Bad News: Secret right-wing money is fueling legislation attacking environmentally and socially responsible companies

Shocking but true, Fast Company has laid out how extremist right-wing Republican secret “dark money” has fueled the growing, vociferous attacks on impact investing and the ESG movement (environment, social and governance). The Alliance has championed ESG since our founding 40 years ago, speaking at conferences and supporting campaigns and policy initiatives. The Alliance helped found CERES (the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies) and developed the 10 CERES Principles for corporate environmental responsibility in 1989 after the Exxon Valdez oil tanker disaster.

FL Gov. Ron Desantis and other right-wing Republican governors and legislatures have been attacking companies addressing ESG and climate change like Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and BlackRock, as well as Disney because they’re “woke”. They’ve received massive amounts of dark money from anti-ESG groups like the Heritage Foundation and deceptively named Consumers Research. People in states that have enacted anti-ESG policies (FL, TX, WV, MO, AR and LA) should know that it’s bad for business and costing them money.

Companies utilizing ESG are minimizing risks, outperforming competitors and even being rewarded by Wall Street for their prudent fiscal responsibility in taking climate action. In fact, 82% of Gen Z investors have ESG funds in their portfolios, as do nearly two-thirds of millennial investors.

Anti-ESG policies are actually costing taxpayers money. One study found that six months after Texas enacted its anti-ESG policies, taxpayers had paid as much as $500 million extra in interest rates because the state had fewer options for financial institutions.

So please stand strong responsible companies committed to ESG, unlike weak-kneed Vanguard who caved to the pressure from anti-ESG forces. Hopefully, the backfiring will begin for greedy planet and society destroyers. And maybe it’s finally time for real campaign finance reform?

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