The ESG Initiative at the Wharton School
A hazy picture for shareholders
This year’s proxy season hasn’t been kind to environmental or pro-ESG proposals so far. Witold Henisz, Vice Dean and Faculty Director of the ESG Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, points to why this may be.
“I think there’s been much more caution from some of the big institutional investors about sticking their neck out on some of the ESG claims where there isn’t a proven business case,” said Witold Henisz, faculty director of the ESG Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. “And there’s a higher evidentiary bar people don’t want to seem like they’re leading on this issue.” – The war in Ukraine has also weighed on support for certain ESG proposals, shareholder advocates say, with Russia’s invasion forcing a shift in focus to near-term energy demands.”
On the anti-ESG side, proposals proliferated but did as poorly as previous years. Of the 79 anti-ESG shareholder proposals that the Sustainable Investments Institute tallied, up from 45 in 2022, support stayed steady at roughly 3 percent.