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Season 4, Episode 13: Maria Knapp - Supply Chains and Compliance

December 01, 2021

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This compelling new episode of the BIS podcast features a discussion between Cindy Moehring and Control Risks Partner Maria Knapp. Tune in to listen as Cindy and Maria chat about Control Risks' assistance in ensuring ESG compliance, how companies assess their supply chains, and the importance of businesses recognizing the impact they have on their communities.


Resources From the Episode

Episode Transcript


0:00:16.7 Cindy Moehring: Hi, everybody. And welcome back to another episode of The BIS, the Business Integrity School. And as you know, this is season four, and we are talking about all things ESG in this video podcast. And to do that, today, we have a very special guest, Maria Knapp from control risk group. Hi, Maria.

0:00:33.7 Maria Knapp: Hi Cindy. I'm really delighted to join your podcast series.

0:00:37.7 Cindy Moehring: Well, we are excited to have you here. Before we jump into the questions with Maria, let me just tell you all a little bit about her really interesting background. So Maria is a partner at Control Risk Group, in the compliance forensics and intelligence area for geographically, the EMEA area of the world, which is Europe, Middle East and Africa. And the practice that she's in supports companies that manage... To help them manage the reputation and risks that emanate from financial crime, sanctions control, social and governance risks, like what we're gonna be talking about today, as well as stakeholder management. Now, as a non-practicing lawyer in England and Wales, Maria trained and practiced in Finance and Capital Markets at Clifford Chance in London and in Paris. Maria has worked and lived in France and in Canada, as well as in Sub-Saharan Africa, including in this for the Zimbabwe chapter of Transparency International, the Namibian Legal Assistance Center and the Pearson Peacekeeping Center in Canada. Very interesting. Love to just talk all about that. Maria has an LLB from City University, London, and a BA from Miguel University and Sciences Po in Paris.

0:01:51.8 Cindy Moehring: So Maria, wow, you have a really, really broad background in terms of just where you've lived and what you've done in a number of different countries, internationally. And for our audience, especially for the students who listen to these video... Listen to the podcast or watch the videos, I always like to help them just get to know our guests a little bit and understand your background, how you got into this, what led you to where you are today, and maybe a little bit about some of the stops along the way.

0:02:26.6 Maria Knapp: Sure. It's funny when you... When someone reads your CV, your bio that way, it always sounds pretty exhausting. I don't have the time to do that. For all of us, especially when you reach... Certainly my age, I should say there were 15 Joe jobs before and alongside the studies that went along with that training, which I think is probably where I got the base skills for my current job dealing with people, prioritizing, triaging, all of that vital stuff. But that aside, to get where I am today, I've always tried to weave one thing into the next, but really tried to move with what motivated me, what kind of stimulated me and what I was curious about. And when I was doing... After BA graduation, really interested in governance and transparency, but I realized pretty soon into doing that, that actually having a professional background and a professional training was gonna be really important part of understanding how things work.

0:03:45.6 Maria Knapp: So, some of the governance I did before training as a lawyer, where I practiced structure in the Finance Law was what I felt was missing was my understanding of the cogs in the global financial system and how that all made things churn and made things work. So, going into Finance Law, structured finance in capital markets was incredibly useful. I moved from that after about five years into... Just under five years, into consultancy in control risks with a focus on integrity and reputational risk, initially for our clients investing in Africa or with activities in Africa, because I had done work on African project finance, and then before that, as you mentioned, for governance organizations on the continent. And so moving into control risks was sort of a natural move in that sense, because it was pretty much all the non-financial and non-legal risks related to the assets.

0:04:57.7 Maria Knapp: So it was looking at contracts, partnerships, supply chain issues. So, for instance, through due diligence investigations and stakeholder mapping, compliance buildin, g and also monitoring and to an extent, incident investigation. So, there's a natural flow through from that. And then, since then, I've kind of connected back to the financial law training, finance law training in what I do today, particularly involving ESG, because more and more we're seeing, I guess, supply chains and value chains and companies as actors in the global financial system from an ESG perspective, or through that ESG lens, so it's really [0:05:45.1] ____ important to connect those dots.

