Can Investors Anticipate the Impacts of Climate Change on Equities?

427 ANALYSIS – The physical impacts of climate change drive millions of dollars of losses for corporations every year, as experienced by Honda and Toyota during the 2011 floods in Thailand. Investors equipped with data on corporate production facilities and climate projections can manage their risk exposure more effectively and reduce downside risk.

Risk is one of the most widely understood and discussed components of the investment management process today. Informed tradeoffs of risk and return are fundamental to modern investment practices across asset classes and investment styles.  And yet, an important dimension of risk – physical risk from companies’ exposure to climate volatility – has yet to find its way into the mainstream investment process.

Monsoons Damage Automobile Manufacturers

Climate change’s influence on economies, sectors and companies is an increasingly important factor in identifying and balancing the tradeoffs between risk and return.  For example, the heavy monsoon season that led to severe flooding across Thailand in late June 2011 through December, inundated 30,000 square kilometersand caused widespread economic damage. Automobile manufacturers such as Toyota and Honda were particularly affected by suspended operations and supply chain disruptions, which led to reduced production internationally and affected global sales and profitability long after the rains stopped.

Figure 1. Honda and Toyota facilities’ exposure to extreme rainfall. Orange dots represent facilities with higher risk.

As shown in Figure 1, both companies possess a diversified set of production facilities in the area affected by the flooding, including stamping facilities and sub-component manufacturers, which do not only service downstream processes in Thailand but in other production centers as well. These same facilities all score high for extreme rainfall in our global corporate facility database, signaling high vulnerability to flood risk for Honda and Toyota – a risk that will only worsen in the future.

Figure 2. Japanese Automobile & Components Manufacturers’ exposure to sea level rise by facility. Red indicates high sea level risk, while green represents lower risk.

Sea Level Rise in Japan

Investors must also anticipate forward-looking risks – what will climate change bring, and which companies are most affected? Understanding and preparing for volatility in returns requires an in-depth awareness of a company’s facilities and the climate risks which those facilities face.  Given their global footprint, many businesses are exposed to diverse hazards such as extreme heat, water stress, cyclones and sea level rise, in addition to extreme precipitation. Thus, the factors we include to model a company’s physical risk to climate change include the sector characteristics, operational needs and the regional conditions where facilities are located. While flood damage and manufacturing delays in Thailand damaged Honda and Toyota, Figure 2. shows these companies are also exposed to sea level rise at hundreds of facilities in their home market of Japan.

Assessing Companies’ Exposure to Climate Risk

Our data interweaves climate analytics with financial markets data to provide a robust view of companies’ risks and identify those that are less likely to experience financial losses due to increasingly frequent extreme weather events. Facility-level assessment of these risks is an intensely data-driven exercise that requires the combination of terabytes of data from climate models with information on complex company structures. We translate this analysis into a clear result to inform financial strategy. Armed with this understanding, investors and corporations alike can achieve a new and more valuable balance of risk and return.

Figure 3. Global exposure to water stress of all facilities in Four Twenty Seven’s database.

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Four Twenty Seven’s ever-growing database now includes close to one million corporate sites and covers over 1800 publicly-traded companies. We offer equity risk scoring and real asset screening services to help investors and corporations leverage this data.

 

  1. Emma L. Gale and Mark A. Saunders, “The 2011 Thailand Flood: Climate Causes and Return Periods,” Weather 68, no. 9 (2013): 233–37.

Newsletter: New Report on Climate Risk in Infrastructure Investments

 

 

Four Twenty Seven’s monthly newsletter highlights recent developments in climate adaptation and resilience. This month, don’t miss funding opportunities for local adaptation and a closer look at resilient infrastructure! 

In Focus: Infrastructure Resilience

Lenders’ Guide: Considering Climate Risk in Infrastructure Investments


Climate change poses multifaceted physical risks for infrastructure investors, including decreasing revenue due to operational capacity limits, increasing maintenance costs from physical damage, decreasing asset value, and increasing liability and debt. Four Twenty Seven, with our partners Acclimatise and Climate Finance Advisers, published today the Lenders’ Guide for Considering Climate Risk in Infrastructure Investments.” This new report provides banking institutions and infrastructure investors with a brief introduction to the ways that physical climate risks can affect infrastructure investment. The guide includes ten illustrative “snapshots” describing climate change considerations in example sub-industries such as commercial real estate, power plants, and hospitals.

Read Lender’s Guide

Built to Last

The Union of Concerned Scientists’ white paper, Built to Last: Challenges and Opportunities for Climate-Smart Infrastructure in California, responds to Executive Order B-30-15, which mandates that state agencies plan for climate change. The paper makes suggestions for policies that support resilient infrastructure with co-benefits for human and ecosystem health and mitigation. Recommendations cover tools and standards, financial assessments and institutional capacity building.

Read the White Paper

How to Incorporate Climate in Local Planning

Local Adaptation Planning: Four Twenty Seven’s Process Guide

United States cities face increasing challenges from climate change impacts and increasing legislation requiring that they prepare for these impacts. Through our work assisting eight cities in Alameda County in responding to California’s Senate Bill No. 379 Land Use: General Plan: Safety Element (Jackson) (SB 379), Four Twenty Seven developed a streamlined process to support local governments’ efforts to integrate climate risks into key planning efforts, such as local hazard mitigation plans, general plans and climate action plans. SB 379 requires cities and counties in California to incorporate adaptation and resilience strategies into General Plan Safety Elements and Local Hazard Mitigation Plans starting in 2017.

Four Twenty Seven’s Process Guide for Local Adaptation Planning outlines two steps for effective climate adaptation planning: 1) a hazard assessment to determine vulnerability and 2) identification of appropriate adaptation options.

Read the Process Guide

“Planning and Investing for a Resilient California” – Guidance Document

As fires and floods rage up and down the coast and lives and livelihoods are lost and damaged, the call for resilience feels increasingly urgent each day. A resilient California is a state with strong infrastructure, communities and natural systems that can withstand increasingly volatile conditions.
To support the implementation of  Executive Order B-30-15, mandating that state agencies plan for climate change, the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research released “Planning and Investing for a Resilient California,” a guidance document outlining strategies to include climate adaptation in decision-making. Four Twenty Seven CEO Emilie Mazzacurati served on the Technical Advisory Group that wrote the report.

