Nasdaq’s Randall Hopkins on driving value for companies through the ESG stakeholder ecosystem, the role of AI, and desired qualities in new hires

Sally Duros

Sally Duros

Freelance Editor

Randall Hopkins, Global Head of ESG Solutions, Nasdaq Corporate Platforms, spoke with Sally Duros for the John Lothian News ESG podcast. 

Hopkins said Nasdaq sits at the nexus of the stakeholder ecosystem – the investors, corporations, raters and regulators who are all doing work around ESG. Nasdaq’s goal is to drive value through that stakeholder ecosystem. It does that, first, by helping companies set ESG priorities, and then second, on the operational side, by helping companies manage the data relevant to ESG and communicate its value. 

Hopkins said that although technology and AI will play an important role in bringing sustainability initiatives to scale, human insight will be the main driver of progress in business sustainability efforts. AI can help with ESG data analysis, but one size doesn’t fit all.

Hopkins provided examples of successful corporate sustainability efforts that Nasdaq developed. ESG challenges for companies have created opportunities for Nasdaq. These include collecting and managing data from disparate systems and calculating data to build a green-house gas (GHG), or carbon, footprint that can be used for reporting. Hopkins said that he doesn’t see one framework or one taxonomy that will rule all others. He said that with regulatory moves pending in both the U.S. and the EU, it’s a blend right now. 

Finally, for students who aspire to work for Nasdaq, Hopkins said, Nasdaq hires people who are nimble-of-mind system thinkers who can connect the complexities of the business world with the sustainability world. “They can come from any discipline,” Hopkins said. “If they have that sort of critical thinking and that sort of curiosity, I certainly think they’ll do well in this space because it is a highly evolving space. It’s one that has a lot of yield for hard work and creative approaches to really complex challenges in our ecosystems, and certainly for Nasdaq.”

We visit more than 100 financial news websites daily (Would YOU do that?)

The Spread

Todays  Options Newsletter

Now Read This

Is ESG dead? ICE’s Bennett, LuxSE’s Hamon, Nasdaq’s Thyblad and the WFE weigh in

Is ESG dead? ICE’s Bennett, LuxSE’s Hamon, Nasdaq’s Thyblad and the WFE weigh in

The question “Is ESG dead?” has become a meme in the business press – it’s ubiquitous, eye-catching and controversial – convincing some that the movement is with certainty on its way out.

To discuss the fate and the evolution of ESG, John Lothian News Environmental Markets held an online roundtable discussion with leaders from the World Federation of Exchanges and ESG leaders from the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Luxembourg Exchange (LuxSE) and Nasdaq.

WFE CEO Nandini Sukumar speaks with JLN about ESG progress at the World Federation of Exchanges, the WFE’s new green equity principles, and the difference between sustainability and ESG

WFE CEO Nandini Sukumar speaks with JLN about ESG progress at the World Federation of Exchanges, the WFE’s new green equity principles, and the difference between sustainability and ESG

John Lothian News interviewed Nandini Sukumar, Chief Executive Officer at the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE), about the findings of the WFE’s 9th Sustainability Survey of Exchanges. First, Sukumar discussed the WFE’s process for conducting the survey and its findings, which reflect the many ways that exchanges have increased their activity in the sustainability and ESG areas.