Calendar » Event: Developing Outcome-Oriented Sustainability Indicators: Lessons from UBS, Harvard and CUNY

Event: Developing Outcome-Oriented Sustainability Indicators: Lessons from UBS, Harvard and CUNY

Created by Bruce Summers
February 50, 2019 | 7:00 AM | World Bank Group Headquarters I 1-200 (I building, 1850 I street NW) and by WebEx

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 | 12:00pm – 2:00pm | I 1-200 (I building, 1850 I str NW)

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Meeting number: 739 286 310

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Overview: Developing metrics for sustainability is a crucial part of shifting investment decisions towards sustainable practices. Since November 2015 UBS Asset Management has been managing a global impact investment portfolio (AUM USD 2 billion) composed of public companies on behalf of a Dutch pension fund. As part of the mandate, UBS AM conceived a framework for measuring the positive impacts of products and services produced by public companies based on core data derived from Earth and public health sciences. Together with scientists at Harvard School of Public Health, City University of New York (CUNY) and University of Wageningen, UBS AM has been developing impact measurement methodologies that specifically link a wide range of technologies to impacts on the environment (improved air and water resources) and society (access to clean water, lives saved, sick days avoided, access to nutritious food). The impact categories in focus are: Climate change/air pollution, water, health and food security.

This methodology was first of a kind and was published in Science 02 Feb 2018 (article attached).

The team will be visiting World Bank to share their lessons in scaling this work. To date the research has yielded approximately 100 technology models (covering pharmaceuticals, renewables, buildings, transportation, water infrastructure, food production among others) linked to 14 impact  metrics, which can be adapted to reflect geo-spatial specificity at the regional/country level. The impact metrics directly align with several UN SDG indicators, and can be applied to technologies installed or utilized around the world in public and private investments and multiple asset classes. This capability allows for direct comparisons between companies and projects -- an important consideration when identifying how to provide loans or make investments that have beneficial environmental and social impacts.

The BBL discussion will include lessons learned, information challenges, framework extensions and applicability of the metrics to global investment strategies.


  • Karin Kemper, Senior Director, Environment & Natural Resources Global Practice


  • Dr. Dinah A. Koehler, UBS Global Asset Management
  • Dr. John D. Spengler, Harvard School of Public Health
  • Dr. Charles Vorosmarty, CUNY, ASRC


  • Fiona Stewart, Lead Financial Sector Specialist. Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation GP
  • Rong Zhang, Senior Policy Officer. IFC VP Legal & ESG Risk and Sustainability
  • Colleen E. Keenan, Senior Operations Officer. Capital Markets Department, WB Treasury


Dr. Dinah A. Koehler leads the UBS Sustainable Investors team's impact measurement research project and whitepaper development. She also has primary responsibility for the overall product positioning and development of Sustainable Equity Strategies, ESG database development, as well as marketing and communication to existing and prospective clients globally. She is based in New York.

Dinah is a recognized researcher on corporate sustainability. She won the 2005 Academy of Management Organization and the Natural Environment Division’s Best Dissertation Prize. Dinah has been invited to present her research at the University of Michigan, Yale, the Wharton School, Columbia and Harvard, and has published in peer-reviewed journals and books. She has advised Harvard and Wharton on academic programs and research databases related to corporate sustainability. Over the course of her career she has worked in and advised large global corporations, national governments and international organizations on sustainability issues.

Prior to joining UBS Asset Management in February 2015, Dinah worked as a sustainability researcher at Deloitte and The Conference Board, responsible for thought leadership and managed a webcast series dedicated to corporate sustainability. She managed a research program at the US EPA’s Office of Research and Development for four years and did post-doctoral work at Wharton.

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