Delivering Sustainability Across Latin America: Can Corporations Fill the Gap?

February 12, 2019 - 6:00 pm

Atlantic Council headquarters, 1030 15th Street, NW
Washington, DC

Delivering Sustainability Across Latin America: Can Corporations Fill the Gap?

A conversation with:

Daniel C. Esty

Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy

Yale University

David Livingston

Deputy Director for Climate and Advanced Energy, Global Energy Center

Atlantic Council

Introduced and moderated by:

Paula Garcia Tufro

Deputy Director, Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center

Atlantic Council

Please join the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center on Tuesday, February 12 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., with a reception beginning at 5:30 p.m., for a discussion on corporate sustainability in Latin America featuring prizewinning author and Yale Professor Daniel C. Esty.


The twenty-first century has seen the rise of a new focus on corporate sustainability around the world, and forward-thinking business leaders in Latin America are paying close attention. Across the region, companies large and small have sought to increase profitability, win customer loyalty, and outperform competitors through incorporating sustainability principles into their business strategy and operations. 


In light of these efforts, can businesses fill the gap in addressing climate change and environmental challenges in Latin America? What business strategies have been effective so far? And what are the lessons for executives, policymakers, and environmental advocates both in the region and around the world?


Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center Deputy Director Paula Garcia Tufro and Global Energy Center Deputy Director for Climate and Advanced Energy David Livingston will discuss these issues and more with Professor Esty, who has just published The Labyrinth of Sustainability: Green Business Lessons from Latin American Corporate Leaders (Anthem Press, 2019), featuring case studies written by leading academics and practitioners that focus on renewable energy, energy efficiency, water sustainability, recycling, and other corporate sustainability initiatives. With a career spanning government, business, and academia, Professor Esty is a leading expert on corporate environmental strategy. His previous study of corporate sustainability, Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage (with Andrew Winston), was recently named the best-selling green business book of the past decade.

A reception will take place before the event, starting at 5:30 p.m.

On Twitter? Follow @ACGlobalEnergy and @ACLatAm and use #ACEnergy

Atlantic Council

1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor (West Tower Elevator) 

Washington, DC 

This event is open to press and on the record.

VISITING THE COUNCIL: Metro and parking info


Daniel C. Esty is the Hillhouse professor of Environmental Law and Policy. As a professor at Yale since 1994, he holds faculty appointments in both Yale’s Environment and Law Schools with a secondary appointment at the Yale School of Management. He directs the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and serves on the advisory board of the Center for Business & Environment at Yale, which he founded in 2006.

From 2011 to 2014, Professor Esty served as head (commissioner) of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). In this role, he worked to re-design all of DEEP’s permitting programs for greater speed, efficiency, customer orientation, effectiveness. Likewise, he designed an innovative energy strategy for the state designed to fulfill Governor Dan Malloy’s commitment to cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable energy—including a shift away from subsidies toward a finance focus using creative policy tools including reverse auctions, power purchase agreements, a first-in-the-nation Green Bank, and a statewide Property Assessed Clean Energy program.

Professor Esty is the author or editor of ten books and numerous articles on sustainability and environmental issues and the relationships between environmental protection and corporate strategy, competitiveness, trade, globalization, metrics, governance, and development. His prizewinning book (with Andrew Winston), Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage, argues that pollution control and natural resource management have become critical elements of marketplace success and explains how leading-edge companies have folded environmental thinking into their core business strategies. His current research focuses on integrating climate change concerns into the trade rules and procedures, rethinking environmental policy for the 21st century, and developing metrics to gauge sustainability performance at the global, national, city, and corporate scales.

Prior to taking up his position at Yale, Professor Esty was a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics (1993-94), served in a variety of senior positions in the US Environmental Protection Agency (1989-93), and practiced law in Washington, DC (1986-89). He has an AB from Harvard College, an MA from Balliol College at Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and a JD from Yale Law School.

Paula Garcia Tufro is deputy director in the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center of the Atlantic Council. She most recently served as director for development and democracy at the National Security Council and brings nearly 15 years of experience in foreign policy, global development, energy, trade, and investment.

In her White House role, she advised senior Obama administration officials on US foreign policy and global development policy and programs. In this role, she was responsible for coordinating US government policy positions and multilateral negotiations of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on financing for development, which set forth a new 15-year global development agenda.

Garcia Tufro also served as a member of the G20 negotiating team and was responsible for coordinating US engagement in the G20 Development Working Group, covering a range of issues including the 2030 agenda, infrastructure, domestic resource mobilization, food security and nutrition, financial inclusion, and global health. She also coordinated strategy and implementation of the Power Africa initiative, helped forge strategic partnerships with more than 140 public- and private-sector partners, and mobilized more than $54 billion in external commitments to support the goal of doubling access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030.

Paula Garcia Tufro previously served in leadership roles at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and the Department of Commerce. As deputy chief of staff at OPIC, the US government’s development finance institution, she advised the president and CEO on agency management, strategy, and policy matters to enhance operational efficiency and effectiveness. As a member of the executive leadership team, she also managed day-to-day operations over the agency’s $20 billion investment portfolio in more than 100 countries.

Prior to joining the US government, Garcia Tufro coordinated strategy and implementation of community development, youth, and advocacy initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean as program officer at Freedom House, and worked as international trade and corporate finance senior legal assistant at Arnold & Porter LLC.

In addition to her role at the Atlantic Council, Garcia Tufro is co-chair of the development finance workgroup at the Society for International Development-Washington (SID-W).

Garcia Tufro holds a master of science degree in foreign service from Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, with a concentration on international development. She has a bachelor of arts degree in international affairs from James Madison University. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, she speaks Spanish and French.

David Livingston is deputy director, climate and advanced energy, of the Atlantic Council's Global Energy Center. 

He is also a fellow of the Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy at Johns Hopkins University, and of the Payne Institute at the Colorado School of Mines. He also teaches a course on energy for the University of Southern California (USC) program in Washington, DC, and serves as a strategist for the Obama Foundation Scholars program.

Previously, Livingston served as a fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and as the inaugural Robert S. Strauss fellow for geoeconomics at the Office of the US Trade Representative, where he concluded as acting assistant US trade representative for congressional affairs.

He also has worked at the World Trade Organization in Geneva and at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Vienna.

Earlier in his career, Livingston was selected as a Future Energy Leader by the World Energy Council, and is an alumnus of the Atlantik Brücke Young Leaders Program.

He earned a BA with highest honors from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and an MSc with distinction from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.