The guide outlines four steps for integrating climate into decisions: characterizing climate risk, analyzing climate risk, making climate-informed decisions and monitoring progress. Ending with a closer look at investing in resilient infrastructure, the document provides actionable guidelines for building a resilient California.

Read the Guidance Document

Climate Change Threatens City Credit Ratings

“What we want people to realize is: If you’re exposed, we know that. We’re going to ask questions about what you’re doing to mitigate that exposure,” Lenny Jones, a managing director at Moody’s was quoted by Bloomberg. “That’s taken into your credit ratings.” Jones is explaining the thinking behind a recent Moody’s report that urged cities and states to act upon their climate risk or face potential credit downgrades. Moody’s is not the only credit agency in this conversation, as others including Standard & Poor’s are increasingly publicizing their inclusion of climate risk in credit ratings.These steps by rating agencies may provide the extra impetus that municipalities need to examine their climate risks and take action.

Four Twenty Seven conducts research on urban resilience to climate risks and offers real asset screening and portfolio analytics to help investors identify and respond to risks in their portfolios.

Funding Opportunities and Finance Guide

Resilient by Design Finance Guide

The recently published Finance Guide for Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge Design Teams, for challenge participants, outlines traditional funding resources for infrastructure in California and describes other potential funding opportunities that have not traditionally been used for this purpose. It also highlights requirements particular to this state.

Funding Opportunities

The California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) is accepting grant proposals for funding from Proposition 1. Priorities for this funding include projects that address sea level rise, benefit marine managed areas, support fishery infrastructure that protects ecosystems, and reduce the risk of communities to hazardous sites threatened by flooding. Find all relevant information on OPC’s Prop 1 website.

The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) has initiated a Hazard Mitigation Grant Program for federally recognized tribes, local governments, nonprofits and state agencies to implement FEMA approved Local Hazard Mitigation Plans.Deadline: January 30, 2018.

Inside the Office at Four Twenty Seven

Meet Andrew Tom, Business Data Analyst

Four Twenty Seven is proud to announce the addition of Andrew Tom to our team. Andrew supports the business data extraction process used in analyzing climate risk for companies and financial markets.

Previously, Andrew led development of various data science projects and prototypes involving machine learning techniques, natural language processing and graph networks. He has also worked in the California State Legislature and in nonprofit leadership capacities.

Upcoming Events

Join the Four Twenty Seven team in the field at these upcoming events:

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Lenders’ Guide for Considering Climate Risk in Infrastructure Investments

Climate change poses multifaceted physical risks for infrastructure investors, affecting revenue, maintenance costs, asset value and liability. According to the New Climate Economy report, global demand for new infrastructure investment could be  over US$90 trillion between 2015 and 2017. It is becoming increasingly clear that climate change must be considered in all infrastructure investment and construction.

Four Twenty Seven, in collaboration with our partners Acclimatise and Climate Finance Advisers, published a “Lenders’ Guide for Considering Climate Risk in Infrastructure Investments” to explain the ways in which physical climate risks might affect key financial aspects of prospective infrastructure investments.

Climate Change and Infrastructure

The guide begins with a discussion of climate risk, acknowledging that climate change can also open opportunities such as improving resource efficiency, building resilience and developing new products. It provides a framework for questioning how revenues, costs, and assets can be linked to potential project vulnerability arising from climate hazards.

Revenues: Climate change can cause operational disruptions that lead to a decrease in business activities and thus decreased revenue. For example, higher temperatures alter airplanes’ aerodynamic performance and lead to a need for longer runways. In the face of consistently higher temperatures, airlines may seek airports with longer runways, shifting revenue from those that cannot provide the necessary facilities.

Costs/Expenditures: Extreme weather events can cause service disruptions, but can also damage infrastructure, requiring additional unplanned repair costs. For example, storms often lead to downed power lines which disrupts services but also necessitates that companies spend time and money to return the power lines to operating conditions.

Assets: Physical climate impacts can decrease value of tangible assets by damaging infrastructure and potentially shortening its lifetime. Intangible assets can be negatively impacted by damages to brand image and reputation through repeated service disruptions.

Liabilities: Climate change is likely to pose increasing liability risk as disclosure and preparation requirements become more widespread. As infrastructure is damaged and regulations evolve, companies may face increased insurance premiums and costs associated with retrofitting infrastructure and ensuring compliance.

Capital and Financing: As expenditures increase in the face of extreme weather events, debt is also likely to increase. Likewise, as operations and revenues are impacted and asset values decrease, capital raising may become more difficult.

The guide also draws attention to the potential opportunities emerging from resilience-oriented investments in infrastructure. There are both physical and financial strategies that can be leveraged to manage climate-related risks, such as replacing copper cables with more resilient fiber-optic ones and creating larger debt service and maintenance reserves.

Climate Risks and Opportunities: Sub-Sector Snapshots

The guide includes ten illustrative “snapshots” describing climate change considerations in the example sub-industries of Gas and Oil Transport and Storage; Power Transmission and Distribution; Wind-Based Power Distribution; Telecommunications; Data Centers; Commercial Real Estate; Healthcare; and Sport and Entertainment. Each snapshot includes a description of the sub-sector, an estimation of its global potential market, examples of observed impacts on specific assets, and potential financial impacts from six climate-related hazards: temperature, sea-level rise, precipitation & flood, storms, drought and water stress.

Commercial real-estate, for example, refers to properties used only for business purposes and includes office spaces, restaurants, hotels, stores, gas stations and others. By 2030 this market is expected to exceed US $1 trillion per annum compared to $450 billion per annum in 2012. Climate impacts for this sub-sector include hazard-specific risks and also include the general risk factor of climate-driven migration which drives shifts in supply and demand in the real estate market.

