Good Riddance, ESG

Of all the inroads the Left has made into our institutions in recent years, the most puzzling is its increasing dominance of the business world. One aspect of this is the movement for “ESG”–Environmental, Social, Governance–investing. ESG basically means swearing fealty to the craziest of left-wing schemes. Why it became a fad is beyond me.

Happily, the ESG craze may be coming to an end. The Wall Street Journal reports:

The ESG brand probably has its best days behind it.

Following a three-year craze for investment products focused on environmental, social and corporate-governance concerns, the percentage of newly created funds in the U.S. and Europe with ESG in their name has fallen from a peak of 8.3% to just 3.3%, according to an analysis of quarterly data by Morningstar Direct.

Likewise, online searches for “ESG investing” have plummeted back to mid-2019 levels, according to Google Trends. Mentions of the term in company analyst calls have dropped 59% from their quarterly peak in 2022, FactSet data suggest.

This chart shows the trend:

Why is ESG out of favor? Largely because it manifested itself, more than anything, in investments in green energy, and green energy is a joke:

One explanation is the collapse of the clean-energy stocks most readily associated with the ESG movement. Flagging growth in electric-vehicle sales has hit sector behemoth Tesla. The S&P Global Clean Energy index, which lists solar-panel maker First Solar and Danish wind-turbine giant Vestas among its top constituents, has lost 31% since the start of 2023 as renewable-energy projects have been shelved. That compares with returns of 27% for global stocks.

So people who fell for ESG investing were throwing their money away. Those of us who understand energy could have made a lot of money shorting “green” stocks. Of course, that is one of many smart investment moves I didn’t make.

In any event, the ESG fad seems to be dying out, which is entirely to the good. Next, let’s finish off DEI.

Notice: All comments are subject to moderation. Our comments are intended to be a forum for civil discourse bearing on the subject under discussion. Commenters who stray beyond the bounds of civility or employ what we deem gratuitous vulgarity in a comment — including, but not limited to, “s***,” “f***,” “a*******,” or one of their many variants — will be banned without further notice in the sole discretion of the site moderator.