The ESG Initiative at the Wharton School


How “Woke Capitalism” Became a Right-Wing Obsession

Outlet: Mother Jones


Deep-pocketed Republican influencers have helped boost Strive by making ESG a new culture war battleground and by propping up Ramaswamy, whose presidential campaign leaned on his “anti-woke” bona fides.

Despite its flaws, ESG is still probably the best available way to help measure the ethical and social behaviors of a company. There’s also the simple fact that ESG investing has proved to be profitable. “I want to know what the long-term impacts are of climate on a company. I want to incorporate that in my investment decision. That’s not political. That’s just good business,” says Witold Henisz, the director of the ESG initiative at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. “I’m not saying this is the morally right thing to do. I’m saying let’s look at the impact on revenues, on costs, on productivity.”

“And given the important role that financing plays in the housing market, without a functioning insurance market you don’t have a functioning mortgage market, you don’t have a functioning housing market.”