Can firms really save the planet? Investors pull out of ESG funds

Logo Daily MailDaily Mail
2023-06-08 20:58:09  • 5 mins

Corporate ethics are never far from the headlines, whether the concern is greedflation, the behaviour of male bosses at the CBI, or Labours plan to ban companies from new North Sea oil and gas drilling.

The UK has a long tradition of businesses that try to combine profits with social purpose, dating back to Quaker entrepreneurs at Cadbury and their co-religionists at Unilever.

The Victorian chocolate barons believed in enlightened capitalism, treating their employees well and providing products, such as chocolate or soap, that people enjoyed.

The modern incarnation of this spirit is ESG investing on environmental, social and governance principles.

It has become a multi-trillion pound industry in its own right and one that has evolved from being purely for the sandal-wearing lentil munchers right into the mainstream.

Its most prominent advocate is none other than Larry Fink, a titan of Wall Street and the boss of BlackRock, the biggest fund manager in the world. Not everyone is happy, though.

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