As heat waves increase in frequency, people will likely seek refuge in cool public buildings, leading to increasing property values for those places such as shopping malls that provide air-conditioned spaces for community members. Increasing frequency and intensity of storms may damage commercial infrastructure, leading to recovery costs and increased insurance costs. Real estate managers may have to make additional investments in water treatment facilities to ensure the viability of their assets in regions faced with decreased water availability. An example of the financial impacts of climate change on this sub-sector can be seen in Houston after Hurricane Harvey. After the hurricane hit Texas in August 2017, approximately 27% of Houston commercial real estate was impacted by flooding and these 12,000 properties were worth about US$55 billion.

Download the Lenders’ Guide. 

For more guidance on investing for resilience, read the Planning and Investing for a Resilient California guidance document and the GARI Investor Guide to Physical Climate Risk and Resilience.

Planning and Investing for a Resilient California – Guidance Document

Climate change impacts are already being felt in California and will continue to affect populations, infrastructure and businesses in the coming years. A resilient California is a state with strong infrastructure, communities and natural systems that can withstand increasingly volatile conditions. Executive Order B-30-15, signed by Gov. Brown in April 2015,  mandates that all state agencies must consider climate change and that they must receive guidance on how to effectively do so.

To support the implementation of this Executive Order, the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research released last week “Planning and Investing for a Resilient California,” a guidance document outlining strategies to include climate adaptation in decision-making. Four Twenty Seven CEO Emilie Mazzacurati served on the Technical Advisory Group that wrote the report, which aims to provide guidance for state agencies to both plan for future climate conditions and also conduct planning itself in a new way.

The guide outlines four steps for integrating climate into decisions and then looks specifically at investing in resilient infrastructure, providing actionable guidelines for building a resilient California.

Four Steps to Planning for Resilience

1. Characterize climate risk

  • Determine the scale and scope of climate risk, ranking it as low, moderate or high impact.
  • Identify the vulnerability of impacted communities and systems, ranking them as adaptable, moderately adaptable or vulnerable.
  • Define the nature of the risk,  ranking it as temporary, limiting or permanent.
  • Identify the economic impacts of the risk, ranking them as low, medium or high.

2. Analyze climate risk

  • Determine which emissions scenario (RCP) to plan for: the higher the risk identified in step 1, the higher the necessary RCP scenario.
  • Determine complexity of uncertainty analysis needed: the higher the risk, the more important the uncertainty analysis.
  • If a project is in a current coastal zone, or a location that will be coastal by 2050 or 2100, planning must account for sea level rise.
  • Worst case scenarios should be identified for reference, but don’t need to be planned for.
  • Cal-Adapt is an interactive online tool, displaying climate impacts by hazard, with downloadable downscaled data.

3. Make climate-informed decisions, by using resilient design guidelines

  • Prioritize approaches that integrate adaptation and mitigation.
  • Prioritize actions that promote equity and community resilience.
  • Coordinate with local and regional agencies, including governments and community based organizations.
  • Prioritize actions that use natural infrastructure.
  • Base all choices on the best science.

4. Track and Monitor Progress

  • Develop metrics and report regularly to foster transparency and accountability.

Case Study: California Water Plan 2013

Several state agencies are already integrating climate change into their planning. The Department of Water Resources used a scenarios approach to capture uncertainty in climate, but also in demographics, economic change and land use. Examining 22 different climate scenarios, analyzing different temperature and precipitation possibilities and accounting for growth uncertainty, the agency looked at 198 possible futures. This allowed them to examine different possible management approaches and how they may reduce certain vulnerabilities. This quantitative estimate provided a range of future conditions and possible strategies for the agency to consider in its planning.

Infrastructure Investment

The state of California invests in infrastructure through funding of onsite renewable energy and telecommunications, providing financial assistance to projects not owned by the state and providing capital for all steps of infrastructure development owned by the state. Regardless of the type of investment, climate change impacts must be considered. It’s important to first determine if there is a way to accomplish a goal by using natural infrastructure. Assessing the potential for natural infrastructure can be done by examining the landscape, exploring Cal-Adapt’s projections for the area, analyzing potential co-benefits such as improved ecological services or water health and consulting with other groups. It’s important to compare the risk reduction and complete costs and benefits of the natural infrastructure approach with the non-natural alternative. Using full life-cycle accounting, that considers all of the costs from a project including building, operating, maintaining and also deconstructing, is essential for evaluating proposed projects. Prioritizing infrastructure with climate benefits and integrating the resilient decision making principles will ensure that investments are resilient and climate-conscious.

Download the full report.

This guidance document is a continuation of California’s ongoing leadership in climate adaptation, which includes Senate Bill No. 379 Land Use: General Plan: Safety Element, passed in 2015. This bill mandates that every city must include adaptation and resilience strategies in General Plan Safety Elements and Local Hazard Mitigation Plans by 2017. Read about Four Twenty Seven’s work helping cities in Alameda County implement these requirements and learn about our advisory services for adaptation planning, policy consulting and vulnerability assessments.

 

 

 

Newsletter: Climate Risk in Financial Portfolios, COP23 and Workforce Adaptation

Four Twenty Seven’s monthly newsletter highlights recent developments in climate adaptation and resilience. This month, don’t miss our white paper on physical climate risk in equity portfolios, French President Macron’s op-ed on climate finance, and our policy recommendations on protecting workers from climate health impacts. Also, be sure to check out our new website!

In Focus: Physical Risk in Financial Portfolios

Figure 4. Extreme Precipitation Risk for Facilities from France’s Benchmark Index CAC40

Four Twenty Seven and Deutsche Asset Management jointly released today at COP23 a white paper featuring a new approach to climate risk management in equity portfolios. The white paper, Measuring Physical Climate Risk in Equity Portfolios, showcases Four Twenty Seven’s Equity Risk Scoring methodology, which identifies hotspots in investment portfolios by assessing the geographic exposure of publicly-traded companies to climate change. Our methodology tackles physical risk head on by identifying the locations of corporate sites around the world and then the vulnerability of these corporate production and retail sites to climate change, such as sea level rise, droughts, flooding and tropical storms, which pose an immediate threat to investment portfolios.

