Sustainable and responsible management > Measuring Beyond Initiative

Measuring Beyond Initiative

Expertise and partnerships in measuring environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors

HEC Montréal and the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School are partnering to develop knowledge on measuring corporate performance based on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors. Through this initiative, the partner institutions will also equip business partners with tools for sustainable and responsible management.

ESG criteria: towards more sustainable ways of managing

The ESG criteria measure an organization’s performance on Environmental, Social, and Governance practices. Applying the criteria can be very useful, such as for identifying practices that have a positive impact on the environment, society, and good corporate governance. It can, for example, be used to go beyond the usual financial criteria in pursuit of sustainable and responsible investment.

As calls ramp up internationally for standardization of these measures, HEC Montréal is contributing to the creation of knowledge rooted in its expertise and close relationship with the business community.

A few examples of pratices with integrated ESG factors

Impact of company operations on the environment

  • Limits greenhouse gas emissions
  • Protects biodiversity
  • Uses clean energy
  • Conserves water
  • Limits the amount of waste produced

Impact of company operations on society

  • Offers fair work conditions
  • Ensures gender equity
  • Treats minorities fairly
  • Does not manufacture weapons

Governance factors

  • Does not pay executives excessive compensation
  • Sets up transparent accounting
  • Pays its fair share of taxes
  • Fosters a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion
Source and full list of examples: Autorité des marchés financiers (March 2023)


GHG reduction and growth opportunities: report by Pierre-Olivier Pineau

The report Business Emissions Trajectories: Reducing GHGs and Seizing Growth Opportunities was written by Pierre-Olivier Pineau in cooperation with Charlotte Hulin. This document provides an overview of the reasons to take action against climate change. It suggests that businesses redefine their action strategy to optimize future opportunities in a rapidly changing environment.

Read the report (PDF, in French, 754 Ko)

International standards for evaluating corporate performance

The launch of the Measuring Beyond initiative comes on the heels of the recent arrival in Montréal of the North American office of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB). This organization sets international standards for measuring environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors.

  • The academic communities of Saïd Business School (University of Oxford) and HEC Montréal are partnering with the ISSB and large businesses to help develop suitable, comparable, and effective standards.
  • A Chair in sustainable finance, held by Iwan Meier, Full Professor for the Department of Finance, was created through this initiative. The Chair’s research focuses on the impact of taking environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concerns into account on investment performance and investors’ decision making. This research leads to the transfer of knowledge to the business community.
  • Montréal firm Lallemand has become the first strategic partner of Measuring Beyond by contributing one million dollars to getting the initiative off the ground.
  • In 2023, KPMG made a $600,000 donation to HEC Montréal to support several initiatives contributing to the standardization of ESG factor measurement through research and knowledge transfer projects, notably through the creation of the KMPG Measuring Beyond Space. Learn more

Productive collaboration opportunities

Through Measuring Beyond, HEC Montréal contributes to creating and sharing knowledge that will lead to improved application of standards and translate ESG factor integration into business and corporate social responsibility goals.

“Billions of dollars are being transferred to sustainable investments and the trend is gathering speed. The world is in transition, and it is crucial that managers have an in-depth understanding of the challenges brought by climate change and matters of ESG, as well as the resulting business opportunities.”

Iwan Meier, Full Professor, holder of HEC Montréal’s Chair in Sustainable Finance


Strategic integration of ESG criteria enables us to manage environmental and social risks, but more importantly, it creates new business opportunities. It also creates long-term value for investors, businesses, and stakeholders.

What your organization will gain from this collaboration

  • Prepare to integrate ESG factors into your business strategies and performance communications for greater transparency and accountability.
  • Make a significant contribution to the momentum of the international movement to define common measures.
  • Become a pioneer in designing new business performance measures that are credible and responsible.