Apprehension about ESG criteria in business is warranted

It’s important for businesses to care about the environment, community, and economy, but cementing themselves to fallible standards and culturally-dependent, subjective morality judgements just impedes progress.

In April 2019, the Allianz Life Insurance Company released an Environmental, Social, and Governance Investor Sentiment Study conveying strong consumer interest in supporting firms who can prove their good works. Now, with the reopening of the economy, there is a renewed focus on implementing ESG standards in American business, albeit with COVID-19 caveats

Consumers are responding favorably to businesses who mitigate waste, contribute to community programming, and adhere to accurate accounting measures. Who wouldn’t? 

Such practices are standard for businesses operating in good faith and reflect the traditional views of corporate social responsibility. The notion that firms should give back to the community (which is desired but not required) is also now viewed as a status quo strategy since philanthropic activities can improve the reputation of any business. 

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