The ESG Initiative at the Wharton School
Banks and business leaders who use ESG aren’t ‘woke.’ They’re protecting their bottom lines
Vit Henisz on “woke capitalism” and the anti-ESG movement.
Earlier this year, the future looked as if it could only get brighter for ESG, the increasingly widespread practice of considering environmental, social, and governance factors in business and investment decisions. In investing, the field was coming off a record-smashing 2021, with $649 billion flowing into ESG-focused funds globally, according to Morningstar Direct.
By one estimate at the time, a third of the world’s assets under management, including the money of growing numbers of huge public pension funds, were invested according to ESG principles. Often branded as the movement the planet needs at a time of climate change, widening inequality, and other social problems, ESG has resonated especially with younger generations—so much so that business schools, including Wharton, have launched ESG-focused MBAs.