0:05:48.5 Maria Knapp: And ESG is becoming one of the things that is super important to financial activities globally. Yeah, for students, I recommend always, variety is key. And taking chances is pretty key 'cause it can lead you to some pretty interesting places.

0:06:04.1 Cindy Moehring: It sure can. My goodness. So connecting your financial market background now with the ESG movement, are you finding that you are... Or control risk group is engaged by a number of corporate clients, essentially because they sense and know there is investor pressure, if you will, or expectations or... Talk about that evolution a little bit. Because it definitely is a hot topic.

0:06:33.0 Maria Knapp: Yeah, it's for sure a hot topic, and it's something that control risks has been doing for over 45 years in one way or another, but certainly not in the way that we're talking about it now. I think we've been looking at, as a company, especially social and governance risks for a really long time. And so we're a specialist risk consultancy, and our current mantra is helping clients succeed in a volatile world. And if you ask our analysts, there's volatility everywhere. So, one of the ways that we do this is by providing nuanced assessments of the issues our clients are facing so that they can make well-informed decisions. And when it comes to ESG, that really means kind of understanding on the ground what's happening, who key stakeholders are that may not be within your own corporate ecosystem and may be kind of local communities, and especially when it comes to issues around human rights and labor rights, it's increasingly diverse what the issues are covering, and I think what we've seen is that when companies get these things wrong, obviously it impacts rights holders, human and social rights holders. It impacts their operations, and it can cause increasingly, investors to either not invest or to withdraw.

0:07:58.1 Cindy Moehring: Yes.

0:08:00.8 Maria Knapp: And by contrast, when companies get it right, social risks can be... Can add financial benefit or just other less tangible benefit to stakeholders and create a business advantage for them. So, increasingly, we're seeing companies treat it as business critical issues, but it can remain still hidden, so companies that haven't got 'round to including these issues into their enterprise risk management systems or risk assessments, and not identifying these as stand-alone issues, I think still are dealing with pretty fuzzy zone.

0:08:47.4 Maria Knapp: But it's certainly emerging as a discipline in a way that is a lot easier to deal with now, and I think probably the last point on this is that I guess the way we've broken it it up is to think about measuring and monitoring and managing, when it comes especially to social performance, so you find those three... You'll see I like things in threes, keep it nice and tidy. If you measure, it's looking at your own company, your own operations, but also rights holders and stakeholders around you and the impact that you have. When you think of monitoring, it's keeping track that your compliance systems are working well, and that you're keeping tabs. And then managing is actually tackling those issues that are manageable or engaging, and it's the course corrections.

0:09:39.2 Cindy Moehring: Right, right.

0:09:40.5 Maria Knapp: If you think about it in those three streams, it becomes a little bit more tangible for companies.

0:09:43.0 Cindy Moehring: Yeah, I think you're right. And that is incredibly important to do all three of those steps, you've gotta be able to manage at the end, of course, to not only course correct, but also to try to mitigate, almost proactively, once you have identified the risks, and as you go into the monitoring, then you're able to say, "Oh, we need to get in front of this next thing that's coming down the pike, so how are we also going to manage for that?" Do you think, Maria, that COVID, kind of this collide of COVID and the rise of stakeholder capitalism and it all kinda is right here in front of us together, do you have any thoughts on either how COVID has affected it or maybe sped up the whole kind of focus on ESG? Or, do you think companies are maybe really struggling through it more than they would have if we weren't dealing with COVID at the same time?

0:10:41.1 Maria Knapp: Good question. It's hard not to see COVID as a trigger for a lot of things. I think that some companies have been in the business of sustainability or ESG for years, and good not forget those, and they can be great beacons actually for companies who are just starting on their journey. Some corporates, lots of institutional investors like pension funds and obviously development finance. And I think also many companies have made significant investments in governance for years, and the G under S and G, will be really familiar to people like you and I, and companies have made very significant investments in resourcing and creating functions and putting systems around that. So, some of it had been ongoing and there was a maturity developing, but I think ESG, taken as a very current concept, was really propelled by investors, and now, by regulators. And I think to your question on COVID, it's definitely focused people's minds, especially on the social side of things.

