Mr. Cusack is the founder of Gifford Park Associates, a sustainability management & investment consulting firm specializing in the areas of strategic sustainable/environmental management and implementation, socially-responsible investing, clean/renewable technologies, climate change risks and opportunities, environmental finance risks and disclosure, and the relationship between the environmental, social and financial performance of publicly traded companies. Major GPA clients have included a variety of multinational industrial, energy, and financial firms, including venture capitalists & venture-funded companies, as well as international agencies/governments, including the United Arab Emirates, the UN, OECD, the ICC and the US State Department.
A major project of GPA was providing Mr. Cusack under contract in 1998 to serve as startup CEO for Innovest Strategic Value Advisors, Inc., a financial investment research company that sells environmental & intangible value (including sustainability) performance ratings of publicly traded companies to financial asset management clients and to corporations for benchmarking. Mr. Cusack successfully grew the company from zero to 160+ financial clients on five continents, and raised additional equity investment from a Dutch venture capital firm, a largest European pension fund and a leading US-based mainstream financial institution
After Innovest, he helped rebuild the New York HQ office of the Environmental Risk Consulting Practice of Marsh Inc., the world’s leading risk management/insurance brokerage firm and a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan (MMC). Besides providing environmental risk consulting services to Marsh clients, he also advised MMC Investor Relations, MMC Capital and members of the MMC Board of Directors on how environmental & social performance affects financial performance and in responding to shareholder resolutions to MMC on climate change and SRI issues. Work included providing environmental risk & technology assessments for Marsh clients and working with MMC Capital to identify potential environmental investment opportunities. He also was a member of the MMC Energy Working Group targeting international oil & gas and utility clients, and he coordinated strategic planning efforts of Marsh, Putnam Investments and Mercer Consulting (MMC’s three major subsidiaries) in the areas of climate change, energy, environmental risk management, corporate governance, SRI, and environmental shareholder value.
Other recent Gifford Park Associates’ clients/partners have included the utility firm Energy East, the Chicago Climate Exchange, The World Environment Center (where he was Vice President of Corporate Programs, growing the multinational corporate support for WEC from 40 to 65 firms), the Insurance, Environment & Treasury departments of the State of Connecticut, Toyota North America, Bank of America, Sterling Planet, Duke Energy, PSEG, Trucost Limited, Rothschilds Asset Management, Light Green Advisors (where he serves as part-time sustainability officer and helped LGA win a $50m mandate for sustainable investing from the California State Teachers Pension Fund-CalSTRS), Israel Chemicals Ltd., several financial institutions including some of the top 5 banks in the USA and Europe, several environmental venture capital funds in the US and Europe, and a number of startup companies operating in the areas of carbon finance, environmental risk assessment and clean & renewable technology.
Prior to his experience of starting GPA and managing it for the past decade, Mr. Cusack was the lead executive in North America and Europe of several subsidiaries of Asea Brown Boveri (ABB). ABB is a leading multinational energy and industrial products and services firm, where Mr. Cusack also served as liaison with ABB’s energy/environmental venture capital funds, and as advisor to ABB Corporate Environmental Affairs. One of the companies he started up for ABB was ABB Sanitec Inc., an energy-efficient environmental technology company. Mr. Cusack was also responsible for managing ABB Sanitec GmbH and its sales agents in a number of European, South American and Asian countries, and serving as its liaison with EPRI. He also served as President of ABB Environmental Monitoring Services Inc., advising its general manager through ABB EMSI’s startup phase of its unique fence-line and stack emissions monitoring systems for the chemical, oil & gas and utility industries. He also served as the Director of Technology Marketing, Biotechnology & Environmental Services, for ABB’s engineering subsidiary, Lummus Crest working with the oil & gas, chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Earlier he had worked in Consolidated Edison’s Office of Environmental Affairs evaluating new energy & environmental technology, and was on the Corporate Technology (R&D) staff of Combustion Engineering Inc., where he was responsible for energy/environmental/ biotechnology development funding & policy, internal dissemination of a broad range of emerging technology information via newsletters, seminars and conferences, preparing long-range and short-range strategic plans at the corporate & business unit level, and maintaining relationships with, and representing CE at board meetings of, venture-backed companies in which the firm had invested. He was also liaison for CE and ABB to international organizations such as the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the World Environment Center, the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative and the International Camber of Commerce. Earlier in his career he worked on sustainable infrastructure development projects in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, West Africa, South America and the Middle East.
He has a BCE in Civil Engineering & a MCE in Environmental Engineering & Science from Manhattan College, an MBA with concentrations in finance and management from New York University, and is a registered Professional Engineer in New York State. He has served on a number of advisory boards on energy, environmental and technology issues for academic institutions, not-for-profit organizations, industrial companies and government agencies. He has guest lectured on technology, sustainability and environmental finance/risk issues at Yale, North Carolina, RPI, NYU, Columbia, NJIT, INSEAD, Erasmus, Oregon, Tufts, Iona, and other colleges and universities, and testified at a congressional briefing on climate change. He teaches a course on Sustainable Finance at the Hagen School of Business at Iona College as an Adjunct Finance Professor.
As head of Gifford Park Associates, his advice on socially-responsible investing, energy/environmental technology and sustainability management been sought by the leaders of the Environmental Bankers Association, the UNEP Financial Initiative, the Environmental Management Association of German Banks, Savings Banks & Insurance Companies, the Conference Board, the General Accounting Office, the Carbon Disclosure Project, the Social Investment Forum, CERES, federal and international regulatory agencies, and the heads of environmental affairs/issues at leading financial institutions and a number of state and local pension funds and renewable energy funds. He is the chair of the advisory board of the NY Energy & Environmental Funders Forum, and serves on the advisory boards of the NJ Sustainable State Institute, the NJ Corporation for Advanced Technologies and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. He is a citizen of the Republic of Ireland and the United States of America.
View John L. Cusack’s Professional Affiliations.
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