Contemporary Issues in Sustainability Reporting Symposium

Windmill stock image

Presented by: CPA Ontario Centre for Sustainability and Performance Management (CSPM)

February 23-24, 2024

CPA Ontario Centre for Sustainability Reporting and Performance Management (CSPM) is proud to bring together thought leaders from academia and business to explore and discuss contemporary issues in sustainability reporting. This event will provide an opportunity to interact and share ideas throughout the symposium.


Thursday, February 22nd
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Reception at Delta Waterloo, 110 Erb St. W, Waterloo, ON N2L 0C6

Friday, February 23rd

University of Waterloo, School of Accounting and Finance, Hagey Hall 1104

9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Coffee & pastries
9:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.

Opening Remarks and Land Acknowledgement

Elizabeth Demers, School of Accounting and Finance, University of Waterloo
Dr. Diane Johnston, Associate Vice President, Research and International, University of Waterloo
Janet Gillies, Executive VP of Regulatory and Standards at CPAO
Samir Trabelsi, CAAA President

9:45 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Accountability of Corporate Emissions Reduction Targets 

Speaker:  Shirley Lu, Harvard Business School
Discussant:  Daniel Kim, School of Accounting and Finance, University of Waterloo
Moderator: Majid Mirza, Founder and CEO of ESGTree

10:45 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Break
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Keynote Speech – Zacharias Sautner, University of Zurich, Department of Banking and Finance
Moderator: Mingyue Zhang, Assistant Professor, Associate Director CSPM, UW SAF
12:00 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Tony’s Chocolonely – Noel Davidson, Communications Specialist US
Moderator:  Joyce Tian, Associate Professor, UW SAF

Other materials:  HBR Article and INSEAD case.

12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Lunch
1:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.

Panel Discussion – Practitioner Perspectives on Corporate Sustainability Practices and Disclosures

  • Kyra Bell-Pasht, Investors for Paris Compliance
  • Jon Gilligan, Liberty Gold
  • Alison Joutsi, ESG Global Advisors
  • Alyson Slater, Manulife Investment Management

Moderator:  Liz Demers, Deloitte Professor, Co-Director CSPM, UW SAF

2:45 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Break
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Keynote Speech – Richard Sloan, University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business
Moderator:  Mingyue Zhang, Assistant Professor, Associate Director CSPM, UW SAF
4:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. Break
4:15 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.

Human Capital Disclosures 

Speaker:  Ethan Rouen, Harvard Business School
Discussant:  Jason Sandvik, University of Arizona
Moderator:  Muhammad Azim, Assistant Professor, UW SAF

6:00 p.m. Dinner at Delta Waterloo, 110 Erb St. W, Waterloo, ON N2L 0C6

Saturday, February 24th

University of Waterloo, School of Accounting and Finance, Hagey Hall 1104

8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. Coffee & Pastries
8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

TCFD Reporting: Early Evidence Related to the Future of Global Climate-Related Disclosures 

Speaker:  Jurian Hendrikse, Tilburg School of Economics and Management
Discussant:  Sanjay Banerjee, University of Alberta
Moderator:  Leah Feor, PhD Candidate, UW SEED

9:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. Break
9:45 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Executive Race/Ethnicity Matters in S&P 500 Firms 

Speaker:  John Hand, Kenan Flagler Business School, UNC
Discussant:  Amar Mahmoud, School of Accounting and Finance, University of Waterloo
Moderator:  Amr ElAlfy, Assistant Professor, UW SEED

10:45 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Break
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Keynote Speech – Jeff Hales, ISSB member
Moderator:  Shari Mann, Continuing Lecturer, UW SAF
12:00 p.m. Closing Remarks
Liz Demers, Deloitte Professor, Co-Director CSPM, UW SAF
12:00 p.m. Lunch


Keynote Speakers Bios
Jeff Hales headshot

Jeffrey Hales teaches global corporate sustainability at the University of Texas at Austin, where he holds the Bake Chair in Global Sustainability Leadership, is the Charles T. Zlatkovich Centennial Professor of Accounting, and serves as the Executive Director of the Global Sustainability Leadership Institute.