Deutsche Asset Management is leveraging Four Twenty Seven’s Equity Risk Scores to satisfy institutional investors’ growing desire for more climate resilient portfolios and design new investment strategies. “This report is a major step forward to addressing a serious and growing risk that investors face. To keep advancing our efforts, we believe the investment industry needs to champion the disclosure of once-in-a-lifetime climate risks by companies so we can assess these risks even more accurately going forward,” said Nicolas Moreau, Head of Deutsche Asset Management.

Read the white paper

France on the Forefront of Climate Finance

French President Emmanuel Macron emphasizes his support for the Taskforce on Climate Related Financial Disclosure’s (TCFD) recommendations in an op-ed published on Global Markets. Macron also highlighted the importance of climate finance mechanisms, such as green bonds, and the need for private participation in financing climate action.

 

France has been heralded as a global leader on climate risk disclosure with the passage of the Energy Transition Law, including Article 173, which includes a requirement for financial institutions to disclose their exposure to physical climate risk. Four Twenty Seven is working with French public pension funds and screening equity portfolios to support reporting efforts in compliance with Art. 173.

Adaptation: Safeguarding Worker Health & Safety

Four Twenty Seven co-authored an article titled “Safeguarding Worker Health and Safety from a Changing Climate: Delaware’s Climate-Ready Workforce Pilot Project,” with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. Through interviews, surveys, and policy analysis assessing the climate resilience of existing worker health and safety policies, the authors examine the preparedness of five state agencies for climate impacts. The article highlights particular risks faced by vulnerable workers and offers policy recommendations for enhancing resilience to ensure the safety and well-being of agency staff.

Visit our website for a detailed presentation on the Delaware Climate-Ready Workforce Pilot Project, the summary report, and more information about our adaptation planning and policy consulting.

International Climate Policy in the Spotlight

Four Twenty Seven’s Director of Analytics, Nik Steinberg’s panels at COP23

Measuring Progress on Climate Adaptation and Resilience: From Concepts to Practical Applications
Nov. 7, 3:00 – 4:30pm, Meeting Room 7 (150)Director of Analytics, Nik Steinberg will join a panel of experts discussing adaptation measurement, focusing on indicators and metrics to inform and assess resilience efforts. This side event will be hosted by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), McGill University and the University of Notre Dame.

Resilience as a Business: How the Private Sector Can Turn Climate Risk into Business and Investment  Nov. 10, 5:30 – 8:00pm, Hilton Bonn

Bringing together corporate stakeholders and private investors, this event will explore the private sector’s pivotal role in mainstreaming adaptation and driving the resilience agenda.

Speakers include: Representative from Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry of Japan; Mari Yoshitaka from Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. Ltd.; Jay Koh from Lightsmith Group and GARI;  Nik Steinberg from Four Twenty Seven; and Amal-Lee Amin from Inter-American Development Bank. For more information contact proadapt@fomin.org.

Tool: Monitoring Progress on the Paris Agreement


This interactive new platform developed by the The World Resources Institute combines climate policy data with interactive graphics to help analysts and policy makers stay up to date on nationally determined contributions (NDCs), greenhouse gas emissions by sector and more. Climate Watch allows users to sort data based on various indicators, examine connections between NDCs and Sustainable Development Goals, and dive into data on specific nations.

Inside the Office: What’s New at Four Twenty Seven

We Have a New Website!

With streamlined navigation and updated visuals, our new website brings our story alive and allows for a more engaging user experience.
Visit the Solutions page to explore our advisory services and subscription products, including Equity Risk Scores, Portfolio Analytics and Real Asset Screening.
Check out the Insights section for our perspectives on climate resilience, climate risk reporting, adaptation finance, climate science and recent events.

Meet Pete Dickson, Director of Business Development

Four Twenty Seven is proud to announce the addition of Pete Dickson to our team. As the Director of Business Development, Pete is responsible for driving growth for our subscription products, with a focus on financial institutions.
Pete brings more than 20 years of experience in institutional sales, trading, and business development. He’s worked with both the buy-side and sell-side to develop and execute business plans and build revenue, products, and services. Pete has worked with some of the largest financial services and asset management firms in the US and abroad.

Upcoming Events

Join the Four Twenty Seven team in the field at these upcoming events:

  • November 7-17  COP23, Bonn, Germany: Join Director of Analytics Nik Steinberg at side events at the UNFCCC’s 23rd Conference of Parties (See above for details).
  • November 12-15  Airports Going Green, Dallas, TX: Director of Advisory Services Yoon Hui Kim will present on corporate climate resilience planning for airports and transportation infrastructure.
  • November 16-17 Berkeley Sustainable Business and Investment Forum, Berkeley, CA: COO Colin Shaw will attend this event sponsored by the Berkeley-Haas Center for Responsible Business and the Berkeley Law School
  • November 30 Roundtable: Investing with Impact, San Francisco, CA: CEO Emilie Mazzacurati will speak at a roundtable organized by Deutsche Asset Management about the use of ESG data in portfolio investing (by invitation).
  • December 6-7  RI Americas 2017, New York, NY: CEO Emilie Mazzacurati will present on Physical Climate Risk in Equity Portfolios (Wednesday Dec 6 at 2pm) and meet with Colin Shaw, Pete Dickson and Katy Maher at the Four Twenty Seven booth.
  • December 11  Climate Finance Day, Paris, France: CEO Emilie Mazzacurati will join this high profile event sponsored by the French Ministry for the Economy and Finance.
  • December 11-15  AGU Fall Meeting, New Orleans, LA: Climate Data Analyst Colin Gannon will join the Earth and Space Science community to present a poster on climate modeling.

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Physical Climate Risk in Equity Portfolios – White Paper

At COP23 Four Twenty Seven and Deutsche Asset Management jointly released a white paper featuring a new approach to climate risk management in equity portfolios. Measuring Physical Climate Risk in Equity Portfolios showcases Four Twenty Seven’s Equity Risk Scoring methodology, which identifies hotspots in investment portfolios by assessing the geographic exposure of publicly-traded companies to climate change. Our methodology tackles physical risk head on by identifying the locations of corporate production and retail sites around the world and their vulnerability to climate change hazards, such as sea level rise, droughts, floods and tropical storms, which pose an immediate threat to investment portfolios.

