Symposium: The State of ESG Data and Metrics

On September 22, 2017, the Journal of Environmental Investing (JEI), the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy (YCELP), and the Yale Center for Business and the Environment (CBEY) will present our journal issue and invitation-only symposium on “The State of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Data and Metrics.” Professors Dan Esty and Todd Cort of Yale University, acting as guest editors and hosts, will welcome other leading academic researchers and industry practitioners to present groundbreaking papers on ESG data and metrics.

Publication of the papers in the JEI on September 22 will coincide with the symposium, which will be held at the Yale School of Management’s award-winning Evans Hall in New Haven, Connecticut.

The symposium is a unique opportunity to interact with other senior representatives of large corporations, pension funds, endowments, and foundations, as well as individual fund managers and data providers, on the future of ESG data. The presenters and topics will include the following:

  • Mark Kriss, Macroclimate – Geo-Financial Engineering Initiative: Using Real Time Environmental Data from Satellites to Move Financial Markets and Improve Climate Outcomes
  • Erik Allen, Rho AI – The Application of Machine Learning to Sustainable Finance
  • Gretchen Goldman, Union of Concerned Scientists – A Methodology for Assessment of Corporate Responsibility on Climate Change: A Case Study of the Fossil Fuel Industry
  • Linda Eling-Lee, MSCI – Do Corporate Controversies Help or Hurt Performance? A Study of Three Portfolio Strategies
  • Bill Davis, Stance Capital – Performance and Impact: Can ESG Equity Portfolios Generate Healthier Financial Returns?

For more information, please contact Cary Krosinsky at


The State of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Data and Metrics

Symposium Agenda

Friday September 22, 2017

Location: Evans Hall, Yale School of Management, 165 Whitney Ave, New Haven CT

09:30 Coffee
10:00 Welcome Dan Esty, Yale Initiative on Sustainable Finance (YISF)
Cary Krosinsky, JEI
10:30 State of Play in ESG Investing Todd Cort, YISF
11:15 Breakout Sessions

Breakout A:  Identifying Alpha                                    Moderator: David Richardson, Impax

  •  Diana Glassman, Integration Strategy: How Companies can Develop ESG Metrics for their own Operations
  •  Karina Funk, Brown Advisory: ESG and active alpha: How can ESG metrics help us understand both company and fund performance?

 Breakout B:  New Tools in ESG Analysis                  Moderator: Jim Hawley, TruValue Labs

  •  Mark Kriss, Macroclimate: Geo-financial Engineering Initiative, Using real time environmental data from satellites to move financial markets and improve climate outcomes
  •  Erik Allen, Two Sigma Investments: The Application of Machine Learning to Sustainable Finance

 Breakout C: Green Bonds                                             Moderator: Sarah Wilson, Nuveen

  •  Patrick Bigger, University of Lancaster: Ratings, standards and practices for co-mingling risks in green bonds
  •  Anadi Jauhari, Yale Initiative on Sustainable Finance, Emerging Energy & Environment Investing Group
12:30 Lunch Buffet in School of Management Courtyard
1:15    Plenary Panel Discussion
Materiality and Corporate Financial Disclosure     Moderator: Rodney Irwin, WBCSD
  •  Todd Cort, Yale Initiative on Sustainable Finance
  •  Lois Guthrie and Mario Abela, World Business Council for Sustainable Development
  •  Eszter Vitorino and Bastion Buck, Global Reporting Initiative
  •  Richard Pearl, State Street Corporation
  •  Cyeria Jackson, Monsanto Company
2:15 Break, coffee
2:45 Breakout Sessions

 Breakout A: New Lenses                                               Moderator: John Streur, Calvert

  •  Linda-Eling Lee, MSCI: Do Corporate Controversies Help or Hurt Performance? A Study of Three Portfolio Strategies
  •  Gretchen Goldman, Union of Concerned Scientists: A Methodology for Assessment of Corporate Responsibility on Climate Change: A Case Study of the Fossil Fuel Industry
  •  Bill Davis, Stance Capital: Performance and Impact:  Can ESG equity portfolios generate healthier financial returns?

 Breakout B: Broad ESG Data                                       Moderator: Deborah Spalding, Commonfund

  •  Todd Cort, YISF: Sustainability Metrics, What Investors Need but do not Get
  •  Amy Springsteel, Voya Financial: The Value and Current Limitations of ESG Data for the Security Selector
  •  Elyse Douglas, New York University: Responsible Investing, Guide to ESG Data Providers and Relevant Trends

Breakout C: Normalization of ESG Metrics               Moderator: Rina Kupferschmid-Rojas, UBS

  •  Riva Krut, Praxair: Learning How to Count: The complexities for ESG investors of comparing energy efficiency and GHG performance
  •  D Scott Showalter and Gilroy Zuckerman, North Carolina State University: Investor’s Guide to Analyzing Company Sustainability Performance

Breakout D: ESG Materiality & Corporate Financial Reporting Workshop    Moderator: Sabine Content, Global Reporting Initiative

This session is designed for reporting companies that want to take sustainability reporting to the next level by engaging further with GRI, their peers and experts in the field.

The Sustainability Reporting Roundtable helps reporting organizations take their reporting process further.


4:00 Wrap-up Discussion, Plenary Dan Esty, YISF
5:00 Close

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