Daniel C. Esty

Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy, jointly with Yale Law School; Director of the Center for Environmental Law and Policy

Photo of Daniel C. Esty



Tel: 203 432-6256



B.A., Harvard University
M.A., Oxford University
J.D., Yale University


Daniel C. Esty is the Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy.  As a professor at Yale since 1994, he holds faculty appointments in both Yale’s Environment and Law Schools and a secondary appointment at the Yale School of Management. He also directs the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy (www.yale.edu/envirocenter) and serves on the Board of the Yale Center for Business & Environment (cbey.yale.edu) which he founded in 2006.
From 2011 to early 2014, Professor Esty served while on leave from Yale as Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.  In this role, he worked to create a model 21st Century regulatory agency based on a fundamental re-design all of the Department's permitting programs for greater speed, efficiency, customer orientation, and effectiveness.  He also created Connecticut's first Comprehensive Energy Strategy designed to provide citizens with cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable energy – including a ramped-up commitment to clean energy based on innovative policy tools including reverse auctions, power purchase agreements, a first-in-the-nation Green Bank, and a statewide Property Assessed Clean Energy program.
Professor Esty is the author or editor of ten books and numerous articles on sustainability and environmental issues and the relationships between environmental protection and corporate strategy, competitiveness, trade, globalization, metrics, governance, and development.  His prizewinning book (with Andrew Winston), Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage, argues that pollution control and natural resource management have become critical elements of marketplace success and explains how leading-edge companies have folded environmental thinking into their core business strategies. His most recent book (with P.J. Simmons), The Green to Gold Business Playbook: How to Implement Sustainability Practices for Bottom-Line Results in Every Business Function offers practical advice on how to execute a sustainability strategy across a wide range of businesses and activities. His current research focuses on rethinking environmental policy for the 21st Century and developing metrics for gauging environmental and sustainability performance at the global, national, city, and corporate scales as well as regulatory excellence, climate change and clean energy, and clean energy technology and finance.
Professor Esty's teaching encompasses a wide range of topics including the courses Environmental Law and Policy, Corporate Environmental Management and Strategy, International Trade in a Global WorldClimate Change and the Quest for Green Energy, and most recently Sustainability: Environment, Energy, and the Economy in the 21st Century, an undergraduate course that seeks to become a “must take” course for Yale College students.
Professor Esty has advised companies of all sizes and in a wide range of industries on corporate environmental or sustainability strategy including Ikea, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Alcoa, Hanes, Hannaford, Boeing, and IBM. He is a founder of Constellation Research and Technology (www.constellationresearch.com), a FinTech start-up venture that seeks to provide investors with better Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) metrics and data analytics.
Prior to taking up his position at Yale, Professor Esty was a Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics (1993-94), served in a variety of senior positions in the US Environmental Protection Agency (1989-93), and practiced law in Washington, DC (1986-89). He has an AB from Harvard College, an MA from Balliol College at Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and a JD from Yale Law School.