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Different sectors, a shared passion for sustainability

Delivering against sustainability agendas in different industries

Sangeeta Upadhyay and Isaline Nguyen work in different parts of the world and in different industries – but both use their passion for sustainability to help Capgemini’s clients take steps towards net zero.

Sangeeta Upadhyay remembers the moment it happened.

“My daughter was in the fifth grade at school and had been learning about climate change. One day she came home feeling sad and passed me a handwritten note that read: ‘You guys are passing on a burning planet to my generation.’”

Based in the US, Sangeeta is now head of Capgemini’s sustainability practice within the insights and data team, serving financial services clients. Her daughter’s message triggered a shift in direction that has shaped her professional life ever since. “I felt a strong urge – like an inner calling – to refocus on sustainability and do business with purpose,” she says. “Since then, I have been helping clients and financial companies achieve their decarbonization agenda and net zero goals.”

Different sectors, shared focus

In the Capgemini office in Paris, half-way around the world, Isaline Nguyen works as a senior consultant in the energy transition and utilities team at Capgemini Invent, Capgemini’s digital innovation, consulting, and transformation brand.

“My background is in business studies, and I have a Master’s degree in the area of climate change adaption. In my role, I specialize in energy and decarbonization projects.”

Although they work thousands of miles apart – in different sectors – Isaline and Sangeeta share a professional focus in bringing Capgemini’s sustainability expertise to clients across the world, helping them to achieve globally set climate ambitions, such as the Paris Agreement and net zero.

From Wall Street to green finance

Before her daughter’s intervention, Sangeeta had already enjoyed a career in financial services, primarily in investment banking and consulting. She began her career as a banking sector financial analyst on Wall Street and loved building financial models and predicting earnings forecasts. Around a year ago, having established a sustainability practise at her former company, she brought her background and expertise in sustainable consulting to Capgemini.

“Now, I’m essentially an environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) expert and adviser for clients in the area of climate finance and ESG regulations,” she explains. “Currently, I’m leading the net zero and climate program for a major international bank, helping it to realize its net zero targets by providing strategic advice and support.”

According to Sangeeta, ESG reporting involves a great deal of data gathering because financial organizations are obliged to benchmark themselves against a wide range of standards and regulations. “Given the sheer scale and scope of these regulations, data and technology are pillars of our ESG strategy, alongside advising on sustainable finance and transition capital,” she says.

Motorsport’s climate impact

Since joining Capgemini almost two years ago, one of Isaline’s client projects has been with Stellantis Motorsport, the global automotive manufacturer. Like Sangeeta, Isaline is helping her client create a climate strategy – a multiphase project that involves calculating the company’s greenhouse gas emission footprint and setting out steps to reduce emissions across the business.

As part of Capgemini’s relationship with Stellantis Motorsport, it has been working with the cutting-edge Peugeot 9X8 hybrid hypercar, which competes in the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2024.

Isaline says that the racing cars themselves are a fraction of the overall carbon footprint of the business: “Other factors, such as the logistics and supply chain, and the fans who travel all over the world to watch the races, contribute much more.”

She explains that it was necessary to conduct a “whole-ecosystem” survey of greenhouse gas emissions related to the client’s operations, covering the carbon contribution of spectators, suppliers and sponsors. “This is the only way to show them a full picture of their climate footprint – before looking at ways to reduce it.”

Challenge and innovation

For Isaline, it has been an important part of her work to ensure people understand the full carbon impact of a business. “Sometimes that’s about changing hearts and minds. From there we can work to help people take ownership and responsibility for sustainability within their own companies.”

Sangeeta also found challenges unique to her sector. “One of the biggest obstacles is that there is no universally accepted definition of ESG or sustainability. This is reflected in the complexity of their ESG submissions, and made more difficult because of gaps in externally sourced data and the complexity in standardizing methods across different geographies and sectors.”

Sangeeta is confident that any roadblocks can be overcome. “Innovation is everywhere in this sector. It’s like a common fabric. For example, Capgemini is building complex data models for our clients that use geospatial data and analytics engines to address crucial data gaps.”

Guiding the journey

For Isaline, consultancies such as Capgemini have a crucial role to play in the transition to net zero. “We help companies start their journey, stimulating internal conversations and setting the dynamic. More and more businesses are understanding the importance of this quest – and Capgemini can help them open the door.” According to Sangeeta, this work is essential to answer the demands of the younger generation, who, like her daughter, insist on climate action. “We are entering a time of acute weather events and extreme resource scarcity,” she says. “From the air we breathe, to the water we drink, to the food we eat. Sustainability touches everybody, and we all need to play our part in whatever capacity we can.”


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