Case Studies [BETA]

Planned case studies are inspired by our ongoing curiosity, and from our exposure to frontiers of sustainable investment. We plan, with co-operation of investment industry stakeholders and /or educators, to develop or plan the writing of case stories and case studies for use in expanding the knowledgebase available to practitioners, educators and students of sustainable investment. 

If you or your university have an interest in collaborating on one of these case studies, please DM us @SinCoESG

Case Study 1:  BP: Green Investment's Fallen Angel

After years positioning itself as the darling of the sustainable investment community, in 2010 the Macondo Well blowout killed 11 humans, injured dozens, and spilled oil into the Gulf of Mexico in the worst environmental disaster in the history of the USA. What is a portfolio manager of a leading ESG portfolio to do, and how to explain it to their investors, and how should their analysts rebuild the broken valuation model for $BP. 

Case Study 2:  BP/ ExxonMobil/ Total: Shipping Oil in Dire Straits

The oil industry relies on shipping fungible assets from well to refinery and consumers. After Exxon Valdez, oil majors spun of their transportation arms. How should an investor in the oil & gas sector value the risks and opportunities of the oil industry supply chain, and the critical role of logisitics. In particular, how do the new regulations on double-hulled oil tankers and the increase in piracy in the Horn of Africa adn the Straits of Malacca create risks to the portfolio.

Case Study 3:  US Trust/ Walden Asset Management/ Waste Management redux >: Risky Business II 

In a reprise of the 1984 UVA Darden case study [UVA-E-0035] on US Trust Walden Asset Management Waste Management case study, "U.S. TRUST: INVESTING IN WASTE MANAGEMENT, INC.". The 2017 case updates the context, industry dynamics and the company unsystematic risks of $WMI to demonstrate the advances in ESG investment in the 3 decades that have passed since the engagement strategy was adopted by Walden Asset Management. 

Case Study 4:  SABMiller/ AngloAmerican on HIV/ AIDS: Raising the Game

What is a company's role in tackling a public health crisis? When the HIV/ AIDS epidemic rolled across southern Africa from 1980s onwards, two of Africa's dominant multi-billion dollar companies with large consumer bases and large work forces were forced to confront the reality of the impact of a health crisis on the political, economic, social and technological context in which they did business, headquartered in South Africa but operating across Africa and emerging markets, and listed in London. How can the investor relations team help the C-suite interpret the threats and opportunities and make the investment case to their shareholders for tackling the crisis?

Case Study 5:   Designing the Access To Nutrition Index: Finding the Investment Case for Fighting Malnutrition 

The global food and beverage market reached USD 3,840 billion in 2010, growing around 3 percent annually with increasing demand for healthy products and rising disposable incomes in emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil. With sustainability trends having a growing impact on companies, investors are increasingly demanding a better understanding of how environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues in their portfolios impact performance, and which companies are sector leaders in meeting the challenges. In the F&B sector, investment analysts now “…view nutrition as a significant opportunity”. ATNI makes the investment case for fighting malnutrition in 2011. How should institutional investors revisist their holdings of the world's 25 largest listed F&B companies?

Case Study 6I:  DeBeers and Tiffanys: Beyond Blood Diamonds

How does a company synonymous with luxury and with diamonds step beyond the public relations crisis presented by the movie Blood Diamonds and convince their long term shareholders that the investment case for diamonds is enduring. 

Case Study 7:  Futuregrowth Asset Management: Is It Developmental?

Investment managers compete for a finite asset pool of investment capital and for access t the best possible deal in which to deploy that capital over time. How does a relatively small investment firm offering mostly fixed income portfolios make the case to their public and private sector investor clients that their portfolio are developmental?

Case Study 8:  Private Equity in Emerging Markets: Getting Real About Making ESG Happen Across the Portfolio of Companies

No private equity fund wants to invest while ignoring ESG factors, indeed 50c in every US$1 invested in Africa is DFI-funded, so is inherently ESG-integrated. But making choices at the operating business on location can be very far removed from the simplicity of ESG checklists delivered in London or DC. How can the general partner's ESG analyst navigate the realities of on the ground doing business in emerging and frontier markets?

Case Study 9:  Definitions in Sustainable Investment: Lost in Translation

Case Study 10:  Impact Investing's Labor Lens: How Can Nextgen Investors Apply a Pro-worker, Anti-Slavery Lens

Case Study 11:  Exchanges and ESG: Shaping The Strategy for Exchanges in the 21st Century

Global exchanges face significant challenges: the threat of substitution  from emerging fintech, the competition amongst exchanges for company issuer listings, the scrutiny of regulators and legislators for the way they conduct their business and grow the real economy, and the demand for more types of exchanges and types of securities. The sustainability meta-theme affects all business in the 21st century as business must consider all environmental, social and governance factors. What strategy can a major global exchange chart to attract the best institutional investors and the next big company issuer IPOs?

Case Study 12:  Investing for the Platinum Medal: Deep-Level Mining In Water-Stressed Regions

The platinum group mining sector has significant exposure to water-stressed regions, for example the Highveld complex in South Africa. All mines need water to dig the ore, and process it. But capital budgeting decisions face the stark realities of a falling platinum price and an over-supplied market. How should investors weigh the water risks inherent in the platinum sector, and hat new approaches should they employ?

Case Study 13:  Framing Development Investment: Applying ESG Frameworks to Private Equity Investment in Sub-Saharan Africa

DFI's have been deploying capital via third party private equity general partners funds since 2000. What ESG frameworks have these DFIs been deploying, and what has been the learnings on deploying them into the sub-Saharan Africa region.

Case Study 14:  How Much Is Enough?: Making Systematic Decisions on Community Social Investment in Mining in Africa

Applying the IFC's CommDev framework to investment decisions by a company.

Case Study 15:  Not So Private Anymore? ESG Factors in Global Private Equity Practice

Buy-side demand means private equity firms, historically opaque and secretive, must respond to a changing zeitgeist by embracing the ESG impacts of their portfolio companies, and sharing their successes - and losses - with their investor clients.


  • Case Study I - BP: Green Investment's Fallen Angel
  • Case Study II - BP/ExxonMobil/Total: Shipping Oil in Dire Straits
  • Case Study III - Henderson Global Investors Industries of the Future Fund/Suntech: Solar Returns: Asset management engaging clean-tech companies in China on ESG factors
  • Case Study IV - US Trust/Walden Asset Management/WMI >: Risky Business II
  • Case Study V - SABMiller/AngloAmerican/HIV/AIDS >: Raising the Game
  • Case Study VI - GAIN: Fighting in Malnutrition
  • Case Study VII - AIG Investments: Measuring Twice to Cut Once
  • Case Study VIII - DeBeers, Tiffanys: Blood Diamonds
  • Case Study IX - KKR/TXU: Big Bet on Green
  • Case Study X - Futuregrowth: Is It Developmental?
  • Case Study XI - Private Equity in Africa: Desperately Seeking Solutions
  • Case Study XII - Definitions in Sustainable Investment: Lost in Translation
  • Case Study XIII - ESG Frameworks: DFIs Diligently Financing Innovative Investment
  • Case Study XIV - Developmental Investing in Pensions: When Responsibility Is Not Enough
  • Case Study XV - Investing in Mining Sector: Deep-Level Mining for Green to Gold
  • Case Study XVI - Framing Development Investment: Applying ESG Frameworks to Private Equity Investment in Sub-Saharan Africa


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