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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

James is a sustainability strategist and systems thinker with a background of twenty-five years senior management experience in sustainable finance and business. He has provided leadership for organisations and projects and served on a wide range of business and charity boards and governing bodies.

As Executive Director of Climate Safe Lending Network, James provides strategic direction for an international network of bankers, investors, NGOs, regulators, academics and other climate finance experts collaborating on how to accelerate decarbonisation within banking. He represents Climate Safe Lending on the advisory panel of GFANZ - the Glasgow Finance Alliance for Net Zero.


James Vaccaro is a strategist and systems thinker with twenty five years of senior management experience in sustainable finance. He currently acts as the Executive Director of the Climate Safe Lending Network, a multi-stakeholder collaboration to accelerate the climate alignment of the banking sector. 

James runs the consultancy practice, RePattern, supporting businesses and their stakeholders in effective ecosystem innovation where he currently advises a number of organisations developing Nature-based Solutions including a NbS Accelerator for WWF. He was previously Group Director of Strategy for Triodos Bank overseeing strategy development for Europe’s leading international sustainable banking and investment institution. Having previously set up and managed Triodos Bank’s UK investment business (comprising corporate finance and crowdfunding, venture capital and infrastructure fund management) he advised on leading share offers and bond issues, and has been a non-executive director for a broad range of environmental and social businesses. 

James served on the Global Steering Committee for the UNEP Finance Initiative and was one of the founding developers of the UN Principles for Responsible Banking launched in 2019. He now sits on the advisory panel for GFANZ (the Glasgow Finance Alliance for Net Zero) and the UK’s Transition Plan Taskforce. James is a Senior Fellow of the Finance Innovation Lab, a director of Regen, an advisor for Cambridge-based venture builder Carbon13, and a strategy advisor for the Club of Rome’s finance impact hub. 

James Vaccaro
Executive Director, Climate Safe Lending Network