ESG: It’s Not Ideology, It’s Economics – Forbes

by | Dec 5, 2022 | Financial

Climate activist is arrested after an interfaith demonstration outside the headquarters of … [+] BlackRock, a multinational investment management corporation, in New York City on Monday, Oct. 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Jessie Wardarski)Copyright 2021 Associated Press. All rights reservedA recent New York Times story looked at some of the new course offerings and concentrations at Harvard, Yale, and Wharton business schools, noting that they’re “stepping into the political arena.” The schools simply say curricula focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion and in environmental, social and governance factors are a response to shifting expectations of business’s role in society.

The role is nothing new. Joseph Wharton’s vision for the business school he founded in 1881 was to “solve the social problems incident to our civilization.” And while businesses often fell well short of that goal, in many cases creating new problems, the past decade has seen a marked shift. As confidence in government to solve societal issues has eroded, people look to businesses instead. The 2022 Edelman Trust Barometer, a survey of over 36,000 people in 28 countries, found that respondents believe societal leadership is now a “core function” of business, in which people place their trust ahead of governments, NGOs, and the media.

Contemporary enterprise risk management acknowledges that contributing to the health and well-being of the communities on which they depend is good for business. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) aligns companies’ business purpose and values with their social and environmental activities, creating both economic value and value for society. And while it contributes to the bottom line, CSR is also vitally important because, increasingly, stakeholders demand it.

Laurence Fink, Chairman and CEO of BlackRock Inc. increasingly discusses how stakeholder capitalism … [+] can create and sustain value for shareholders. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)Copyright 2012 AP. All rights reserved. This material may n …

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