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The daily affairs of the UNEP’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative are led by its Secretariat at UNEP Finance Initiative in Geneva, Switzerland.

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Butch Bacani

Programme Leader
UNEP’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative

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Butch Bacani leads UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative (PSI), the largest collaboration between the UN and the insurance industry. Endorsed by the UN Secretary-General and insurance industry CEOs, the PSI is a global framework and initiative for the industry to address sustainability issues—as risk managers, insurers and investors—and to build resilient, inclusive and sustainable communities and economies on a healthy planet.

Butch leads initiatives that support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and the Financial Stability Board’s climate risk disclosure recommendations (TCFD). These include developing “Insurance SDGs”, establishing a Net-Zero Insurance Alliance, convening the world’s leading insurers to pilot the TCFD recommendations, and working with the California Insurance Commissioner to develop the world’s first sustainable insurance roadmap. He co-led the development of the first global sustainability guide for the insurance business and the creation of UNEP’s Sustainable Insurance Forum for regulators and supervisors, forged the PSI’s partnership with the world’s inclusive insurance community, and led the creation of the Insurance Industry Development Goals for Cities. Butch is involved in the InsuResilience Global Partnership, Vulnerable Twenty Group of Finance Ministers (V20), California Climate Insurance Working Group, Insurance Development Forum, Microinsurance Network, and World Benchmarking Alliance. He was part of InsuranceERM’s inaugural list of the most influential people leading and shaping the insurance industry’s response to climate change, and has been recognised as one of the most influential sustainability leaders by Canada’s largest youth-led movement that seeks to change the way business is done and taught.

Butch led the global process that created the PSI in 2012, and UNEP’s insurance and investment programmes from 2006 to 2010, including activities with the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). He has shaped global insurance industry initiatives to address climate change, disaster risks, tobacco risks, illegal fishing and plastic pollution; and to protect UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Butch has authored pioneering studies on sustainable insurance and responsible investment. Previously, he was in the insurance industry for over a decade, working with leading insurers and reinsurers worldwide.


Diana Diaz

Programme Supervisor

UNEP’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative

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Diana is part of the UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative (PSI), the largest collaboration between the UN and the insurance industry.

Diana has 3 years of experience in the sustainability sector working as a management consultant, city planner, researcher, and project engineer, successfully helping clients to integrate environmental and social issues into their decision-making process. She has worked across various geographies including the USA, the UK, Europe and Latin America with public, private and financial sector clients supporting them to solve complex problems by understanding and making informed decisions.

She holds a BS Hons in Civil Engineering and an MSc in Transport and City Planning from UCL. She has been a researcher in computational modelling and machine learning at Cornell University and the MIT and has complementary courses and specialisations in Finance and investment, ESG investing, Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development, Deep Learning and Neural Networks.


Manuel Lonfat

Project Manager, TCFD Insurance Pilot
UNEP’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative

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Manuel joined the PSI team in March 2020 as a consultant on climate change issues. He is the project manager for the TCFD insurance pilot. Manuel has been fascinated by severe weather since observing the power of hurricanes in Puerto Rico while a university student.

Manuel spent the past 15 years in the (re)insurance industry, where he occupied managerial roles in risk departments across various industry segments and regions. Most recently, he served as the Chief Risk Officer for a global firm based in Bermuda. Manuel has experience working on risk and regulation issues in the US, the EU and the Bermudian markets.

Manuel holds a Ph.D. in atmospheric physics from the University of Miami, during which he specialized on hurricane precipitations using satellite observations and numerical simulations. He also holds Masters in Engineering and in Quantum Physics from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne and the University of Hawaii, respectively. He is a Fellow of the NASA Earth Observatory System.


Patricia La Vista

NZIA Project Manager

UNEP’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative

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Patricia La Vista is a certified project manager trained in actuarial sciences, with a strong focus on climate issues. She worked with the insurance sector, or in close connection with it, most of her professional life.

She spent the first 7 years of her career working, as an actuary for a global American advisory firm now called Willis Towers Watson. She also worked for a wholesale broker, and international organizations in the humanitarian and development spaces.

Over the years, she increased her professional focus on climate risks.  After training on disaster risk management with the World Bank in Washington DC, she joined the ESG safeguard unit of the Inter-American Development bank to help mainstream disaster risks and climate change into risk management practices. Moving back to Europe, she worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross / Red Crescent (ICRC) on innovative finance applied to climate risks, and with an innovative climate fund hosted by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Through these different experiences, she was able to embrace a large spectrum of risks, organizational structures, insurance sectors and activities.


Brandon Mathews

V20 SIF Global Coordinator

UNEP’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative

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Brandon is Global Coordinator of the V20 Sustainable Insurance Facility which accelerates climate-smart insurance solutions for Micro, Small, & Medium Enterprises  under the leadership of the V20 FInance Ministries. Previously, he established & led microinsurance divisions for AIG & Zurich with focus on Latin America and Stonestep AG, an insurtech start-up which operates programs in Asia Pacific & Africa.

Brandon brings deep experience at the intersection of private industry & public good both as an implementer and in governance roles.

Brandon’s technical background includes insurance underwriting, partnership development, project management, and information technology. He holds a Masters degree from NYU in Management & IT and is a USA/Swiss dual-citizen.



Elena Pellegrino

Programme Assistant

UNEP’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative

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Elena is Programme Assistant at UNEP FI’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance. She graduated with honours in Political Science at Sapienza University of Rome, and is now an MA candidate in International Relations and European Affairs at Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna. 

During her year as an exchange student at UCL she took courses focused on Environmental Sociology and Clean Energy & Development projects, designing mock-policy proposals to bring developing countries to Net-Zero by 2050 and researching ‘just transition’ practices. 

Elena will be part of the PSI team until August 2022, after which she will spend a semester at Ewha Woman’s University in South Korea, with a program focused on gender issues, ethnic conflicts and globalisation economics. 




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