This episode is part of our new Capital Series hosted by MCJ partner, Jason Jacobs. This series will explore a diverse range of capital sources and the individuals who drive them. From family offices and institutional LPs to private equity, government funding, and more, we'll take a deep dive into the world of capital and its critical role in driving innovation and progress.
Today’s guest is Lucas Joppa, Chief Sustainability Officer and Senior Managing Director at Haveli Investments.
Haveli Investments is a new and rapidly growing investment firm led by Brian Sheth, former president of Vista Equity Partners. Before Haveli, Lucas was the longtime Chief Environmental Officer at Microsoft, responsible for Microsoft's overall environmental sustainability vision, strategy, and program execution.
In this episode, Jason and Lucas have an in-depth discussion about Lucas's journey to becoming aware of and caring about climate change, how his views have evolved on the nature of the problem, and the best path forward from when he first started doing this work to today. They also talk about Microsoft's journey when it started caring about sustainability and its evolution to being one of the leaders in driving net-zero ambitions for big corporations. And finally, they cover Lucas's decision to switch from conservation to the private equity world, his motivations, and of course, Haveli's approach.
In this episode, we cover:
[2:10] An overview of Haveli Investments and Lucas's role at the firm
[4:29] How Lucas came to work in climate and what got him to care about the problem
[11:09] His experience at Microsoft
[14:08] What inspired Microsoft to address the climate problem
[16:32] The company's internal process
[21:51] Influencing factors that led to climate action at Microsoft
[28:57] Lucas's thoughts on corporate net-zero commitments
[32:52] Weighing the implications of GHG reductions on biodiversity loss
[38:40] Radical transformations vs. replacing current systems with sustainable alternatives
[42:09] Challenges with private equity embracing sustainability
[49:17] Haveli's internal net-zero operations
[50:53] How founders should evaluate Haveli's portfolio management relative to other private equity firms
[53:30] Lucas' work on sustainable software
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Episode recorded on March 20, 2023.