Mendoza School of Business

ND accountancy conference to focus on sustainability, responsible investing

Published: August 23, 2021 / Author: Carol Elliott

cityscapeThe UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report released August 9 presented a dire forecast: Total global warming is likely to rise around 1.5 degrees Celsius within the next two decades. Among the many implications of this sobering outlook is that companies will need to adopt long-term systemic shifts to address climate change through appropriate financial flows and new technology frameworks.

The University of Notre Dame’s Center for Accounting Research and Education (CARE) at Mendoza College of Business will host a two-day virtual conference to explore the changes that will be necessary to create the accounting framework for sustainability and responsible investing necessary moving forward.

The Accounting for Sustainability and Responsible Investing Conference, held online 11 a.m.-6:20 p.m. ET September 22 and September 29, in conjunction with the Sustainable Investment Forum North America, will gather more than 70 industry and academic experts including accountants, finance professionals, law professionals, policymakers, economists, investors, climate scientists and scholars. (See full agenda.) The sessions are free to attend and open to the public; participants must register in advance for the live conference and access to on-demand streaming after the conference.

The Sustainable Investment Forum North America 2021 is the largest finance forum during Climate Week NYC. Held in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP-FI), the forum’s mission is to mobilize sustainable investment toward a 1.5°C world. The 2021 forum is scheduled for September 21, 23, 28 and 30, including the CARE Conference on September 22 and September 29. For more details on the Sustainable Investment Forum North America conference, please visit the forum website.


Peter Easton

“I have spoken at length with all of the speakers and panelists and have been moved by what I have heard,” said Peter Easton, CARE director and Notre Dame Alumni Professor of Accountancy. “It is clear that practice, particularly outside of the U.S., is moving much more rapidly than academia both from a teaching and research viewpoint. The message from the conference will be that a sea-change is occuring in corporate reporting and investing. I encourage anyone with an interest in sustainability, responsible investing, and the future of our planet and the global economy to register for the conference to hear what I have heard and to work with Mendoza to ensure that we are at the forefront of these changes.”

The topics discussed during the two-day conference range widely from whether ESG reporting can be consistent with basic accounting principles, to how accounting and finance academics can become involved with ESG reporting; to measuring, managing and monetizing the impact of sustainability. The renowned speakers and panelists include:

  • Gerben De Zwart, head of Investment Solutions for APG, The Netherlands, an ESG focussed investment firm.
  • Alan McGill, Global Head of Sustainability Reporting & Assurance at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
  • Princess Nouf Muhammad Al-Saud, CEO of the King Khalid Foundation.
  • Simon O’Connor, chief executive of Responsible Investment Association Australasia.
  • Veronica Poole, Global IFRS and Corporate Reporting Leader at Deloitte.
  •  Delaney Reynolds, founder and CEO of the Sink or Swim Project and a student at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.
  • Youth Engagement Panel of Notre Dame students and recent graduates, along with peers from the University of Technology, Sydney.

Sponsors for the event are accounting powerhouses EY and KPMG, global consulting and standards firm AccountAbility, and Cambridge Business Publishers.

“The 2021 CARE Conference is a fantastic opportunity to hear from a host of experts with different perspectives and areas of expertise working on the front lines of climate change,’ said Martijn Cremers, Martin J. Gillen Dean of the Mendoza College of Business. “Understanding how the climate crisis impacts accounting and finance and vice versa will be increasingly critical knowledge for business leaders, policymakers and researchers alike.”

Established in 2004, the Center for Accounting Research and Education at Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business supports academics worldwide in the creation and dissemination of accounting and investment knowledge through education, timely and thoughtful research, and partnering with accounting practice to inform the accounting and investment professionals of tomorrow. For more than 16 years, CARE has hosted annual conferences with the goal of setting research agendas for many emerging scholars that address key issues related to accounting education and practice.

For more information about CARE or the 2021 CARE Accounting for Sustainability and Responsible Investing Conference, please visit the CARE website or contact Lorie Marsh at