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June 17 – Improving Sustainable Investing through Better ESG Metrics

June 17, 2021 | 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Businesses and investors are increasingly including environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance attributes alongside traditional financial metrics. Although ESG metrics are becoming increasingly popular, there are many data gaps, and limited consistency within what is available today.  

The Boston University Impact Measurement and Allocation Program (IMAP) was established in 2020 to improve and standardize the measurement and use of ESG attributes of businesses.  We are working closely with both leading financial industry professionals and a wide network of academic experts. 

IMAP’s early work has identified a strong desire from the investment industry for new sources of high-quality ESG metrics, that are not readily available from today’s data vendors.  This webinar will highlight new metrics of corporate performance under development by leading academic researchers.  Each will present different data sources that can be used to improve the risk assessment of a firm’s performance.  While most of today’s ESG metrics are currently derived from a company’s self-reported measures, this webinar will explore potential third-party sources such as GIS data, temperature trends, worker accident reports, and employee ratings of their employers.



  • Sucharita Gopal, Professor in Boston University’s Department of Earth & Environment, College of Arts & Sciences.
    Suchi is a Professor in Boston University’s Department of Earth & Environment, College of Arts & Sciences who wants to transform science into policy and action. Her research is multidisciplinary, dealing with spatial analysis and modeling, GIS, data mining and information visualization, and artificial neural networks. She has applied spatial analysis and modeling to address a variety of problems in ecology, sustainability, public health, and business.  She has also worked on uncertainty issues related to GIS. She has used neural networks for pattern classification, estimation, and mixture modeling. Her current funded research includes the development of ESG analytics, AI (a SaaS platform) to guide sustainable investment, sustainable development goals (SDGs), marine conservation and planning, opioid risk mapping, network analysis of gas leaks, biodiversity impacts of energy investments, and mapping health service delivery in Kenya.
  • Nina Mažar, Professor of Marketing, Boston University’s Questrom School of Business.
    Nani is a Professor of Marketing in Boston University’s Questrom School of Business.  In her current role as co-director of the Susilo Institute for Ethics in the Global Economy she focuses on topics ranging from ethics of technology, customers, and organizations to social & environmental impact.  Her current work includes an analysis of perceptions of corporations based on the availability of employee satisfaction ratings and ethical conduct ratings published by third party platforms.  She previously helped establish the World Bank’s Behavioral Insights Initiative (eMBeD) to use behavioral science to make development interventions more effective and co-directed the Behavioral Economics in Action research center at Rotman (BEAR) – the first academic center in Canada dedicated to applying behavioral economics to policy and organizations.
  • Nora M.C. Pankratz, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of California Los Angeles Center for Innovation.
    Nora is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of California Los Angeles Luskin Center for Innovation.  She is interested in how investors, firms, and workers respond to changing environments and her research focuses on the potential effects of Climate Change on Firms and Financial Markets in this context. In December 2021, she will join the research department (Directorate General Research) of the European Central Bank as a Senior Economist.


  • Susan Fredholm Murphy, Executive Director, Boston University’s Impact Measurement and Allocation Program (IMAP).
    Susan is the Executive Director for Boston University’s Impact Measurement and Allocation Program (IMAP).  Prior to joining BU, she spent 12 years in the field of environmental sustainability consulting for corporations, most recently as the North American Director of Consulting and Innovation for thinkstep AG.  Her expertise is in the field of Life Cycle Assessment, generating the data used to calculate corporate scope 1, 2 and 3 carbon impacts.  She holds a MS in Technology and Policy from MIT and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Olin College.

Co-hosted by the Boston University Impact Measurement & Allocation Program (IMAP), Susilo Institute for Ethics in the Global Economy at the Questrom School of Business, and the Institute for Sustainable Energy.

Event sponsored by the Boston University Questrom School of Business.

Series Sponsor

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