What to talk about when you don’t talk about ESG

Highly charged political arguments over whether environmental, social and governance issues have a legitimate place in business decisions have put many chief executives, chief sustainability officers and other C-suite champions on the defensive.

Exhibit A: During remarks at the Aspen Ideas Festival in late June, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said he outright avoids using the acronym: “I don’t use the word ESG any more, because it’s been entirely weaponized … by the far left and weaponized by the far right.”

But that doesn’t mean BlackRock will ignore issues such as a portfolio company’s exposure to climate-fueled floods or extreme weather events, human rights issues in supply chains, stranded assets and other business risks, Fink said during the same conference. It will just discuss them in different language.

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Ron is chairman and chief executive officer of State Street Corporation. He is also a member of State Street Corporation’s Board of Directors. Ron was previously president and chief operating Read More

Lynn Forester de Rothschild is Founder and Co-Chair of the Council for Inclusive Capitalism, a global not-for-profit organization which develops groundbreaking initiatives with global CEOs and distinguished leaders in government Read More

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