Lisa Woll is CEO of US SIF, an industry group advocating sustainable investing whose members control $5 trillion in assets under management or advisement. She spoke to the Washington Post about the political push-back on ESG. Some excerpts:
It says the field is big enough, concern about climate change and human rights and workers’ rights is big enough, that someone is worried about it. It’s one way of advancing change, and clearly this pushback is a way of not having those kinds of changes….
Many of our members don’t use that terminology (ESG). We generally don’t use that. We say, “Sustainable investing is a usage of ESG criteria.”
We prefer that term because we think it’s much more meaningful. Would the average person know what ESG stands for? “Sustainable” at least gives you a sense of the end objective that ESG doesn’t unless you’re a wonk and actually know what those terms mean….
When I got to US SIF 16 years ago, and probably for the first five or six or seven years, a lot of my time was spent defending the field, that it was not a niche or a fad or a bunch of hippies.
Now that’s very much not the conversation. Now it’s how the field is so big.