ESG Deep Dive: A Virtual Roundtable , 59 minutes

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Why is ESG relevant to building industry professionals? Many of us are accustomed to sustainability programs and reporting. In this one-hour deep dive, we tap leading ESG experts for answers to burning questions many of us in the industry have about the intersection between ESG goals and the sustainability work we’ve been doing all along. 

This virtual roundtable is not for beginners: our panel will assume viewers have a general understanding of ESG and are looking to better understand its relationship to their work. We’ll discuss:

  • The nuanced differences between sustainability and ESG
  • Where public policy is right now and where it’s likely headed
  • What ESG-focused companies need from design and construction professionals
  • How to leverage ESG targets to work at the portfolio scale
  • How GRESB fits into the larger ecosystem of ESG platforms
  • Whether AEC firms should start their own ESG programs (and where to start)
  • Why social metrics are harder and how to focus more attention there
  • The role and importance of governance metrics

A brief Q&A will follow the panel discussion.

This one-hour session will give you the background to better understand: 

  1. How sustainability, which focuses on environmental and social impacts, overlaps with ESG, which also looks at the financial risks associated with these impacts.

  2. The economic and regulatory drivers of sustainable design, construction, and operations as expressed through ESG programs and reporting.

  3. The potential of ESG to improve environmental and social outcomes at scale.

  4. The social equity goals that green building practitioners can help their clients achieve.


Prior to launching Sustainable Strategies, Nicole practiced construction and insurance coverage law in the Seattle area for more than ten years. Her work focuses on creating collaborative spaces and uniting diverse groups to mitigate climate change through the built environment. Nicole maintains numerous sustainable building credentials, including WELL AP and Faculty, LEED Green Associate, Fitwel Ambassador, and EcoDistricts AP.

Nicole is also an Affiliate Instructor at the University of Washington, Department of Real Estate Studies, where she teaches the course she developed, Risk and Reward in Sustainable Development. She has also taught Policy and Planning, and Environmental Health, as part of the Master's Program in Design for Human Health at Boston Architectural College. Among other published work, Nicole authored a chapter of the award-winning book Health and Well-Being for Interior Architecture (IDEC 2018 Book Award), published by Routledge. In 2021, she was awarded honorary membership into the American Institute of Architects in Seattle for her leadership on holistic sustainability and her legal stewardship of sustainable architecture and development in the Seattle community.

Chris is the Senior Vice President for Product for ArcSkoru, Inc. Prior to joining Arc, Chris was the Chief Strategy Officer for Aclima, Inc., Chief Operating Officer for GRESB, B.V., Vice President for Research at the US Green Building Council, and a physical scientist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He is a principal investigator for the Green Health Partnership, a long-term research initiative supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Danielle is a partner in Goodwin’s Financial Industry Group, providing broad regulatory compliance advice with a focus on financial inclusion, Community Reinvestment Act matters, corporate social responsibility programs, non-financial reporting, and investor due diligence. She also serves as a co-chair of the firm’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) & Impact practice. Her practice consists of:

  • Creating ESG disclosures, policies, and programs
  • Drafting ESG/sustainability reports and advising on other non-financial reporting matters
  • Conducting ESG due diligence, advising on key performance indicators, and designing remediation and oversight programs in private equity transactions, venture capital investments, and mergers and acquisitions
  • Preparing private companies to go public
  • Advising on fair and responsible banking, financial inclusion, and Community Reinvestment Act issues
  • Providing strategic advice on corporate philanthropy programs and corporate foundation issues

Dan is responsible for increasing GRESB’s international scope and impact by engaging institutional investors; expanding GRESB participation among private equity firms, multinational lenders, and real estate investment trusts; establishing industry partnerships; and driving capital market demand for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) data.


As a representative of GRESB based in the Americas region, Dan covers multiple roles, including accelerating market adoption of ESG data, acquiring new GRESB investor members, promoting increased GRESB participation, fulfilling North American speaking engagements, and developing new capital market and product opportunities.


Dan previously served the U.S. Green Building Council as senior fellow for business strategy and finance by providing leadership on a range of topics, including green bond underwriting guidelines, asset valuation, lender underwriting, business metrics, and capital market dynamics driving LEED adoption. Additional professional experience includes tenures at Russell Real Estate and CBRE along with participation in several startup technology companies.