Deutsche Asset Management is leveraging Four Twenty Seven’s Equity Risk Scores to satisfy institutional investors’ growing desire for more climate resilient portfolios and design new investment strategies. “This report is a major step forward to addressing a serious and growing risk that investors face. To keep advancing our efforts, we believe the investment industry needs to champion the disclosure of once-in-a-lifetime climate risks by companies so we can assess these risks even more accurately going forward,” said Nicolas Moreau, Head of Deutsche Asset Management.

Methodology

Four Twenty Seven’s equity scoring methodology includes Operations Risk, Supply Chain Risk and Market Risk:

  • Operations Risk involves screening thousands of facilities for their exposure to climate risks.
  • Supply Chain Risk assesses both the climate risk in countries that produce a company’s materials and the sensitivity of a company’s industry to climate-related resources such as water and land.
  • Market Risk captures how a company’s consumers may change their behavior due to climate variability.

Since different industries will respond to climate hazards differently, the analysis includes both geographic location and business sensitivity. For Operations Risk, Four Twenty Seven screens each corporate site for its exposure and sensitivity to a set of climate hazards that include extreme precipitation, sea level rise, hurricanes, heat stress, water stress and wildfires. To calculate Supply Chain Risk and  Market Risk, Four Twenty Seven uses companies’ financial data, such as revenues and production. The image below shows an example of extreme precipitation risk for 68,000 corporate sites belonging to France’s benchmark index CAC40 (France’s 40 largest public companies).

Findings

This comprehensive, data-driven scoring effort culminates in a composite physical risk score that allows for comparison and benchmarking of equities and indices.  This integrated measure provides a point of entry to understand and address climate risk, engage with corporations and identify risk mitigation strategies.

The white paper includes a relative ranking of CAC40 companies, as shown below.

Climate Risk in Asia

Asia is particularly vulnerable to climate change. Five out of six people in Asia live in climate hotspots. The Asian Development Bank warned that, without mitigation action, Asia will experience temperature rise of six degrees centigrade by the end of the century. Of extreme concern is the region’s vulnerability to sea level rise. For example, China leads the world in terms of coastal risk, with 145 million people and economic assets located on land threatened by rising seas.

To better understand the implications of these projections for financial markets, Four Twenty Seven mapped the physical climate risks for 500 large and mid-cap constituents of an Asia ex-Japan listed equity index. We found that many companies are highly vulnerable to sea level rise in the region. China’s Pearl River Delta is already experiencing a higher than average rate of sea level rise and has many assets that would be exposed to flood risk in a two-meter flood scenario (see below). Many of these are energy assets which are long-lived and high value capital assets that cannot easily be relocated, requiring protection from rising seas if they are not decommissioned.

An explicit example of the economic impacts of extreme weather events and the resulting damage to assets can be seen in the Thailand floods of 2011. This event led to vast repercussions across industries, including car manufacturers, Thailand’s rice industry and even tourism. While these events were most damaging in Thailand, negative impacts were felt internationally. For example, the production of hard drive manufacturers like Toshiba and Western Digital was stalled due to the floods, which affected companies like Lenovo that depend on Asian manufacturing.

Accessing our Data

Four Twenty Seven’s ever-growing database now includes close to one million corporate sites and covers over 1800 publicly-traded companies. We offer subscription products and advisory services to access this unique dataset. Options include data feeds, an interactive analytics platform and company scorecards, as well as custom portfolio analysis and benchmarking.

Read the White Paper and contact us for more information about our products for financial institutions and corporations.

Newsletter: How will we pay for climate adaptation?

 

 

Extreme Storms Highlight Need for Disaster Preparation and Recovery Financing

The need for climate resilience financing could not be more visible than it has been in recent weeks. While Hurricane Harvey has weakened after dumping unprecedented amounts of rain on southeast Texas, residents in Houston and along the Gulf Coast are looking at a long recovery from widespread flooding. Around the world, monsoons in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal have affected over 41 million people, killing at least 1,000. These examples highlight the rising costs of intensifying extreme weather events.
Yet, funding and policies to aid preparation for and recovery from disasters are not keeping up. At the U.S. federal level, the National Flood Insurance Program is in debt (in part from payouts following Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy), and is facing a deadline for reauthorization. As it stands, the Program’s current access to funds is unlikely to be enough to cover the impending claims from Harvey’s damage. One proposal for restructuring the program would make repeatedly-flooded homes ineligible for federal coverage, even though 1.3 million households in the U.S have made multiple claims since 1998, and Houston specifically has seen a 500-year flood in each of the last three years. The storms have created a new urgency for lawmakers to address how cities are rebuilt for climate resilience.

DC Water’s Environmental Impact Bond to Finance Green Infrastructure

With calls from the federal government for states and cities to take on a greater portion of disaster relief costs, Washington, DC’s Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water) issued the country’s first Environmental Impact Bond in September 2016 to construct green infrastructure to manage stormwater runoff and improve water quality. Under the $25 million bond, payments are tied to performance: if the green infrastructure reduces stormwater runoff by more than 41.3% during its first 12 months, DC Water will pay investors Goldman Sachs and Calvert Foundation a one-time additional payment of $3.3 million. However, if runoff reductions are less than 18.6%, investors will make a one-time Risk Share Payment of $3.3 million. Read the US Environmental Protection Agency’s summary of DC Water’s Environmental Impact Bond.

San Francisco’s Innovative Tax for Flood Protection and Wetlands Restoration

In the San Francisco Bay Area, voters approved the San Francisco Bay Clean Water, Pollution Prevents, and Habitat Restoration Measure (Measure AA) in June 2016, levying a $12 parcel tax to support programs protecting the wetlands and shoreline around the Bay. This is the first parcel tax in California history to apply throughout a multi-county region, and serves as a useful example of how such a tax can be used to address sea level rise issues through nature-based solutions. Measure AA will raise approximately $500 million over 20 years for the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority to grant in support of projects that will implement wetlands restoration efforts that provide multiple benefits including flood protection. Potential projects for the Restoration Authority to fund include the creation of sea level rise resilient tidal marshes, shorelines, and sea walls around the Bay. The first round of grants will be announced in early 2018, with the hope that these funds can be leveraged for additional state and federal funding. Read more about the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority.