He is a graduate of the accounting program at Brigham Young University and received his Ph.D. from Cornell University. His research interests center on accounting standard setting and regulation, individual decision making, and behavioral finance, using techniques from applied game theory, experimental economics, and psychology. His research has appeared in The Accounting ReviewJournal of Accounting ResearchJournal of Accounting and Economics, and the Journal of Financial Economics, among other journals. He has served in editorial capacities at several journals, including editorial terms at Contemporary Accounting Research and Accounting Horizons.

Since July 2022, he has served on the International Sustainability Standards Board. From 2012 to 2022, he served in various leadership capacities at the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), including as Chair of the SASB Standards Board. During 2009-10, he was a Research Fellow at the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) in Norwalk, CT, and served as a member of the FASB’s Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council from 2016-2019.

Jeffrey Hales (International Sustainability Standards Board and University of Texas at Austin)

Zacharias Sautner is Professor of Sustainable Finance at the Department of Banking and Finance of the University of Zurich (UZH) and a senior chair at the Swiss Finance Institute (SFI). Through his research on ESG topics such as climate change or biodiversity, he provides insights on how finance can contribute to a more sustainable future. He enjoys spreading his sustainable finance views in keynote speeches around the world. 

His research was published in leading international journals, and he was ranked #23 globally across 12,000 business authors in a ranking based on SSRN research paper downloads (January 2023, calculated over the past 12 months,). His research has been cited more than 6,000 times according to Google Scholar and his expertise is referenced in newspapers such as Wall Street Journal, New York Times, or Financial Times, and in reports by the IMF, ECB, or European Commission as well as in speeches by central bankers.

Sautner acts as Associate Editor at the Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Banking & Finance, Financial Management, and Journal of Corporate Finance. He is also a Regular Research Visitor at the ECB and advises institutional investors on ESG issues.

He is the proud father of three daughters (born 2017, 2019, 2021), making him intrinsically motivated to work hard for a sustainable future.

Zacharias Sautner (University of Zurich)
Richard Sloan headshot

Richard Sloan is a professor of accounting, finance and business economics at the University of Southern California. He has also served on the faculties of UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. While at the University of Michigan, Professor Sloan was the founding director of the John R. and Georgene M. Tozzi Electronic Business and Finance Center. From 2006 to 2009, Sloan was a managing director in equity research at Barclays Global Investors. Professor Sloan’s research focuses on the role of accounting information in investment decisions.

Richard Sloan (University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business)
Speakers, Panelists, and Discussants Bios
Sanjay Banerjee headshot

Sanjay Banerjee is an associate professor and the Canadian Utilities Faculty Fellow in the Accounting and Business Analytics department at Alberta School of Business, University of Alberta. He conducts research in corporate disclosure, accounting regulations, and climate risk using information economics, cognitive science, and accounting theory. He uses complementary research methodologies including analytical modeling, laboratory experiments, and archival methods. His work has been published in the Journal of Accounting Research, Management Science, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Organization Science, and funded by Social Sciences and Humanities Council (SSHRC), Government of Canada. He is a member of the Canadian Sustainable Finance Network (CSFN).

Speaker: Sanjay Banerjee (Alberta School of Business - Department of Accounting and Business)
Kyra Bell-Pasht headshot

Kyra Bell-Pasht is the Director of Research and Policy at Investors for Paris Compliance, where she leads research on the net zero strategies of Canada's largest emitters (banks, insurance companies, asset managers, etc) as well as associated shareholder advocacy campaigns. She has over 10 years of experience in environmental law and policy, with a particular focus on net-zero strategies. She has worked as a climate mitigation policy advisor and consultant to governments, as well as an environmental lawyer. Kyra holds a Master of Laws degree from Osgoode Hall, and was called to the Ontario Bar.

PanelistKyra Bell-Pasht (Investors for Paris Compliance)
Noel Davison headshot

Digital Native Noel Davison claims to have the best job on the planet. The job? Sharing Fairtrade certified company, Tony's Chocolonely's, mission to end exploitation in cocoa (and their delicious chocolate) with fans in digital spaces as Tony's US Digital Communication Manager. In her role, she looks after Tony's social media, website, newsletter, copywriting, and more. With Noel on board, Tony's has organically amassed a social following of over 80,000, sparked viral trends, launched into new social spaces, and created memorable online partnerships with notable online personalities. 

