After completing her master's in physics, Kaja Pergar came to Oliver Wyman looking for her next challenge. She found it with the firm’s climate and sustainability platform and its finance and risk practice where she could use her strong technical background and knack for problem solving to their best advantage.
As a principal, Kaja has been helping financial institutions and other clients on their climate journey — from climate-scenario analysis and climate risk management to net zero transition planning and disclosure. Among her most important assignments have been her work supporting the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ). On these projects, Kaja has been helping to develop guidance for industries and policymakers on climate-related disclosures, risk quantification, transition planning, and portfolio alignment.
The corporate sector will be pivotal in the battle against climate change. But companies need to see it for the opportunity it is — to redesign and reimagine our world, just as we did with the arrival of the steam engine, electricity, computers, and the internet.
Kaja, originally from Slovenia, finds true joy in “nature’s unexpected intrusions of beauty,” one of the reasons she is so committed to preserving the natural landscape. In her relatively short lifetime, she has already witnessed the gradual degradation of some of her favorite spots, including the coral reefs off the coast of Sharm El-Sheikh where she has returned for the last 15 years to scuba dive.
It was this love of nature that inspired her to apply for the opportunity to represent Oliver Wyman on an expedition to Antarctica organized by the 2041 Foundation, a group dedicated to the preservation of the continent’s ecosystems, biodiversity, and wilderness. In 2022, she was chosen as the firm’s ambassador on the foundation’s March trip. Her mission: to use the experience to inspire her colleagues and clients about the urgency of the climate crisis and the necessity for everyone to do their part to reverse global warming.
With no other humans besides ourselves in Antarctica, our incidental role in the functioning of nature became clear. Nowhere on earth is it more evident that this is not our planet to destroy.
Kaja believes that sustainability will become a part of almost every conversation going forward. “We’ll need to be ready to move quickly from theory to tactics because the planet cannot wait any longer,” she says. “I want to help Oliver Wyman be at the forefront of sustainability thought leadership.”
Kaja recognizes that to reach net zero by 2050 would represent a monumental feat requiring the entire global economy to work together to deliver the necessary breakthroughs. But she doesn’t see what alternative we have and finds hope in the increasing willingness of companies to commit to net zero.