by Leslie Eastman at legalinsurrection.com
Last summer, I reported that investment firm BlackRock’s CEO Larry Fink said the term ESG (environmental social governance) had been weaponized as people began recognizing many failures linked to managing funds based on woke policies.
In ancient times, such a realization would have led wise business leaders to rethink priorities. Now, the marketers have decided to rebrand the whole concept as “Responsible Business.”
This assessment comes from The Wall Street Journal.
Following years of simmering investor backlash, political pressure and legal threats over environmental, social and governance efforts, a number of business leaders are now making a conscious effort to avoid the once widely used acronym for such initiatives.
On earnings calls, many chief executives now employ new approaches. Some companies, including Coca-Cola
, are rebranding corporate reports and committees, stripping ESG from titles. Advisers are coaching executives on alternative ways to describe their efforts, proposing new terms like “responsible business.” On Wall Street, meanwhile, some firms are closing once-popular ESG funds as interest fades.
The shift in messaging reflects a reality: “ESG is complicated,” said Daryl Brewster, a former Kraft Foods and Nabisco executive who now heads Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose, a nonprofit of more than 200 companies focused on social impact.