ESG Has Hit the Human Rights Iceberg
Throughout my career, I often said “corporate responsibility is social responsibility.” Nothing exemplifies an attempt to make that a reality today as much as ESG, or “Environmental, Social, and Governance” criteria, that an increasing number of companies and corporations are signing up for.
Essentially, if a company signs up for ESG, it agrees to conduct itself in a way that respects the environment, contributes to local communities, and is honest and transparent in its financial practices. This enables conscientious investors to invest their money in companies that don’t violate their values and contribute to making the world a better place.
ESG began approximately fifteen years ago with companies operating by its standards collectively worth around $17 billion. Today, that number is nearly $20 trillion. The power of the ESG community cannot be underestimated.
But there’s a huge flaw in how ESG is currently structured, and I can sum it up in one word: China.