About The ESG institute™

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A group of ESG specialists - first colleagues, now friends - drawn together by a global pandemic and a common purpose, to make a difference.

Applying their combined  decades of experience in ESG together with their  collective knowledge and experience in advising and influencing international regulators, professional NGOs, listed companies, multi-nationals, developing national codes and guidelines, establishing ESG benchmarks and certifications, across all sectors and in multiple jurisdictions, to facilitate  the global  availability and distribution of sustainable development and responsible investment knowledge via centralised database.


the brains trust

Founder ESG Institute.

Practicing attorney specialising in ESG consulting since 2000.

Advisor to the national regulator  for the development of an ESG code for the retirement fund sector (PF130).

Pioneered the development of licensed software (SaaS) for the benchmarking and implementation of ESG principles across  multiple industry sectors, including asset owners/managers, issuers, State Owned Enterprises and NGOs.

Pioneered the certification of ESG of companies on the Stock Exchange.

Appointed to the Governance Panel of the United Kingdom's Pensions Regulator..

Long-standing member of the ASISA Responsible Investment Committee  - an NGO representing  institutional  investors.

Past ESG consultant to the International Finance Corporation.

Past examiner for the internationally moderated ESG exam papers of the Chartered Governance Institute of Southern Africa. 

Published author and speaker on ESG issues.

Early consultant signatory to the UNPRI. Member ICGN, ASISA Responsible Investment Committee and Unashamedly Ethical.

Entrepreneur - founded, developed and exited start-up companies. 

Chairman Lerato's Hope NGO, Member of CBMC and other community services. 

Picture by Gabriel Szabo/Guzelian

Pictured Jonathan Lewis from Governance Integrity Solutions, the company that has developed an online system for boards of directors at medium to large listed companies to identify and monitor risk assessment.

Jonathan R. Lewis

BA, LLB, DipBusMan, FInstD.

Founding Member

Corporate Governance Practitioner and strategic adviser on IT.  information and Digital Transformation .

CEO of the Good governance Academy, whose patron is Prof Mervyn King. 

Chair of the Technical Committee for the ISO standards of the Governance Organisations for the South African Bureau of Standards.

Extensive executive and governance experience including leading and designing large ,complex strategy and transformation implementations.

Designated Professional CIO,  Certified Business Relationship Professional.

Founder and manager of Africa's largest online governance network on LinkedIn, "Applying King IV".

Profile Head 2018 LowRes

Carolynn Chalmers


Founding Member

International advisor to asset management firms on ESG and sustainability issues.

International advisor on environment and sustainability.

Consulted to the International Finance Corporation on investments in Africa.

Past head of Climate Changed and Sustainability advisory services at KPMG and Director of the Goodwill Exchange.

Independent Advisor to  and Fellow inaugural class of the African Leadership Initiative - a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Past Executive Director of the Business Council for Sustainable Development.

Founding, acting director of the Gauteng Directorate of Environment.

Founder of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange's Socially Responsible Index (SRI) and Advisory Board member.

Served on boards of Khula Finance, and South African National  Parks.

Obtained her Doctorate (Science) in  1995 on the clean-up of oil-contaminated soil with Shell SA.

ZLees PIC.jpg

Dr Zoe Lees


 Founding Member.

Applied Governance lecturer at Wits Plus, Johannesburg South Africa.

Extensive experience in the corporate environment as Company Secretary, Financial Director, Corporate Governance Director, Retirement Fund Chairman and Tax compliance.  

Independent Trustee on various Umbrella  Retirement Funds.

Past examiner of the internationally moderated governance exam papers of the Chartered Governance Institute of Southern Africa.

Independent business consultant specialising in ESG and finance.

Member of the Technical Committee for the ISO standards of the Governance of Organisations for the South African Bureau of Standards.

Past executive of Coaches and Mentors of South Africa (COMENSA).

Involved in NGOs in  education and business development.

Fellow of the Chartered Governance Institute of Southern Africa.

Active member of the Institute of Directors and The Ethics Institute of South Africa.


Steven Dold

FCG, HDip Tax