Skip to main content

2021 YISF Annual Symposium: The Path Forward in Sustainable Finance

On the eve of COP26, the Yale Initiative on Sustainable Finance is delighted to host its 2021 Annual Symposium to explore the path forward in sustainable finance. With our diverse set of speakers and expert panelists, the conversation will feature fresh thinking and cutting-edge insights on net-zero, green bonds, growing regulatory pressures, and other emerging issues in the world of sustainable finance – especially those of interest to the sustainable investing community.  


8:45 – 9:00               Welcome

Todd Cort, Faculty Co-Director, Yale Initiative on Sustainable Finance


9:00 – 10:00             Opening plenary: Fireside Chat on Sustainable Investment

Hanneke Smits, CEO of BNY Mellon Investment Management

Dan Esty, Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law & Policy at Yale University

                 Faculty Co-Director, Yale Initiative on Sustainable Finance


10:15 – 11:30          Parallel panels session

Panel 1: Portfolios and sustainability
Chair: Todd Cort, Faculty Co-Director, Yale Initiative on Sustainable Finance

Alexander Bassen and Othar Kordsachia, Hamburg University – Index Construction for Sustainable Development Investing

Sam Hilton and Joanne Lee, WWF – Assessing Portfolio Impact – Tools to Measure Biodiversity and SDG Footprints of Financial Portfolios

Ulrich Atz, New York University – Does Sustainability Generate Better Financial Performance? Review, Meta-analysis and Propositions


Panel 2: Lingering issues in sustainable finance
Chair: Amanda Wallace, JP Morgan

Olaf Weber, University of Waterloo – Carbon Costs and Credit Risks

Nathan de Arriba-Sellier and Dan Esty, Yale University – Zeroing-in on Net-Zero: Is the Business Community Walking the Talk?

Kelly Clark and Magali Delmas, University of California, Los Angeles – Increasing IMPACT: An Assessment of ESG Metrics and Recommendations to Improve Their Utility


12:30 – 1:45             Parallel panels session

Panel 3: Sustainability beyond carbon: diversity and biodiversity
Chair: Valerie Grant, AllianceBernstein

Bola Olusanya, The Nature Conservancy – The Nature Conservancy: The Journey to Pragmatic Portfolio Decarbonization

John Joaquin Bohorquez and David Meyers, Conservation Finance Alliance – An Integrated Blended Finance Fund for Coral Reefs

Anthony Campagna, ISS ESG – The Content of Their Character. How Diversity & Inclusion Continue to Drive Change


Panel 4: Green and sustainable bonds
Chair: Anya Nakhmurina, Yale School of Management

Dion Bongaerts, Rotterdam School of Management – The security design of green debt instruments

Nathaniel Springer and Susanna Gibbons, University of Minnesota – Quantifying the impact of green bonds: using life-cycle assessment to measure comprehensive financial and environmental return on investment

Alexander Vasa, Interamerican Development Bank – A novel database for green bonds to support investment analysis and decision making, research and regulatory decisions: The Green Bond Transparency Platform

Matthew Kuchtyak, Moody's ESG Solutions - Social innovation in a post-pandemic world: labeled bonds rise to the challenge


2:00 – 3:00               Closing plenary: Fireside Chat on Climate and Financial Policy: The Way Forward

Sarah Bloom Raskin, Colin W. Brown Distinguished Professor of the Practice of Law at Duke University

                                    former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury

                                    former Governor of the Federal Reserve Board

Cary S. Krosinsky, Lecturer at Yale University

                               Co-Founder and Director at Carbon Tracker Initiative


3:00 – 3:15               Wrap-up and close

Dan Esty, Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law & Policy at Yale University

                 Faculty Co-Director, Yale Initiative on Sustainable Finance


Click here to register for the 2021 YISF Annual Symposium.


The 2021 YISF Annual Symposium is supported
by our Platinum Sponsor BNY Mellon

We are also grateful to our Bronze Sponsors: the Ida and Robert Gordon Family Foundation and BNP Paribas



Dan Esty

Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law & Policy at Yale University
Director at Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy
Co-Director at Yale Initiative on Sustainable Finance
J.D. 1986

Todd Cort

Senior Lecturer in Sustainability at Yale School of Management
Faculty Co-Director at Yale Center for Business and the Environment

Cary Krosinsky

Lecturer, Yale College and Faculty Advisory Committee, Energy Studies at Yale University