30 Jun 2023 Are We ‘Anti-ESG’ or Simply ‘Pro-Fiduciary Duty”?
“Advocates for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) policies label opponents as ‘anti-ESG.’ But what we really are is pro-fiduciary-duty,” write Scott Shepard and Stefan Padfield — two members of our Free Enterprise Project (FEP) dream team — in a new commentary at Newsmax.
They note that FEP was recently criticized as being “‘the main player’ in terms of filing ‘anti-ESG’ shareholder proposals.” But they don’t see that as a bad thing. Not bad at all, actually.
Shepard and Padfield note:
While it took people some time to figure out how something as benignly labeled as “ESG” could be such a problem, recent events confirm that they are waking up to that fact.
For example, Steve Forbes and Stephen Moore reported that a study produced by their Committee to Unleash Prosperity found that “a majority of the largest [money managers] are routinely … letting political biases interfere with sound business practices” by supporting ESG resolutions that “require firms to divest oil and gas stocks, ban plastics, impose ‘diversity’ quotas in hiring, move unilaterally to zero-carbon-emission policies and so on.”
All this may explain why we’ve recently seen an increasingly successful pushback against ESG. Case in point: Of “the dozens of proposals put forward at annual shareholder meetings of U.S. banks, insurers, and oil and gas companies over the last month, only one received majority support, the worst showing for ESG-related proposals since 2017.”
While we’re not ashamed of the “anti-ESG” label, we’ve always thought it best to be known for what we support rather than just what we oppose. And you know what we think is a really great concept? Fiduciary duty! Corporations run by executives who believe their primary business should be… well, business!
Scott and Stefan write:
[O]ur pro-fiduciary-duty proposals are part of a freedom movement that is winning battles and gaining momentum. And these successes will only grow so long as we continue to educate people about the truth about ESG.
We just want companies to get back to business. The fact that this is labeled “anti-ESG” by people like Heidi Welsh is actually quite revealing. From our perspective, it amounts to admission of the hard-left partisanship hiding beneath the banner of ESG.
Read their entire commentary here.