SpeakerNoel Davison (Tony's Chocolonely)
Jon Gilligan headshot

Jon Gilligan, B.Sc. (Hons.), Ph.D.

President and Chief Operating Officer, Liberty Gold

Dr. Jonathan Gilligan is a senior mining executive with over 35-years of multi-commodity, international experience across technical services, capital projects, open pit mine construction and operations. Prior to joining Liberty Gold, he held senior technical and projects roles with both Torex Gold Resources Inc., SSR Mining Inc., and BHP. Dr. Gilligan has been instrumental in advancing many mining operations around the world including the Marigold open-pit heap leach operation, Nevada, USA; Chinchillas open pit mine, Argentina; Olympic Dam Expansion Project, South Australia; Escondida Mine, Chile; Escondida Norte open pit copper mine, Chile, and many more.

Dr. Gilligan holds a B.Sc. (Hons.) in Geology from University College London, UK and obtained a Ph.D. in gold mineralization in Archean rocks from the University of Southampton, UK.

PanelistJon Gilligan (Liberty Gold)
John Hand headshot

John R. M. Hand is the Robert March & Mildred Borden Hanes Distinguished Professor of Accounting and a Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

At both institutions, Dr. Hand teaches Financial Statement Analysis & Valuation.  In 2019 he received the UNC Kenan-Flagler Distinguished Research Award, and in 2013 and 2008 the UNC Kenan-Flagler Weatherspoon Awards for his MAC and MBA Teaching, respectively. Dr. Hand served as associate dean of UNC Kenan-Flagler’s top-ranked MAC Program from 2007-2011. He has 20 years of financial experience in the not-for-profit world as Treasurer of the Chapel Hill Bible Church (1996-2005) and Treasurer of Trinity School of Durham & Chapel Hill (2006-2016). Over the past 20+ years he has also served as a key business plan and valuation advisor to and/or on the Board of Directors of six NC-based startups.

Dr. Hand he earned his 1st Class B.Sc. in Accounting at Bristol University, England, his MBA and PhD degrees from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business (formerly GSB), and was an Assistant and Associate Professor at Booth (GSB) from 1988-1993. With current research interests in accounting, finance, entrepreneurship and executive race/ethnicity, Dr. Hand’s studies equity analysts’ valuation models, financial statement forecasts, cost of capital estimates, and financial performance and racial/ethnic representation in S&P 500 firms.

SpeakerJohn Hand (University of North Carolina, Kenan Flagler Business School)
Jurian Hendrikse headshot
Jurian Hendrikse is a PhD candidate in accounting at the Tilburg School of Economics and Management. Before starting his PhD, he graduated from the Research Master in Accounting at Tilburg University. His research focuses on the real and capital market effects of firms’ sustainability performance and disclosures. His research has been covered by international news outlets including the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and Bloomberg.
Speaker: Jurian Hendrikse (Tilburg University)
Alison Jots headshot
Alison is an ESG professional with significant experience building ESG programs and managing sustainability risks and opportunities for corporate clients. Herdiverse background in law, business and communication allows her to build ESG strategies that integrate with existing corporate goals and priorities generating long-term return on investment. She is regularly called upon to present to Boards and speak at various events on ESG regulation, disclosure, climate risk and is frequent guest lecturer to students on ESG strategy and reporting.
PanelistAlison Joutsi (ESG Global Advisors)
Daniel Kim headshot

Daniel Kim is an Assistant Professor of Finance at the School of Accounting and Finance, University of Waterloo. He graduated with a Ph.D. in Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Daniel’s research interests are in topics related to ESG, empirical corporate finance, and applied econometrics.