0:11:53.8 Cindy Moehring: I think you're right.

0:11:55.9 Maria Knapp: And I think that probably tipped the balance. What's interesting is that at the beginning of all this, I think when it comes to companies commitments to ESG, it could have gone either way, really with COVID. And I think a financial strain that comes with the conditions that companies were working under could have pushed governments and it could have pushed companies towards much more short-termism and just kind of staying afloat and in a race for economic survival, or, and I think what we've seen instead is people's minds have been, as I said, focused on how companies treat their people, how they treat the environment and how they respond to climate change. So I think the trend that we were seeing before around governance and responsible business, COVID triggered a moment when people who are real actors in the financial system and have been regarded as a really important individuals, have been regarded as a really important pressure element in a way for companies.

0:13:06.9 Maria Knapp: As consumers, as employees collectively, and especially in the west, but not only, saw that kind of change for the better was in reach. And that changed their expectations and their interaction with the financial system when it comes to especially those social lines. They could see that the way that companies responded to COVID, the programs that they initiated, the way they treated employees, these were all things that were within... A company's gift to give, and I think it's set their expectations pretty high. So yeah, I think it's sort of a perfect storm in a number of ways.

0:13:47.9 Cindy Moehring: Yeah, but out of a perfect storm, hopefully comes some really positive progress for the future because it's been such a disruptor. We've all had to figure out how do we build a new world in light of what we're dealing with now. So let me ask you on that question, do you see differences, Maria, in geography or between sectors when you are asked to come in and help monitor an aspect of their ESG program? Or not even just monitor, but maybe measure, help them set up the monitoring and figure out how to manage it going forward, do you see differences in that, between geographies or industries?

0:14:37.8 Maria Knapp: That's a great question. I see only differences currently with how companies are dealing with this. I haven't seen two companies approach this or address this in the same way. And I think there's a couple of reasons for that, but I haven't seen related to geography, although... Certainly companies that have a global footprint need to consider things a little bit differently, and maybe I can get to that in a minute.

0:15:05.6 Maria Knapp: I've seen companies respond to this differently depending on, for instance, their corporate structure, are they listed? Are they not listed? The size and scale of their, I guess, risk and support operations, are they streamlined, are they more heavily resourced on that end of things? The sector and industry point is a really important one, and almost every company that we've worked with, we... Well, all of the work that we do anyway, we apply a sector and industry lens to conducting materiality assessments, which is really the starting point for understanding how you need to respond, identify what are the most material risks and where your exposures are. And it's really important to do that with a sector and industry lens.

0:16:04.6 Maria Knapp: And over and above that, I think what companies have been really gotten a lot out of this is benchmarking against peers in the industry. And thinking not about that in terms of, "Oh, well, competitor X is doing nothing, so we can do a little bit and be way ahead of the game. Or competitor Y is well advanced, how can we get halfway there?" It's been more thinking about, "Okay, well, what's the standard?" And then how can we get inspired by what other peers are doing, and then what are our clients and employees expectations going to be based on those peer responses?

0:16:43.5 Cindy Moehring: Interesting.

0:16:46.5 Maria Knapp: Substantively, the differences that I see are the way that companies are responding organizationally, how they resource this. And then it's what targets and frameworks that they want to, I guess to put it crudely, report against or disclose against. Those are the most defining factors of the different ways in which companies are, I guess, working around these issues.

0:17:18.8 Cindy Moehring: Yeah. So I've talked to a fair number of guests this season, who are in the corporate sector. And to your point, there... I have noticed a lot of difference as well as discussion around how to resource this ESG effort, which is really growing up and becoming... It's a thing, you have to put resources against it, but where does it rest in an organization? And I'm sure you all get asked for your opinion, and you specifically on that, and tell us a little bit about what you... What are some of the interesting different models, because I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all, but what are some of the different models that you've seen work in companies?

