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Daniel c. Esty

Founder, Co-Chair

Dan Esty is the Hillhouse Professor at Yale University with primary appointments at Yale’s Environment and Law Schools and a secondary appointment at the Yale School of Management. He serves as director of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy (www.yale.edu/envirocenter) and on the Advisory Board of the Yale Center for Business and the Environment (www.yale.edu/CBEY), which he founded in 2007. Professor Esty is the author or editor of eleven books and dozens of articles on environmental protection, energy, and sustainability -- and their connections to corporate strategy, competitiveness, trade, and economic success.  His prizewinning volume, Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage, was recently named the top-selling “green business” book of the past decade.

From 2011 to early 2014, Professor Esty served as Commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection where he earned a reputation for bringing fresh thinking to both energy and environmental policy making. His policy innovations include Connecticut’s Green Bank and the “LEAN” restructuring of all of Connecticut’s environmental permitting programs to make the state’s regulatory framework lighter, faster, more efficient, and effective. 

Prior to taking up his Yale Professorship in 1994, Professor Esty served in a variety of senior positions at the US Environmental Protection Agency (where he helped negotiate the 1992 Framework Convention on Climate Change).  He also worked as a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, DC. 

As a globally recognized expert in corporate sustainability strategy, Professor Esty has helped dozens of companies in a wide range of industries to translate their environment and sustainability efforts into marketplace value.  His clients have included: Alcoa, American Eagle, Boeing, Coca-Cola, Delhaize Group, Disney, Dow, FedEx, Hanesbrands, IBM, Ikea, Nokia, Unilever, Verizon, Waste Management, and Xerox.