Navigating to Net Zero - Episode 4

Leading the charge: How utilities can pave the way to achieving net zero

Louisiana and southeastern Australia may be half a world apart, but both have suffered from the early effects of climate change. From land erosion, flooding, and hurricanes to wildfires and droughts, both regions face a rapidly changing climate – yet they still remain tied to fossil fuels for most of their energy needs.

In the fourth episode of Navigating to Net Zero, host Rebecca Darst talks with Robert “Robbie” R. LaBorde, Jr. and Sybil Montegut of Cleco, alongside Scott Ryan and Gina Pavlovic of Endeavour Energy, about how the two Macquarie Asset Management-backed companies are keeping the lights on in their respective regions while making electric grids more sustainable and reducing their reliance on coal – all while ensuring electricity remains affordable and reliable.  

We can’t turn off the coal generation tomorrow, but we all have an ambition to have a transition. There’s a huge shift underway and it’s so exciting to be a part of it.” - Scott Ryan, Endeavour Energy


Scott Ryan, Chief Asset & Operating Officer, Endeavour Energy

Scott Ryan is responsible for grid transformation, asset management and delivery operations for the safe and reliable supply of electricity to Endeavour Energy's customers. Scott began his career as a Cadet Engineer in 1989 and held a wide range of positions before assuming his current role in March 2020. He leads a team of 1,100 employees and has led major reform efforts for Endeavour’s workforce and operations. He also established Endeavour’s unregulated business, Ausconnex, which under his leadership has seen revenue grow by as much as 70 per cent annually.

Gina Pavlovic, Manager, Sustainability and Environment, Endeavour Energy

Gina joined Endeavour Energy as Manager, Sustainability and Environment, in February 2021, and is responsible for leading the development of their inaugural Sustainability Strategy. She helped the company secure a landmark sustainability-linked loan in 2022, as well as earn a five-star rating in 2021 and 2022 from GRESB, a global sustainability benchmarking organisation. Gina holds a master’s degree in environmental science from the University of Sydney and has worked for a number of large community service and infrastructure businesses. Before joining Endeavour, Gina was the Sustainability and Environment Manager for the City of Sydney.  

About Endeavour Energy

Endeavour Energy provides electricity for more than 2.7 million people in southeastern Australia. The company’s network spans more than 25,000 square kilometres, and is made up of more than 430,000 power poles and streetlight columns, 207 major substations and 32,600 distribution substations connected by nearly 60,600 kilometres – more than the distance from Sydney to London and back – of underground and overhead cables.  The network is also integrated with renewable energy sources, including 220,000 residential solar connections, industrial solar, and large-scale batteries. Learn more about Endeavour Energy here.*


It will be a big transition. We are [Louisiana] considered an oil and gas state, so getting to net zero carbon emissions in this environment is not going to be an easy task.” - Sybil Montegut, Cleco


Sybil Montegut, Vice President of Enterprise Analytics and Innovation, Cleco

Sybil Montegut is responsible for driving performance through innovative and data-driven solutions, providing key insights and analysis for decision making to support strategic initiatives that impact the overall success of the company. She joined Cleco in 2008 and has held positions in corporate taxation, corporate analytics, investor relations, and the transformation office. She was the project lead for Cleco’s $US1 billion acquisition of Cleco Cajun (formerly known as NRG South Central Generating LLC) in 2019, and she worked on the privatisation of Cleco Corporation in 2016. Sybil serves as the vice chair for Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance and is on the advisory board for Louisiana Clean Fuels. She also serves on local nonprofit boards in her community.

Robert “Robbie” R. LaBorde, Jr., Chief Operations and Sustainability Officer, Cleco

Robbie LaBorde oversees Cleco’s daily power generation operations, transmission operations, and sustainability efforts. A veteran of the energy industry, he joined Cleco in July 1991 and served in several leadership positions before assuming his current role in February 2022. Robbie is a member of the Edison Electric Institute, Association of Edison Illuminating Companies, and the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry. He also serves on numerous nonprofit boards and is active in youth programs throughout his community. 

About Cleco

Cleco Corporate Holdings LLC is a regional energy holding company that has been in business since 1935. Based in Pineville, Louisiana, the company has roughly 1,300 employees and operates as Cleco Power, a regulated electric public utility that serves approximately 290,000 customers, and Cleco Cajun, an unregulated utility company that serves electric cooperatives, municipalities, an electric utility, and a nonprofit corporation. Learn more about Cleco here.*



Episode content recorded November 2022.


Navigating to Net Zero podcast series

Hear unique insights from leaders on their businesses' decarbonisation challenges and the practical climate solutions they are implementing.

*The link included on the page directs you to a website not controlled by Macquarie Asset Management (MAM). MAM is not responsible for the content of the website you are about to visit. This link is provided solely for information purposes and inclusion should not be construed as endorsement or adoption of any subsequent presentation, information, or materials, unless expressly noted otherwise. Investment strategies mentioned may not be suitable for all clients.


These recordings are intended for financial professionals and institutional investors only. This is not intended for use with the general public.


The views expressed in this podcast represent those of the speaker and are subject to change. Nothing presented should be construed as a recommendation to purchase or sell any security or follow any investment technique or strategy, and does not constitute advice, an advertisement, an invitation, a confirmation, an offer or a solicitation to engage in any investment activity, or an offer of any banking or financial service.


This information is a general description of Macquarie Asset Management only. Before acting on any information, you should consider the appropriateness of it having regard to your particular objectives, financial situation and needs and seek advice. Some products and/or services mentioned on this website may not be suitable for you and may not be available in all jurisdictions.


Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. All examples herein are for illustrative purposes only and there can be no assurance that any particular investment objective will be realized or any investment strategy seeking to achieve such objective will be successful. Past performance is not a reliable indication of future performance.


No representation or warranty, expressed or implied, is made as to the accuracy or completeness of the information, opinions and conclusions presented. In preparing this recording, reliance has been placed, without independent verification, on the accuracy and completeness of all information available from external sources. 


Macquarie Asset Management (MAM) is the asset management division of Macquarie Group. MAM is a full-service asset manager offering a diverse range of products across public and private markets including fixed income, equities, multi-asset solutions, private credit, infrastructure, renewables, natural assets, real estate, and asset finance. The Public Investments business is a part of MAM and includes the following investment advisers: Macquarie Investment Management Business Trust (MIMBT), Macquarie Funds Management Hong Kong Limited, Macquarie Investment Management Austria Kapitalanlage AG, Macquarie Investment Management Global Limited, Macquarie Investment Management Europe Limited, and Macquarie Investment Management Europe S.A.


Other than Macquarie Bank Limited ABN 46 008 583 542 (“Macquarie Bank”), any Macquarie Group entity noted in this document is not an authorised deposit-taking institution for the purposes of the Banking Act 1959 (Commonwealth of Australia). The obligations of these other Macquarie Group entities do not represent deposits or other liabilities of Macquarie Bank. Macquarie Bank does not guarantee or otherwise provide assurance in respect of the obligations of these other Macquarie Group entities. In addition, if this document relates to an investment, (a) the investor is subject to investment risk including possible delays in repayment and loss of income and principal invested and (b) none of Macquarie Bank or any other Macquarie Group entity guarantees any particular rate of return on or the performance of the investment, nor do they guarantee repayment of capital in respect of the investment.




© 2023 Macquarie Group Limited