0:18:02.7 Maria Knapp: So yeah, no, definitely not one-size-fits-all. One of the things that's really unique about ESG, and I guess sustainability issues, is that it's so cross-cutting. And in that sense, it engages a lot of different functions and component parts of an organization, including some existing functions and as well as some newer ones. So when we're thinking about ESG, we're not just thinking about the head of sustainability or the head of ESG, because it's not a one-dimensional change. And if you think about, quite mechanically, the types of business operations that are involved in strategizing and implementing ESG programs and setting ESG goals, it's gonna be people from HR and those running DEI efforts, employee welfare, through to all the way down to security and the duty of care applications that they have, investor relations and their reporting obligations to their investors and business development. So it's inherently complex in terms of how you organize yourself around it.

0:19:24.0 Maria Knapp: The significance of the issue does warrant dedicated corporate functions in our view, or a dedicated corporate role at least. But our clients are giving a lot of careful consideration to why that needs to be. The two key factors that you wanna make sure... Or that a company needs to make sure it's satisfying in whatever structure it adopts, is that firstly it furthers their corporate sustainability objectives and their ESG objectives. So, that it does that, but without ineffective duplication of efforts.

0:20:00.3 Cindy Moehring: Yeah, right.

0:20:02.5 Maria Knapp: That multi-functional approach, you gotta make sure people are working together. And that's a good argument to have someone or some people dedicated to this who have a transversal view. And the second objective is that it enables companies to report, either in their annual sustainability reports or to investor disclosure requirements or to targets, etcetera.

0:20:27.3 Maria Knapp: So, when it comes to thinking about options for organizational models, we've been working with the Ethisphere Institute, which is a for-profit company that defines measures and corporate ethical standards. It also provides an annual ranking of best practices in corporate ethics, and we're working with their Business and Leadership Alliance, BELA, we've been exploring different... Two, three, four different models. And then obviously with the anticipation that companies will take those and run with them and make them... Make of them what they will. The couple of models that we've looked at so far are the network model, the centralized model, and then the decentralized model.

0:21:14.2 Maria Knapp: So, the network model is where there's two or three or four key functions that together work as a committee to set out the ESG and corporate sustainability, I guess, strategy and implementation roadmap, and then work with a number of different sub-functions to actually implement that. You get co-ownership at the top, and they co-bear responsibility for making sure that there's a certain effectiveness in that. And that can be really useful in companies where, for instance, I mentioned investor relations, are really important aspect of the company, 'cause they're a large listed company, but they also have a really large footprint in emerging markets, and they need to make sure that from an employee welfare standpoint, they're really responding to the company's needs there, employees needs there, and then that sort of thing where... Or for instance, they handle a lot of sensitive data. You might need someone in information security to be part of that network. So the network will look different depending on the organization.

0:22:36.2 Cindy Moehring: Got it.

0:22:37.2 Maria Knapp: But it's a co-ownership model. The centralized model is something that people might recognize from like ABC compliance, where you've got a head of compliance who really kind of co-opt people within the company to centralize policies and procedures, and then centralize information gathering for reporting, in this case, on ESG issues. And a decentralized model also would be familiar to you, Cindy, from your background, where you have someone maybe responsible ultimately for the issues, but you have a team across the business, either champs or regional... You might have regional heads of ESG or something like that, where you're filtering down, but still a central point of accountability under ESG. So, those are just three.

0:23:29.5 Cindy Moehring: Yeah. And do you see companies adopting all three of those, just very... That you have worked with? So there really isn't a predominant model as of yet, everyone's trying to figure out what works best for them?

0:23:42.3 Maria Knapp: Yeah. There are companies that are trying out a model and really open to adapting it to their needs, but it was really interesting on our first call in the working group when we tabled these, everybody had a different take and people were thinking about hybrid models already, which is great. So I think the level of engagement on these issues... We've been through this journey for ABC compliance; we know what that looks like. And so I think people get a sense of what organizational change looks like when it comes to risk management, it's pretty recent memory.

