ESG Case Studies

The ESG Initiative at the Wharton School
The Environmental, Social and Governance Initiative seeks to advance academic research on ESG topics. 

ESG Integration in Finance

Parnassus Investments and Wells Fargo & Co.: Balancing Morals, Metrics and Materiality

A look at the efforts of Ben Allen, CEO of Parnassus, to invest in Wells Fargo while advancing the financial welfare of the firm’s investors and the ESG values so important to many of them and to the staff of the firm.

Engine No. 1: An ESG Upstart Challenges Fund-Industry Assumptions About Organizing An ETF and Everyone’s Assumptions About Proxy Fights

A look into Engine No. 1’s efforts to combine a new ETF that both met a need in the market for active ownership and satisfied gatekeepers with a hedge fund that occasionally pursued activist campaigns needing the support of the Big Three to succeed.

Striking a Balance Between Valuation and Values: Investment Managers Weigh Whether Investments in a Major Oil Company and an Ethanol Producer Serve their Dual Mandate

A look at the decisions Michelle Dunstan and Jeremy Taylor, co-managers of the Alliance Bernstein Global ESG Improvers Strategy, had to make in their effort to buy stocks they believed had the best chance to deliver excellent long-term financial results and improve their ESG performance.

ESG Integration in Strategy

Calculating the Net Present Value of Sustainability Initiatives at Newmont’s Ahafo Mine in Ghana

This case study examines the value and strategy of estimating the net present value of sustainability at Newmont’s Ahafo Mine in Ghana.

Choppies’ Waters: Retailing in Botswana and Sub-Saharan Africa

This case study looks at the impact of Choppies, under the guidance of CEO  Ramachandran (“Ram”) Ottapathu, on Botswana and Sub-Saharan Africa.

ESG and Organizational Change

Designing and Implementing an Integrated Project Management System at Minas-Rio

This case study examines the design and implementation of an Integrated Project Management System to achieve the ultimate goal of First Ore on Ship (FOOS) by November 30, 2014, by Paulo Castellari, CEO of the Anglo American subsidiary Iron Ore Brazil.

Glenmede: How to Credibly Bring an ESG Lens to Investing and Secure Buy-in from Analysts and Clients

A look at Amy Wilson’s efforts to direct ESG investing within the Glenmede Investment Firm credibly and effectively.

Abraaj Group’s Integration of ESG Policies into the Turnaround of K-Electric

This case study explores the efficacy of the Abraaj Group’s strategy in changing the K-Electric company’s direction, with the aim of transforming it into a sustainable, growth-oriented, private sector utility.


A simulated image of a computer, phone, coffe cup and screen sit on a desk in an office with a plant, table and chair, in front of a window with blinds that shows a city scape in the background.

Kerovka simulation

The Kerovka simulation is a highly innovative software tool that is used as part of an organised workshop, either in a classroom or in remote format, to deliver an intense experience that helps participants with a wide variety of experience levels to develop skills for dealing with challenges such as managing crisis scenarios, and leading responsibly & sustainably.

About the Environmental, Social and Governance Initiative

The Environmental, Social and Governance Initiative conducts academically rigorous and practically relevant research with industry partners and across all Wharton departments that investigates when, where, and how ESG factors impact business value. Informed by research, we offer 30+ courses that MBA and undergraduate students can assemble into a major or concentration, over a dozen co-curricular experiences, and three Executive certificate programs. Led by Vice Dean Witold Henisz, the ESG Initiative advances Wharton’s best-in-class education of current and future leaders, enabling them to serve a world undergoing tremendous change.

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The ESG Initiative at the Wharton School