioned to help clients solve business problems, drive value and establish a sustainability strategy fit for both the present and future.
Americas ESG Markets Leader, Orlan Boston
Orlan will help companies develop and drive comprehensive ESG strategies and identify emerging opportunities in this rapidly evolving market. His contributions to the sustainability, health equity, diversity, equity, and inclusion and human rights movements extends beyond the EY organization — they include co-authorship of I Am Eco Warrior; co-authorship of Harvard Business Review (HBR) magazine’s The Strategic Side Gig, also published in HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Career Resilience; producing HBO’s The Out List film; previously serving as a Chief Diversity Officer; and serving in varied board and public service roles with the Obama-Biden administration, USO, Inc. Board of Governors, The Trevor Project, Partnership Fund Healthcare Advisory Board and Goldman Sachs’ Launch With GS Advisory Council. Orlan earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and international business from the NYU Stern School of Business and has completed executive leadership and business programs at Harvard Business School, INSEAD and the London Business School.
EY Americas Chief Sustainability Officer, Velislava (Veli) Ivanova
Veli will advance EY sustainability objectives and initiatives to increase long-term value for clients. Veli also serves as the EY Americas Climate Change and Sustainability Services Leader, helping clients address their natural resource constraints and impacts, engage their stakeholders in sustainability collaborations, enhance and measure their ESG performance and leverage sustainability to innovate new products, services and business models. Veli is the EY Liaison Delegate at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and serves on the Managing for Sustainability Advisory Council at Colorado University Denver. She has a PhD in Environmental Biology and a master’s degree in Pollution and Environmental Control from The University of Manchester, as well as a master’s degree in Ecology from Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski.
U.S. Corporate Sustainability Leader, Megan Hobson
Megan will be responsible for leading EY US internal environmental and operational business commitments. She will also continue in her current role as the EY Americas Administration Leader, in which she is responsible for the US firm’s Investment and Treasury operations as well as the Administrative and Workplace Services functions. She is the executive sponsor for the AccessAbilities professional network, a member of the board of directors for the EY captive insurance company and EY Global Finance, chair of the US firm’s Retirement Investment Committee and a member on the board of directors for Disability:IN, a national non-profit helping businesses drive performance by leveraging disability inclusion in the workplace, supply chain and marketplace. Megan earned an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in Economics/Accounting from The College of the Holy Cross.