0:24:21.3 Cindy Moehring: Right, right, yeah, yeah, yeah. And compliance is obviously gonna be one of the functions that's going to be heavily involved in the ESG efforts, regardless of which of those three companies end up choosing 'cause there's just so many touch points there.

0:24:38.5 Maria Knapp: 100%, and across all the models, that's the really consistent point, that the compliance function plays some role, or the major role, or the leading role in any of these models.

0:24:51.2 Cindy Moehring: Yeah, yeah. Well, and I think in part because we've recently, companies have been on this compliance journey of figuring out how do you set up a compliance program and gather the people to organize the policies and the procedures, and figure out how to monitor it and how to measure it and how to manage it. Then it's just applying it in a different way, but it's exercising that same muscle that's been brought to bear through that discipline, which oftentimes has to be cross-functional too. So it's just looking at it through perhaps a different lens, but using the same tools could be... So that's quite interesting. So let me ask you now about the monitoring part of it a little bit more specifically. And when you're working with a company and they're trying to get their head around what does it really mean to measure and then monitor and manage something like this, how do you help them understand the difference between their own footprint versus the larger footprint that exists because of the supply chain? And how far back they should go and where does the... How do they do all of that monitoring? I can imagine a company feeling completely overwhelmed when they're trying to figure out what they have to do, what they should do, and what they actually can do.

0:26:12.3 Maria Knapp: Yeah. Yeah, I'm happy to start with the kind of line between their own footprint and their supply chain footprint, Cindy, that's a really important distinction, and I'm glad that you've made it because I think when a company is thinking about their own social compliance profile, it's really kind of what they do, where they do it, and how they do it. When they're thinking about their value or their supply chain, those are issues that are in someone else's corporate control, ultimately, what they, do where they do it, how they do it. In an ideal world, you have some sort of regular engagement with your supply and value chain, and you have some influence over their social performance, but we have a lot of examples where that's not the case. Ultimately, you may not have the choice over your supplier, your business critical supplier in a high-risk environment, or you may have very few, or you may be one of... They may be a really important supplier for you, but you may be one of hundreds of their clients and couldn't give a hoot.

0:27:30.4 Maria Knapp: So, it's a really tricky one. In terms of corporate responsibility, the regulatory trends, and especially when it comes to obligations on companies related to social performance disclosures, they indicate that there's gonna be increasingly a responsibility on corporates to extend their responsibility to their supply chain in ways in which they... Only a handful of companies really have done in the field of ESG so far, maybe handful is an exaggeration, but a small proportion, versus just their own direct corporate activity and footprint. So increasingly first line suppliers are gonna be viewed as part of a company's broader ESG ecosystem. And we're seeing already in Europe, for instance, at the European Union, but also individual member states, requiring companies to disclose on their supply chain, and to conduct, for instance, human rights due diligence into their suppliers...

0:28:39.9 Cindy Moehring: Wow.

0:28:40.5 Maria Knapp: And in their value chain. And I think that's not a trend that will go away, so if anything, it'll expand. And we know that the SEC is looking at increasing ESG due diligence requirements too initially in environmental, but also then in social. So there's that. Reputationally for companies, in terms of this trend of proximity between your own footprint and someone else's, it's no surprise if there's a really strong link between...

0:29:11.8 Cindy Moehring: Oh, huge.

0:29:13.4 Maria Knapp: If you have a business critical member of your value chain and they're doing bad stuff, the media is not gonna distinguish between those two.

0:29:25.5 Cindy Moehring: Yeah. I think consumers as a whole, are less understanding and forgiving, if you will, of these links in the supply chain, they just see the end. And they have certain expectations of what that composite whole is at the end. But for companies that does mean trying to figure out how do we work together and how do we even set targets when they're not 100% ours, but they're a couple of links back in the supply chain. And how far back are they supposed to go in the supply chain? I'm sure you get asked that too.

