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Dustyn Lanz, Senior Advisor with ESG Global Advisors Inc., was interviewed by The Globe and Mail to address statements from the world’s richest man, who recently called ESG a “scam” that is part of a “left wing agenda.” An excerpt is provided below, and the full article is available here.
How Elon Musk is adding fuel to a growing backlash against ESG (Excerpt)
The backlash against ESG is only gathering steam in finance and political realms. This, even as the world’s largest asset managers, the pinnacle of capitalism, demand better performance in all these areas from the companies they invest in. The sustainable investing world, which in past decades had been a small part of overall finance, now finds itself increasingly important and having to mount a defence.
“Elon Musk is a visionary and a brilliant innovator, but he doesn’t know everything and when it comes to ESG, he has no idea what he’s talking about,” said Dustyn Lanz, senior adviser at ESG Global Advisors and the former chief executive of Canada’s Responsible Investment Association. “Considering ESG factors in a business decision is not left wing, as he has been arguing. That’s disinformation, in my view.”
However, some of the skepticism directed at sustainable investing has been driven by the complexity and seeming contradictions within ESG itself. Mr. Lanz cites several factors, including a confusing lexicon of categories and taxonomies and acronyms which has evolved over several years. Meanwhile, Mr. Musk’s distaste for ESG ratings as a supposed gauge of corporate righteousness is shared by many inside and outside the finance world.