THE BATTLE OVER ESG: PROFITS, PURPOSE & POLITICS
We are excited to host a timely discussion about ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) at Ross Business School in March, featuring Elizabeth Doty (Director, Erb Corporate Political Responsibility Taskforce); Bennett Freeman (Associate Fellow of Chatham House and former Senior Vice President of Calvert Investments); Vik Khanna (William W. Cook Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School); and moderated by Erb Institute Faculty Director, Tom Lyon.
As the ESG agenda has gained traction and momentum over the last decade, it has attracted inevitable criticism and a backlash—and now even a backlash to the backlash. Not only is ESG investing under attack, but the battle also extends to the future of corporate responsibility and sustainability more broadly — and in turn the respective roles of business and government— with high stakes for both action and inaction. Some issues are technical and methodological, related to ESG metrics and funds. Other issues are more ideological and political, challenging the notion of business purpose, pitting shareholder primacy against stakeholder capitalism, and raising questions about the appropriate role of corporations in the policy arena. This timely event will explore the drivers of this battle over ESG and offer solutions for moving forward.