0:30:02.6 Maria Knapp: Yeah, it's... How much can you control your supply and value chain, how can you set targets for them, what could you even know about them? Precisely the right questions, and those answers will be different, not only for each company but each market they're operating in and the different types of suppliers they engage with. But really importantly, the available data points alone are gonna differ between what you're doing in your own operations and some of your key suppliers, and then some of your further along ones. And due diligence, I think is really, really key.

0:30:38.7 Maria Knapp: Supply chain due diligence is really key. As I said, anyway, in some countries, it's gonna be mandatory, and in the European Union, under certain conditions, it's gonna be mandatory anyway, so it's kinda non-optional. Within that, there's a spectrum. So there's baseline screening, which you would use anyway for your sanctions exposure and for financial crime exposure and things of that nature, political exposed persons list, etcetera. That now increasingly, and certainly in our approach, covers also key ES and G issues, you can do a pretty good baseline screening of your supply and value chain. So, there's sort of no excuse, I guess. But obviously some of the issues related to especially social performance, and unless there's been an environmental incident, are really hard to pick up in that kind of screening, so it does leave a lot of blanks. So, there are much more in-depth versions of that in deeper due diligence.

0:31:55.8 Maria Knapp: Well, I guess one of the things that's probably worth highlighting is, or the approach we've taken is to say to companies, "Look at what you're already doing and look at what you're already... The information you're already gathering about your suppliers and your broader value chain and work with that," 'cause there's a lot in the kind of questionnaires that our clients are already sending out to suppliers. You can enhance those taking a sector and industry lens and an ESG-specific lens and really get a whole lot more out of that. So there are really efficient approaches to that. We also increasingly use interviews with key stakeholders and supplier management teams. And I think that that's a process and evolution, you can't always get access to that of course. Then, if these are business-critical suppliers of a really significant footprint or profile, we do a lot more on-the-ground audits.

0:33:00.3 Maria Knapp: And companies are starting to exercise their audit rights with a view to ESG assessments, whereas previously you might have done that pre-MNA or pre-JV, or mostly the financial crime side of things. Now companies are saying, "Well, go have a look around," look at their operations, how are employees treated, talk to local communities, get a read on what that situation is. But I think, as you said, we work with companies where issues arise that are not first-line. So, you and I in our previous conversations have talked about a mining company that we worked with, where there were certain allegations related to their first line supply chain and the use of child labor.

0:34:01.8 Maria Knapp: When we went in to help them, we discovered through on-the-ground investigations and through on-the-ground interviews, not only with their own people but with the community around, that actually, it wasn't their first line supply chain, there were issues with child labor and children working in the third line supply chain, working after school as a derivative of the agricultural sector that intersected with this mining company's operations.

0:34:35.7 Cindy Moehring: Yeah. So, wait, how did we get from first line, and what would first line have been for them too? And then what was second, and then you said you found the problem actually in the third line, so what... What are each of those?

0:34:46.6 Maria Knapp: So, first line is your direct suppliers. So if you're in the manufacturing industry, you're getting Chinese raw materials, you're in the Middle Eastern or South American infrastructure sector, you are working with labor agencies that are bringing on workers. You're working in, I guess, to give a more benign example, you buy printer paper from a US printer paper supplier, those are your direct suppliers. Let's take the paper, I'm pretty sure... Although probably categorize as pretty low risk, they have a pulp supplier potentially, and they're first testing that, that's the second line.

0:35:37.2 Cindy Moehring: Got it.

0:35:38.7 Maria Knapp: And gosh, I don't know what their first line suppliers would be, but I think probably pulp and ... But you see what I mean?

0:35:46.1 Cindy Moehring: It goes back further and further.

0:35:50.3 Maria Knapp: Exactly.

0:35:50.3 Cindy Moehring: Yeah, so the mining company actually had a third, it's... As you chase that, trace that supply chain back to the component, the materials within the component, potentially the raw materials, it gets further and further back. Is that right?

