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OPEN Fellow – Dr Cornis van der Lugt





Van der Lugt

First Name



Stellenbosch Business School

Job Title

Senior Research Fellow


Advisor, researcher and educator in Sustainable Finance, with special interest in responsible investment, impact investment in emerging markets, integrated accounting and reporting, as well as the role of strategy and finance in the making of the Circular Economy.

Based in Geneva, Switzerland, I do education and training in Sustainable Finance and integrated reporting world-wide with institutions such as Stellenbosch University Business School, Geneva University School of Management and the Geneva-based Graduate Institute (focussed on business, climate and natural capital). I am Senior Research Fellow with the Centre for Corporate Governance at Stellenbosch University Business School as well as Senior Associate with the Zurich-headquartered BSD Consulting. For the latter, I chair an international expert group working group on the future of Accounting.

As consultant, I also continue to gain practical experience in leading engagements with asset managers of investee companies (Europe and emerging markets). My role is that of developing integrated analysis, bridging the gap between ESG analysis of companies and fundamental, mainstream investment analysis. Of special interest is improved implementation of the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), and recognition by financial institutions of the value of multiple capitals (e.g. Natural Capital).

Why am I an OPEN Fellow?

Desire to collaborate with like-minded educators and researchers world-wide, experts and practitioners equally passionate about Sustainable Finance and bridging the silos / gap between different (e.g. sustainability and finance) disciplines.

Areas of Expertise

Environmental sustainability issues;Economic sustainability issues;Corporate sustainability;Strategy;Finance;Accounting;Circular economy;Emerging Markets / Base of Pyramid;International relations

My expertise in more detail

– Responsible investment – with special interest in ESG analysis of listed equities, as well as impact investment in emerging markets (growth opportunities for young SMEs)

– Sustainable Finance – introducing newcomers to the three pillars Banking, Insurance and Investment with references to integration of sustainability criteria and the philosophy of finance

– Research on “the business case”, making the link between sustainability value drivers / performance and financial value drivers / performance

– Research on reporting integration and materiality, including disclosure regulatory trends and interpretations of materiality as well as use of standards such as the IIRC, SASB

– Research on the future of Accounting, exploring convergence between financial accounting, management accounting and sustainability accounting



PhD (Stellenbosch University, South Africa) and MBA (HEC business school Paris, France)

Recent Publications:

2016. Van der Lugt, C.T. and Littan, S. The sustainability reporter: A deep dive into the challenges and benefits of new corporate reporting processes. Thomson Reuters Checkpoint – White Paper. New York, Zurich: Thomson Reuters, BSD Consulting.

2015. Van der Lugt, C.T. “Taking Life Cycle Management Mainstream: Integration in Corporate Finance and Accounting”, chapter 19 in Sonnemann, G. and Margni, M. (eds) 2015. Life Cycle Management (LCA Compendium: The Complete World of Life Cycle Assessment). Dordrecht: Springer.

2015. Van der Lugt, C.T. and Dingwerth, K. “Governing where focality is low: UNEP and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)” in Abbott, Kenneth W. (eds) 2015. International Organizations as Orchestrators. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

2015. Van der Lugt, C.T. “Good-bye sustainability reports, hello sustainability reporting: Internet Disclosure Parts I and II” in Governance Directions Journal, Governance Institute of Australia, April.

2013. Van der Lugt, C.T. and Bertoneche, M. “Finding the God particle of the sustainability business case: Greener pastures shareholder value”, Harvard Business School Finance Working Paper 13-072.

2012. Van der Lugt, C.T. and Malan, D. (eds) Making Investment Grade: The Future of Corporate Reporting. Paris, Cape Town: UNEP, Deloitte and Centre for Corporate Governance in Africa, Stellenbosch University Business School.

2012. Van der Lugt, C.T., Hanson, C and Ozment, S. Nature in Performance: Initial recommendations for integrating ecosystem services into business performance systems. Washington DC, Nairobi: World Resources Institute and UNEP.

2011. Van der Lugt, C.T. and Ayres, Robert (Insead). “Greening Manufacturing”, chapter in Sukdev, Pavan / UNEP (eds) (2011) Towards a Green Economy – Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication. Nairobi: United Nations Environment Programme.

2010. Van der Lugt. C.T. and Gilbert, S. (eds). “Measurement and reporting on biodiversity and ecosystems impacts and dependencies in business”, chapter 3 in Bishop, J. (2010) The Economics and Ecosystems and Biodiversity in Business and Enterprise (TEEB D3 Report). Nairobi / Bonn: UNEP, European Commission; London: Earthscan (2011)


1-3 day master classes on Sustainable Finance, on Materiality and Reporting
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