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Esther Manheimer, attorney with The Van Winkle Law Firm and Mayor of Asheville, North Carolina, attended Bloomberg’s Sustainable Business Summit in New York City on October 19th. The summit brought together executives, investors and thought leaders to discuss the risks and opportunities to consider around sustainability for businesses. Now more than ever, businesses and investors are considering sustainability a high priority when determining business strategy and value. Specific topics discussed in this year’s summit included how businesses are incorporating sustainability into the fabric of their companies, why investors are considering a company’s climate disclosures and diversity when making investment decisions, and how city leaders and financial institutions are working together to create sustainable financial hubs.

Esther participated in a panel that focused on local governments that are leading the way to combat climate change. With cities accounting for 70% of global CO2 emissions, more city leaders throughout the world are setting a precedent to reduce that impact by attracting investors from the private sector who make sustainability a priority. From 2016 to 2017 green bond issuance from municipalities increased by 55%, signifying the desire for businesses and cities to work together on sustainable investment and contribute to green growth. The panel addressed and reinforced these initiatives with Esther noting, “I think cities are trying to fill in the gap, and make sure they step up and lead the way.”

Esther’s service to the city began when she was elected to the Asheville City Council in 2009 and then elected Mayor in 2013 and again in 2017. She earned her Juris Doctor and Masters of Public Administration from UNC Chapel Hill and her BA from the University of Colorado at Boulder. As one of the The Van Winkle Law Firm’s partners since 2010, she focuses her practice on land use and commercial litigation issues. She is Chair of the North Carolina Metropolitan Mayors Coalition. Esther and her husband are the parents of three boys.

Esther’s advocacy for attracting sustainable businesses to Asheville enforces her commitment to the importance of cities taking actionable steps to address climate change. See more on the Sustainable Business Summit and the initiatives Asheville is taking to prevent climate change below: