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Super funds-backed carbon risk startup Emmi lands high profile company director Catherine Brenner as investor

Emmi, a carbon risk management startup that lets institutional investors improve their understanding of how financially exposed they are to carbon risks, has launched after attracting a series of high profile investors to join its board. 

Tim Samway, chair of Hyperion Asset Management, Coca-Cola Amatil and Boral director Catherine Brenner and Startmate investor Patrick Sieb have all chipped in, alongside leading super funds, with the trio also joining the Emmi board.

The level of investment was not disclosed.

The venture, which took part in the Startmate Accelerator program, was founded by Melbourne-based chartered financial analyst Michael Lebbon, and UNSW climate academic and serial startup founder Dr Ben McNeil to focus on finding a way to bring carbon risk into the financial mainstream.

Lebbon, Emmi’s CEO, said that while many companies and investors are committed to sustainability, they struggle to assess their carbon exposure risk and how effective is their strategy for reducing financial exposure to carbon.

“I started Emmi because of a realisation: that government is not going to fix the climate crisis and finance has an immense amount of power to change the status quo but is not being incentivised to do anything, because carbon is being left out of the equation,” he said.

“By using the latest climate science to bring carbon into the financial mainstream, our intention is that Emmi will fill a big gaping hole in the financial analytical toolkit and will accelerate the global financial transition needed to avoid the worst-case scenarios of climate change.”

Tim King, chief investment officer at Melior Investment Management, said that there was a paucity of what’s known as “Scope 3” emissions (made by customers) – disclosures by companies and Emmi’s analysis means they can report actual emissions, rather than rely on estimates.

“Emmi provides an objective methodology to assess a company’s carbon risk and compatibility with net zero emissions according to specific carbon budgets,” he said.

Liza McDonald, head of responsible investments at Aware Super, said Emmi’s insights ensure the fund’s investments are sustainable.

“We view climate change as the most significant financial risk to our portfolio and to our members’ long-term financial future. We have been responding to these risks in an active and coordinated way since 2015 and have set ambitious targets and goals for how we will achieve net zero by 2050,” she said.

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