Magda Wierzycka caused a mild stir recently when she described environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing as “largely meaningless”. Her point wasn’t that ESG isn’t relevant but that many companies use it more for marketing than making a real difference. While that prompted a few eye-rolls on Twitter, the truth is she has a point.                   

Companies often do speak with a forked tongue on ESG. They’re happy to showcase their fair-trade coffee in the canteen or the rainwater-harvesting facility at their new environmentally friendly head office, but start asking questions about their blatant hypocrisy and they quickly obfuscate...

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