0:36:05.1 Maria Knapp: That's exactly right. So this mining company had suppliers of raw materials, but those raw materials were then actually supplied by a number of different companies. And some of those companies were getting those raw materials from the agricultural sector because the raw materials were a derivative product of working the ground for agricultural businesses, and they were sort of taken out of the agricultural supply chain and passed over to the mining supply chain. This was really kind of far, far away from them, which means it's a lot trickier to tackle, but there's a lot of options to companies that ultimately will just come from finding out in the detail what's going on, that just basically that the solution will be different in every case, but it will come from really understanding what's happening on the ground, really understanding the social dynamics, and how they're relating to your business and the impact of your own activities on that local ecosystem. And I think it's really important to think about impact. I think the other thing that's really important when you're thinking about your supply and value chain is companies have got to calibrate and triage and prioritize, and take a risk-led approach to this.

0:37:36.2 Cindy Moehring: Yeah, absolutely, right.

0:37:37.7 Maria Knapp: As you will... As will be familiar for those of us who worked in compliance for a long time and third-party management, so companies will differentiate between their supplier risk levels from low to high, typically according to the supplier's activities, the risk linked to externalities and operating environments and that can be countries. And then their significance in the supply chain. So, going back to the the printer paper supplier, you would treat with probably a lower level of caution than your Chinese raw material supplier.

0:38:16.8 Cindy Moehring: Right, right.

0:38:17.5 Maria Knapp: And that's an important part of the process, 'cause I think otherwise it can be quite overwhelming to know... The question isn't only how deep I need to go, but how deep I need to look at each one of my first line suppliers. And they're gonna be the priority.

0:38:33.7 Cindy Moehring: This has been a fabulous conversation, Maria. And before we leave it, there's one last question that I wanna ask you. So, for companies, somebody within a company that is just getting started here and wants to learn a little bit more, or a student who wants to perhaps go a little bit deeper, do you have any good recommendations on resources, either some books or a podcast series, or maybe a documentary, something that they could watch?

0:38:57.7 Maria Knapp: Yeah, I do. I have a bunch, actually. So, I think learning resources, I think the SaaS v101 trainings that are free on their website are actually really neat compliment to academic training and academic learning. They're really quite practical and available to everyone, which is super. I subscribe to The Financial Times Moral Money Newsletter. Again, I mentioned when we started, I think it's really important to understand what the financial sector is doing, and there's a lot of great, great, really understandable coverage of that in the Moral Money Newsletter. I listen to podcasts developed by a company called Re: Co, Re: Co and Co, which is called The Future in Sound. And they cover quite a wide range of issues when it comes to ESG theory, implementation, ratings, the whole gamut. And then I'll plug our own podcast series, which is the Legal and Compliance Insights podcast series at Control Risks, a whole series on ESG.

0:40:20.7 Cindy Moehring: Awesome.

0:40:24.6 Maria Knapp: Yeah, there's just so much out there. I think...

0:40:26.1 Cindy Moehring: There is.

0:40:29.2 Maria Knapp: It's almost like, "Well, how do you whittle it down?"

0:40:29.9 Cindy Moehring: Right, right, right. Which is why I love to ask those who are deep into the field and experts, where do they go, where do they get their information? Because I think that it's helpful to somebody who's trying to get started to know that they've grasped on to a resource that others use who are deep in the profession. So thank you for sharing that. And thank you so much for your time today, Maria. This has just been a fabulous episode, so much learning, so much, I just... I can't thank you enough, I appreciate your time.

0:41:00.4 Maria Knapp: I'm excited to hear the other podcasts in the series.

0:41:03.6 Cindy Moehring: It'll be great. Thanks, Maria. Bye-bye.

0:41:05.2 Maria Knapp: Bye.


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Since its founding at the University of Arkansas in 1926, the Sam M. Walton College of Business has grown to become the state's premier college of business – as well as a nationally competitive business school. Learn more...

Business Integrity Leadership Initiative

The initiative strives to foster a culture of integrity, and promote thought leadership and inquiry among scholars, students, and business leaders to address the ethical challenges inherent in our increasingly complex business world. Learn more...

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