Sustainable Investing and Environmental – Social – Governance (ESG) Metrics: Revealing The Truth Behind The Numbers

What better way to end a dismal 2020 than by looking ahead to a (much) better 2021?

Instead of leaning back and closing the year with the customary “Year In Review” blog post, I thought that I’d lean forward and invite my colleagues to a free webinar that I am presenting on January 20, 2021 from 4pm to 6pm Eastern time, 3pm to 5pm Central time. There is no fee for attendance; the webinar will be co-presented by the Houston CPA Society and the Sustainability Investment Leadership Council. See below for details.

If you wish to attend, please contact me at I’ll be delighted to forward the log-in codes to you. Happy New Year!

Here are the details:

Hundreds of millions of dollars are now invested in funds that are labeled “socially responsible investments.” But who determines what is “socially responsible”? How are standards and metrics defined for this large – and growing exponentially larger – sector of the capital markets?

Session Description

By June 2020, a quarter of a trillion dollars were invested in ESG funds. And the growth trend is increasing exponentially; the amount of capital that flowed into sustainable funds last year was roughly four times as great as the amount in the prior year, and six times as great as the amount in 2013.

Many wealth managers follow automated “robo-advisor” guidance by investing in ESG funds that track sustainability indices and other publicly available metrics. Thus, personal financial planners and investment managers who compete against such advisory services may find it helpful to learn about the “truth behind the numbers.”

In this session, we will review growth trends in the ESG fund industry. We will then engage in a detailed analysis of the investment methodology of the world’s leading set of sustainability indices. Finally, we will review the definitions and constructs of the world’s leading promulgators of ESG metrics and standards.

Target Audience

Wealth managers, investment advisors, and personal financial planners
Assurance professionals with professional interests in the ESG field
Accounting professionals and students with career interests in sustainability

Major Discussion Topics

Development of global ESG capital markets
The Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI)
Roles Played by RobecoSAM and Rep Risk in the DJSI
Case Study: Exxon Mobil
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
IPIECA International Petroleum Industry Metrics

Discussion Materials

CNBC, Money Moving Into Environmental Funds Shatters Previous Record

Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) Methodology




Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

IPIECA International Petroleum Industry Metrics