Zuzana Dzurillova
Sustainability and Climate Risk Specialist
Zuzana's introduction

Zuzana is a sustainability and climate risk enthusiast experienced in Risk Management Consulting, Credit Portfolio Management and Project Management.

She has worked on governance-related projects, setting up a risk management framework, policies, risk appetite and crisis management at ABN AMRO, The Royal Bank of Scotland and Accenture. She studied Sustainability and Climate Risk and obtained certificates from the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP) and the Task Force for Climate Related Disclosure (TCFD).

She continues to research and spread awareness in the field through The Matcha Initiative, the Risk Learning Faculty at Risk.net, GARP volunteering and sustainability committee membership.

What brought you to sustainability?

I was brought up with values that naturally drew me to sustainability as the logical way forward even when the word itself wasn't as popular as today.

However, as a risk management practitioner, I was genuinely surprised when I saw climate risk entering risk management at financial institutions a few years back. I felt that integrating climate-related considerations into the overall risk management framework was an area that I could be passionate about and therefore I decided to shift my focus, deepen my knowledge in Sustainability and Climate Risk, and I got involved in various initiatives that deal with this topic, including The Matcha Initiative.

Which sustainable actions are you in charge of or have you implemented in your organisation?

I am spreading awareness about the topic by providing lectures to financial institutions organized by Risk.net and to wider audience via The Matcha Initiative.

Which challenges did you meet and how did you overcome them?

Since I got involved, I saw there was a big movement and on the first sight it seemed like everyone was on board, with all the companies, cities and countries setting net zero targets, promoting low-carbon products, electrification and so on.

But during my lectures I sometimes received questions that showed that this topic was still very new to some people, that they were just starting to grasp it and had many doubts. In such cases I tried to explain the facts, so that the people new to the topic got a good basis on which to build on, in order to be able to spread the information further in their organizations and achieve positive change.

What are you most proud of?

In terms of my recent involvement in sustainability and climate risk, I have received high scores on my lectures and became Risk Learning Faculty member for Risk.net that makes me proud.

Previously, as a risk manager I played a leading or coordinating role in a number of successful projects, including a control environment implementation for a group level department, a cross-divisional policy review, a Eurozone distress response project and more.

What would be your top 3 pieces of advice to the Matcha Initiative users?

       1. Climate risk is also a financial risk, not only a reputational one. Even company leaders who don't believe in climate change, should consider the impact of the policy and technological changes (driven by those who do believe). And even company leaders who don't believe that global warming is caused by humans should prepare their business for a warmer world because global warming is a settled fact (not a question of beliefs).

       2.  Climate change is a phenomenon called the “Tragedy of the Horizon”. That’s because it poses long term risks that extend beyond the typical business planning cycle. If we act now, we can address it via a gradual transition to a low-carbon economy. If we don't take action now, however, we will face the consequences of more frequent and intense extreme weather with an abrupt transition on top.

       3.I believe that every little step in the right direction is helpful. Implementing sustainability and climate risk sounds big and I understand that companies want to get it right from the beginning. But it is also quite new and the best practices are being developed as we speak, often through an iterative process. Therefore companies should be prepared to take the first steps, then evaluate what works and what should change, and take the next steps accordingly.

In which field could you help The Matcha Initiative users as a buddy?
  • Expertise Sharing
Please describe how you could help The Matcha Initiative users as a buddy?

I can explain the TCFD recommendations (Task force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures) and the reasons why even SMEs should pay attention and prepare for adequate climate-related disclosure, especially if they partner with larger companies or require financing from banks.

I am happy to discuss how a company can adjust their governance to take climate risk and sustainability into account, to review their current state, identify gaps, and advise on what policies and processes should be put in place to ensure that climate-related issues are integrated in the company's risk management framework and how the information should flow to inform strategic decisions.

Furthermore, I could also share my expertise in the net zero concept and consult companies that want to set science-based targets and develop transition plans.

Zuzana's 3 main sustainability skills:

TCFD (Task force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures) / Governance / SBT (Science-Based Target)

Zuzana Dzurilla kindly accepts to answer your questions.

If you need additional insights, you can send her a message.