Promoting Investments in Adaptation Through Technology Transfer

To demonstrate to market and financial institutions the viability of climate resilience investments in Tajikistan, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has partnered with the Climate Investment Funds’ Pilot Program for Climate Resilience to implement the Tajikistan Climate Resilience Financing Facility (CLIMADAPT). CLIMADAPT offers loans through local partner financial institutions to businesses, farmers and households to develop and use technologies to improve water and energy efficiency and land management practices. Projects under CLIMADAPT promote building of climate-resilient supply chains, and include modernization of technologies designed to address Tajikistan’s main climate change-related challenges of water and energy shortage, and increased soil erosion. Learn more about CLIMADAPT.

The Role of Blended Finance in Promoting Climate Resilience

 

At the PROADAPT Symposium in April 2017, Emilie Mazzacurati moderated the panel “The Role of Blended Finance in Promoting Climate Resilience,” focused on methods to create new funding mechanisms to leverage public and philanthropic funding to raise private capital for environmentally-beneficial projects. Virginie Fayolle from Acclimatise kicked off the discussion by highlighting how blended finance can be an important way to direct money towards specific projects, locations, and sectors that might not otherwise see private sector interest.Stephen Morel from OPIC noted, however, that blended finance brings certain challenges, thus requiring mechanisms to support private investor engagement in three broad categories: technical assistance, risk underwriting, and market incentives. Stacy Swann from Climate Finance Advisors drew attention to the facts that the more climate resilient a project is the more finance opportunities it is likely to present and that a project that does not take climate risks into consideration probably is not bankable.

 

Joan Larrea from Convergence closed by speaking about externalities and how transactions can have a public good element as well as a financial return. One example was a grant awarded to The Nature Conservancy to help the government of Seychelles, which was extremely indebted but also had a strong interest in protecting its coral reefs and fisheries. By helping to reshape the government’s debt profile and getting returns for their investors, they were also able to extract commitments from the Seychelles to implement certain activities that over time would protect their reefs and designate new protected fishery zones.

Watch the full panel video

Meet The Team: Daniela Vargas Mallard

Yvonne BurgessFour Twenty Seven is proud to welcome Daniela Vargas Mallard as a Senior Analyst. Daniela leverages her dual background in business strategy and environmental sustainability to collaborate in the development of Four Twenty Seven’s products integrating financial, climate and socioeconomic data for investors and corporate users. Her work supports ongoing research, product development, and business strategy, as well as other special projects. Prior to joining Four Twenty Seven, Daniela spent two years as a Business Analyst at McKinsey & Company, where she worked in projects across multiple sectors, ranging from public health to oil and gas, and across geographies, from South Africa to Brazil, with a particular focus on corporate and government strategy.

Learn more about Daniela’s experience.

Join the Team!

Four Twenty Seven is hiring! We are looking for Business Data Analysts and Business Development Managers for Europe and the US: see the position descriptions.

Upcoming Events

Join the Four Twenty Seven team in the field at these upcoming events:

  • September 11-13: EcoAdapt’s Resilience Ecosystem Workshop (by invitation only), Silver Spring, MD: Nik Steinberg, Director of Analytics, will present on Four Twenty Seven’s work on climate and health.
  • September 12-13: AgriFin 2017 Forum, London, United Kingdom: Yoon Kim, Director of Advisory Services,will speak about integrating climate risk into financial decisions at the Financing Low-Carbon Resilience Agriculture global forum hosted by the World Bank.
  • September 18-24: Climate Week NYC 2017, New York, NY: Four Twenty Seven CEO Emilie Mazzacurati will participate to the Global Adaptation and Resilience Investors Working Group (9/18) and the Sustainable Investment Forum (9/19).
  • September 25-27: PRI in Person 2017, Berlin, Germany: Meet with Emilie Mazzacurati to discuss the integration of climate risk in financial markets.
  • September 27-28: Deutsche Asset Management Client Conference (by invitation only), Berlin, Germany: Emilie Mazzacurati will present on Four Twenty Seven’s groundbreaking work on modeling climate risk for public equities.
  • October 10-13: SOCAP 2017, San Francisco, California: Meet with Four Twenty Seven team members to discuss impact investments and adaptation finance.
  • November 7-17: COP23, Bonn, Germany: Join members of the Four Twenty Seven team at side events at the UNFCCC’s 23rd Conference of Parties.

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Case Study: Integrating Climate Risks into Local Planning in Alameda County

Integrating climate change considerations into local planning processes can be a daunting task. Climate data is complex, fragmented, and comes in a format and at a scale that does not necessarily speak to planners and GIS analysts. More importantly, interpreting climate projections and integrating it into planning and policy processes requires a nuanced understanding of climate models as well as local governments’ inner workings.

Four Twenty Seven has developed a streamlined process to support local governments in their efforts to integrate climate risk into key planning efforts: local hazard mitigation plans, general plans, climate action plans, etc. Our services blend modeling and data integration with policy analysis to help cities and counties develop adaptation strategies that address their most critical risks and leverage local strengths and community needs.

This case study presents Four Twenty Seven’s work for six cities in Alameda County, funded by the Alameda County waste authority StopWaste, to respond to California’s Senate Bill No. 379 Land Use: General Plan: Safety Element (Jackson) (SB 379). SB 379 requires cities in California to incorporate adaptation and resilience strategies into General Plan Safety Elements and Local Hazard Mitigation Plans starting in 2017. For each city, Four Twenty Seven developed a chapter that responds to these requirements by providing a climate hazard exposure analysis and proposing a set of adaptation options to help each city plan for future conditions.