Discussant: Daniel Kim (Faculty, University of Waterloo, School of Accounting and Finance)
Shirley Lu headshot
Shirley Lu is an assistant professor of business administration in the Accounting and Management Unit of Harvard Business School. She conducts research in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) disclosure, with a focus on topics related to climate change and gender diversity. Her research aims to evaluate a firm’s CSR performance, understand CSR measurements and ratings, and investigate institutional frameworks that facilitate CSR disclosures. Some of her works examine the accountability of emissions targets, the bonding mechanisms of green bonds, and the credibility of CSR disclosures and ESG scores.
Speaker:Shirley Lu (Harvard Business School)
Amar Mahmoud headshot
Amar is a second year Ph.D. student at the University of Waterloo's School of Accounting and Finance. He obtained his Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Accounting from the Schulich School of Business. He received his CPA designation while working at EY's audit practice. Amar's current research interests focus on the accounting aspect of biodiversity and nature issues.
DiscussantAmar Mahmoud (PhD student, University of Waterloo, School of Accounting and Finance)
Ethan Rouen headshot

Ethan Rouen is the Terrie F. And Bradley M. Associate Professor of Business Administration in the Accounting and Management Unit at Harvard Business School, where he teaches the elective course Reimagining Capitalism. From 2020 to 2022, he served as the faculty co-chair of the Impact-Weighted Accounts Project.

His research focuses on the measurement, disclosure, and management of human capital, with a particular interest in improving engagement of and outcomes for low-wage workers. He has been recognized by the American Accounting Association with the Competitive Manuscript Award, the Deloitte Foundation Wildman Medal, the Best Dissertation Award, and the Innovation in Accounting Research Award. His research has been published in The Journal of Financial Economics, The Accounting Review, Management Science, and The Review of Accounting Studies, among others. He serves on the Design Team of the Aspen Institute Economic Mobility Accelerator Program and appears frequently in national and international media outlets. 

Professor Rouen earned a BA in history and English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and an MS in journalism at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. From Columbia Business School, he received an MBA in finance and accounting, an M.Phil. in accounting, and a PhD in accounting.

Speaker:Ethan Rouen (Harvard Business School)
Jason Sandvik headshot
Jason is an Assistant Professor of Finance at the University of Arizona's Eller College of Management. His research interests include empirical corporate finance, labor economics, and disclosure policy. So far, his research has been published in several top academic journals, including the Quarterly Journal of Economics, Management Science, and the Journal of Accounting Research. These articles exhibit a range of interests, but they show a strong theme emphasizing the relationships between a firm and its employees, and how a firm's decisions and disclosures can affect employee behavior and contributions. Whether that be how employees respond to incentives, how firms can encourage creativity within their boundaries, and how knowledge is disseminated across workers. This work on timely topics has already attracted significant attention, including the findings of his papers being featured in major outlets such as the Harvard Business Review, the MIT Sloan Management Review, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. 
Discussant: Jason Sandvik (University of Arizona's Eller College of Management)
Alyson Slater headshot

Managing Director, Head of Sustainable Investment, Public Markets, Manulife Investment Management

Alyson leads sustainable investment and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) activities in Canadian public markets at Manulife Investment Management, which serves institutional, retail and retirement clients around the world. She supports ESG integration across asset classes, investment stewardship activities with issuers, new sustainability-themed product development, and engages with clients and key stakeholders in Canada and beyond. Alyson brings over 20 years of experience to her role, with expertise in climate risk, sustainable finance, ESG data, inclusive finance, and a wide range of other sustainability issues gained through her work as a senior executive at leading consultancies and international organizations in Europe and Asia. Alyson has specialist knowledge in sustainability reporting and disclosure through her decade as an executive at the Global Reporting Initiative, an international sustainability standard-setting body. She’s currently a member of the Canadian Sustainability Standards Board, and the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy Advisory Committee.  She received her M.A. in Resource Management and Environmental Science from the University of British Columbia; and B.A., Honours, Geography and Environmental Studies, McGill University.

PanelistAlyson Slater (Manulife Investment Management)

Symposium Location:
School of Accounting and Finance, Hagey Hall
University of Waterloo
200 University Ave. W

Symposium Accommodation:
Delta Waterloo
110 Erb St. W, Waterloo, ON N2L 0C6

Please book by January 31, 2024 to take advantage of the group rate of $219 CAD per night.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email Jenny Rothwell.