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ESG Needs A PR Shake-Up

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ESG needs a PR shake-up

Elon Musk says the ESG movement is “a scam”. The Tesla founder is never knowingly under-spoken but he usually has some sort of point.

Scam might be overstating the case, but it’s no longer winning the PR battle. It has too many holes and no central point of power and comparison.

In its early days it was easy to dismiss it as greenwashing. The environmental officer at the big company didn’t have any real power. The CEO paid lip service to her goals, then jetted off on holiday to private islands.

It’s rather bad luck that just as we reached the point when big companies decided they really had to take this stuff seriously and be seen to do so, there is retaliation against it.

The FT the other day offered a big read headed “The war on woke capitalism”. There is a backlash, it reported, against visions for business that look beyond just profits.

The conservative right in the US is trying to get ESG seen as actively harmful. Tariq Fancy, a big cheese who was a former chief investment officer at BlackRock, says sustainable investing is “a dangerous placebo”.

There is plainly a problem here. To its fiercest proponents, ESG was supposed to be a way to save the planet and make money.

To everyone else, it looked like something whose time had definitely come.

Now it is on the backfoot, it isn’t winning the argument anymore. As people worry about heating the house and feeding the family it is in danger of falling seriously out of fashion.

It needs a rethink and perhaps a rebrand.

 

Press release of the day

FTSE 100 CEO pay is now back at pre-Covid levels at an average of £3.6 million.

This from Unite, notes there has been no call for restraint from the Bank of England on this one.

General secretary Sharon Graham says: “Workers did not cause this crisis – we will not accept any further lectures on pay restraint from rich men on massive salaries.”

 

Stories that will keep rolling

1) Will people flock to budget chain B&M due to food prices? What is its prediction on inflation?

2) How is Pennon’s merger with Bristol Water working out?

3) Could a crypto crash spread to bonds?

4) Is Eurozone inflation worse or better than ours?

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