Project Objectives

  • Support participating cities meet the requirements of:
    • Relevant state legislation
    • Federal Emergency Management Agency guidance
    • Voluntary Commitments (Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy)
  • Facilitate linking of climate change components of relevant planning processes
  • Promote a consistent approach to integrating climate hazards into diverse local planning processes
  • Empower cities to use the climate change chapter to meet specific needs
  • Position cities for federal funding

Project Background

Alameda County

Alameda County is located in the east San Francisco Bay, stretching from the shoreline of the Bay east across the Berkeley and Oakland hills. Due to its location, the county is exposed to a variety of climate hazards including sea level rise, inland flooding, temperature and precipitation changes, wildfire, and rainfall-induced landslides. While some cities in the County have robust plans for climate adaptation, others lack the targeted information to consider climate in a tangible, actionable way in their City planning.

Hazard Assessment

Floodplains in Hayward California
Figure 1. Exposed assets in the 500-year floodplain (red) in Hayward, California. Source: Vizonomy, Four Twenty Seven

For the hazard exposure assessments, Four Twenty Seven leveraged our partner Vizonomy’s platform to overlay regional climate hazard data with asset location data from public sources and the cities themselves. The overlay of hazard layers and asset location informed an identification of how sea level rise, flooding, fire and landslide might affect specific assets and/or the city overall. Four Twenty Seven also modeled city-specific projections of future temperature and precipitation changes using downscaled climate data, and our partner, Cadmus, conducted a review for compliance with FEMA requirements.

Adaptation Actions

Four Twenty Seven used the results of these assessments, together with a review of existing city plans and the draft SB 379 guidelines from the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, to develop a set of adaptation actions that cities may use to inform relevant plans addressing these hazards.

Project stages

The actions identify adaptive policies and projects and provide information on potential implementation partners, potential funding sources, timeframe, ease of implementation, co-benefits, and equity considerations.

Streamlining Adaptation Planning

Our process supports cities and counties in integrating climate change risks and adaptation into current planning processes to align goals, promote efficiency, and leverage resources. Understanding that each city or county operates in a unique context, we work closely with relevant stakeholders to provide services that meet relevant policy requirements as well as address local needs and circumstances.

We can help you identify and prioritize actions to improve resilience in your community.

Contact: Yoon Kim, PhD., Director of Advisory Services – ykim@427mt.com – 415.890.9090


Download the case study PDF

Newsletter: Cities Mark the Path to Resilience

 

 

News and analysis on climate change adaptation.


Four Twenty Seven Climate Solutions

From the Desk of Aleka Seville, Director of Community Adaptation

With more than half of the world’s population living in urban areas – a figure expected to increase to two-thirds by the middle of the century – it is no surprise that cities have a critical role to play in global efforts to both mitigate climate change and build resilience. City leaders can often work more nimbly than can state and national officials, developing innovative, localized approaches for reducing emissions, managing water supplies, or protecting communities from climate-related hazards.

There are limits to what cities can do on their own, however. Private companies will greatly benefit from the work that cities are engaged in to increase resilience – whether in the form of safer, more reliable public infrastructure or improved planning and preparation for more frequent extreme weather events. Cities are struggling to fund these efforts and often don’t have the internal capacity to evaluate or develop new financing options. While this creates an obvious opportunity for private companies to step in and step up to advance these projects, financing is just one way that cities and companies can collaborate. CDP’s recent report on cross sector collaboration in cities highlights diverse opportunities for cities to engage with their business communities ranging from knowledge sharing to project implementation to financing. Understanding what is already working in cities around the world is key to moving at the speed and scale required to protect our communities.

At Four Twenty Seven, we also see the value in these partnerships, but seek to further understand their impact, and leverage the specific factors that make them successful. How are cities defining their “ask” when working with private companies? What roles can our business community (both large and small) play in building community resilience? Which of our many “wicked” public policy problems will benefit most from business engagement? Increased cross sector collaboration is not an end in and of itself – but it can be a critical step in the right direction.

As on all fronts of the climate challenge, there is more work to do, but much promise in collaborating to build vibrant communities that are well prepared for the rest of the 21st century and beyond.

— Aleka Seville, Director of Community Adaptation

CDP Global Cities Report: The Case for Collaboration with the Private Sector

Recent analysis backs the potential of both economic growth and reductions in carbon emissions in cities, as demonstrated in new CDP report: It Takes a City: The Case for Collaborative Climate Action. 533 cities from across the globe disclosed data through the CDP cities program, with over half seeing opportunities to develop new business initiatives related to climate action. Together, investment in these desired private-sector initiatives total $26 billion. As noted in the BBC, cities have been a leading driver for setting sustainability targets, and CDP report shows they realize the need to reach outside city halls.

Audio Blog: Engaging the Private Sector on Climate Resilience


In an audio recording from a panel on The Economic Impacts of Climate Change at the 2016 California Adaptation Forum, Four Twenty Seven CEO Emilie Mazzacurati discusses how the private sector is responding to climate change risks and highlights opportunities for local governments to engage with local businesses on climate resilience in this audio recording from. Listen and follow along with slides from the presentation.

Resilience in Action: An Update on 100 Resilient Cities

Earlier this year the 100 Resilient Cities Project, started in 2013 by The Rockefeller Foundation, announced its full list of the first 100 cities to take part in a networked effort to improve their planning to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Through the program, cities get resources and guidance to build their resilience. For their third anniversary, 100 Resilient Cities released a report on progress towards building resilience into city institutions, sharing lessons learned from work in New Orleans, Melbourne, and Semarang, Indonesia. Download the full report here.

Mayors of Major World Cities Call for Help to Finance Climate Projects

To do their part in meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement, mayors from the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group are calling for national governments and financial institutions to enact reforms to make it easier to finance sustainable infrastructure projects. City leaders see the duty to act to protect their citizens, and building sustainable infrastructure has so far been a challenge in cities. To solve this, the cities are asking for direct access to international climate funds, and the power to control finance devolved from the national level, among other reforms.

