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who we are

Our ESG specialists have global experience and have lived and worked in Asian emerging markets. Areas of expertise include environmental, social and governance, health and safety, gender equality and job quality.

Our Team.

Joanie Davis

In order to meet our clients’ diverse needs, Paterson Sustainability works in partnership with respected independent specialists who have experience of bringing international standard practices to emerging markets. Our network includes current IFC consultants and retired senior IFC E&S specialists as well as local consultants. 


All our work is led by our founder Catriona Paterson, who has more than 25 years’ experience as an E&S advisor for public and private sector clients in 34 countries across the globe. Our core consultants are listed here: 

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Catriona Paterson

Director, E&S Specialist

Catriona is a senior E&S advisor to financial institutions in emerging markets. She advises private equity funds investing in Asia, mentors and trains ESG and investment professionals in financial institutions and provides technical advice to Development Finance Institutions in Europe. She helps her clients use ESG to create value and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Catriona has undertaken due diligences in multiple sectors and countries and has worked with companies to successfully address complex E&S issues. Previously, Catriona managed environmental assessment teams in the UK and Malaysia; she was an Environment Advisor in DFID across Africa; and for more than 10 years with IFC, she has undertaken E&S due diligences and helped companies in Asia upgrade their E&S performance to meet IFC’s Performance Standards.

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Bharti Solanky

Associate, Social Specialist

Bharti is a social specialist with over twenty-five years of experience working on social & environment risk and sustainability issues in development finance. She specialises in social impact assessment, resettlement and rehabilitation planning, stakeholder engagement and environment and social management systems, and her work on these, spanning 150+ projects in multiple sectors across India, Bangladesh,  Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Denmark, Germany and Australia, has enabled companies and financial intermediaries respond meaningfully to ESG challenges. Bharti has worked with IFC as a consultant and staff for more than ten years, undertaking social and environmental due diligences against international standards and national regulations. Designing and delivering capacity building programs for social and environmental impact assessments and risk management for project operator and financial intermediary clients has been another key area of work for her.

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Bram Woltjer

Associate, Health and Safety Specialist

Bram is an international health and safety specialist with over 20 years of experience managing safe work on large projects during construction and operation across Asia. He has been responsible for development and implementation of HSE management systems and emergency response systems to ensure compliance with major risk legislation. He has trained and managed HSE teams to implement international health and safety standards in challenging projects. Over the past year Bram has been working with IFC across Asia to assess capacity and practices of IFC investment projects during appraisal, construction and operational phases, working with IFC’s clients to enhance their OHS standards. He works with companies to develop COVID-19 preparedness and response plans.

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Sheela Rahman

Associate, Corporate Governance Specialist

Sheela is a corporate governance specialist with almost 20 years experience in corporate governance assessments, board evaluation, IPO preparedness and board leadership training. She has particular understanding of SMEs, family owned businesses and financial institutions in South Asia as well as the importance of women on boards. Her practice as a corporate finance lawyer gives relevant insight into the level of upgrade in structure and internal mechanisms an enterprise may need to attract investment, expand and meet its strategic goals. Sheela has been working with IFC as a corporate governance consultant for 8 years and was a core team member in developing assessment tools and a handbook for SME governance. 

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Luis Cestari

Associate, Life and Fire Safety Specialist

Luis is a life and fire safety and occupational health and safety specialist who works globally. Luis has been working with IFC for more than 10 years as a life and fire safety specialist. He works with hospital, education, transportation and hotel clients who operate public access buildings to help them meet the World Bank Group EHS Guidelines with respect to fire safety. He undertakes life and fire safety assessments and advises on measures to ensure they meet an international fire code or adequately address risks to life. His work involves reviews of building designs, assessments of operating buildings and their fire safety management systems. He helps clients to develop emergency preparedness and response plans and provides training to support clients’ effective implementation of their responsibilities. 

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Matt Corbett

Associate, Environment Specialist

Matt has over 35 years experience in environmental management in various Government and consulting roles in 25 countries. He has worked as a private consultant for development banks since 2005, including the World Bank, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Asian Development Bank (ADB), where he has provided project and sector development advice across southeast, southern and central Asia, the Pacific and Africa. Matt has extensive energy and infrastructure experience, from early project planning and design, through construction and operation, covering: power (hydro, wind, solar, gas, geothermal, waste-to-energy, transmission), transport (road, rail, ports, airports, logistics centres), waste, forestry and a range of other industries. Matt’s experience in environmental management planning and implementation includes: preparing projects, cumulative and strategic impact assessments; project environmental and social management systems and plans; project due diligence reviews; and training in good international industry practice.

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Raffaella Marinucci 

Associate, E&S Specialist - Banking

Raffaella supports Financial Intermediaries to develop and enhance their E&S risk management processes to comply with IFC’s E&S requirements. Raffaella collaborates closely with bank E&S officers in emerging markets to develop their environmental and social management systems, discussing their approaches to addressing portfolio and project E&S risks, and working with them to monitor the performance of the project companies. Raffaella provides on-the-job training to both FI clients and their sub projects, and regularly provides interactive training workshops on E&S issues to bank clients and IFC internal investment staff. She has been working with IFC for more than 10 years across Asia, Middle East, Africa, and Eastern and Central Europe.