Solutions for Building Resilience Through City Government

For governments, adapting successfully to a changing climate requires customized solutions and guidance. Four Twenty Seven provides climate adaptation consulting services to help local, regional, and state governments identify risks and vulnerabilities, overcome barriers, and leverage opportunities to build resilience. We have recently completed work with cities in the San Francisco Bay Area to develop custom tools to highlight local climate risks, aiding plans to protect against these hazards. Learn more about our award-winning products and services.

Upcoming Events

Join the Four Twenty Seven team in the field at these upcoming events:
  • October 29 – November 2American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, Denver, CO: Meet with Director of Advisory Services Yoon Kim.
  • November 12-15: COP 22, Marrakesh, Morocco: Meet CEO Emilie Mazzacurati and CSO Camille LeBlanc at the Global Climate Finance Action Summit 2016 and Sustainable Investment Forum to discuss private sector and climate finance.
  • December 12-15: AGU 2016 Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA: Director of Analytics Nik Steinberg, Director of Finance Colin Shaw, and Climate Data Analyst Colin Gannon will be presenting on analyzing vulnerability to extreme heat events.
  • January 22-26: American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA: Nik will be presenting on a decision-support tool for extreme heat adaptation.
  • January 2426: NCSE 2017, Arlington, VA: Yoon will be moderating the panel “Climate Data & Public Health: Mobilizing Adaptation Action.”

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Newsletter: The Forgotten Victims of Hurricane Matthew

 

 

News and analysis on climate change adaptation.


Four Twenty Seven Climate Solutions

From the Desk of Emilie Mazzacurati

It would be easy to overlook the devastating impacts of Hurricane Matthews. With media and political leaders almost entirely focused on the presidential election, it can be hard to even get basic facts on the extent of the damages along the storm track.

Yet Haiti is going through its worth humanitarian crisis since the 2010 earthquake. Entire villages have been wiped out and many are left with nothing. As is so often the case, the most vulnerable countries are also the most exposed, reminding us that climate change remains a significant obstacle to the eradication of poverty and sustainable economic growth.

Even in the United States, the impacts have been much worse than anticipated, with over a dozen dead in North Carolina and crippling floods, in pattern of extremes becoming increasingly the norm.

Our responsibility in the wake of these events is to keep raising awareness of the need to prepare and adapt to climate impacts, and channel greater funding towards improving infrastructure and social resilience. Hurricanes will come back, and so will floods and heat waves and wildfires. It’s time to invest in resilience.


Emilie Mazzacurati, Founder and CEO

Impacts of Hurricane Matthew on Haiti

For a nation like Haiti, economic and social development is difficult enough without being in the path of a Category 5 storm. Hurricane Matthew crossed over the southern peninsula, near the coastal city of Jérémie, where a new highway and cell service had recently spurred business growth. Now they have to begin again. The country must also deal with multiple threats to recovery, ranging from a resurgence of cholera to chronic poverty.

Video: Michael Mann on the Link Between Hurricane Matthew and Climate Change

 

Dr Michael Mann on Democracy Now (Part I)

Dr. Michael Mann discusses the link between Hurricane Matthew and climate change

Hurricane Matthew and the trail of destruction left in its wake has rightfully received heavy news coverage, but a critical aspect of the storm has been underreported. Dr. Michael Mann speaks on Democracy Now to explain the unique nature of Matthew and its rapid intensification is due to the warming waters, both on the ocean surface and below, in the Caribbean. The Washington Post also wrote on: What We Can and Can’t Say About Climate Change and Hurricane Matthew.

Flooding From Hurricanes on the Rise, Regular Impact on U.S. Economy Likely

While the wind speeds of Hurricane Matthew slowed as it reached the Carolinas, its impact grew in the form of heavy rains and subsequent flooding. Analyses of historical data and climate models show that flooding from storms has become more frequent, and will continue to intensify as sea levels rise and a warmer atmosphere holds more moisture. By the end of the 21st century, New York could see repeats of Hurricane Sandy-level flooding, and the billions of dollars in damage that comes with it “as frequently as once every 23 years.”

Infographic: Climate Signals

This infographic from Climate Signals maps the pathways through which the increase in greenhouse gas in the atmosphere contributed to increased wind damages, increased flood risk for a hurricane like Hurricane Matthew.
http://www.climatesignals.org/headlines/events/hurricane-matthew-2016 

Financing Resilience Must be Local

“Chronic under-investment in infrastructure also affects a community’s ability to recover from disaster. Building back better should be a matter of “building in” resilience to future conditions. The first place to start is infrastructure,” write Stacy Swann of Climate Finance Advisors and Andrea Colnes of Vermont Energy Action Network, arguing for greater development of local or regional financing options. Climate-smart, resilient infrastructure will be crucial for communities to survive extreme weather events, and local financing options could be better suited to the specific and contextual local resilience needs.

Meet the Team: Josh Turner

Four Twenty Seven welcomes Josh Turner to the research team as a Climate Data Analyst, putting his expertise to use in working with data to assess specific climate risk assessments for clients. Josh is also tasked with curating datasets, applied data analysis, and developing written and visual materials for clients and stakeholders.

Before joining Four Twenty Seven, Josh worked with the Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre at establishing a preliminary climate risk assessment for anticipatory humanitarian action in Lomé, Togo. Josh has extensive prior research experience on a variety of atmospheric phenomena including the hydrological cycle, the Urban Heat Island effect, aerosols, and the Great Plains Low Level Jet.

Learn more about Josh’s experience.

Upcoming Events

Join the Four Twenty Seven team in the field at these upcoming events:
  • October 19-21: Climate Strategies Forum, San Diego, CA – CEO Emilie Mazzacurati will be teaching a CCO bootcamp, Climate 202: Leveraging Climate Data & Tools
  • October 29 – November 2: American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, Denver, CO: Meet with Director of Advisory Services Yoon Kim.
  • November 7-18: COP 22, Marrakesh, Morocco: Meet CEO Emilie Mazzacurati and CSO Camille LeBlanc at the Sustainable Investment Forum and other events focused on private sector and climate finance.
  • December 12-15: AGU 2016 Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA: Director of Analytics Nik Steinberg, Director of Finance Colin Shaw, and Climate Data Analyst Colin Gannon each will be presenting.

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BerkeleyCA 94709

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