This is the second article of a two-part series explaining how Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals are negatively impacting our society and freedoms and how Christians can help mitigate its effects. You can read part 1 here.
It’s important to be mindful that the ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) push is not something that you will learn much, if anything, about in the mainstream media. However, it is the answer to the question that so many have: What is going on with American companies (not to mention, government institutions), and why do they no longer represent our values?
On its face, ESG may seem like a good thing. “Stakeholder Capitalism,” as it is also called, can dupe a person into believing that regulating corporations on a global scale is a good thing. The problem is that even as ESG is weakening the power of business owners and executives to make operating and value decisions about their own companies, it is growing the influence of global corporations and centralizing government for the benefit of the wealthy globalist elites. On the other hand, who it definitely isn’t good for is the average American.
In this article, we will go a little more in depth into ESG, how it is measured, who is in charge of it, and what Christians can do to push back.
Instead of evaluating businesses and investments based on the quality of goods and services provided, their business acumen, and their profitability and growth potential, ESG standards are subjectively set to determine how committed a company or financial institution is to the social justice and environmental causes, including, among other things, the LGBTQ agenda and abortion. Based on their score, a company can be rewarded or punished by investors and government agencies.
Here is what, specifically, goes into the score:
The “E” in ESG stands for Environmental. Environmental factors include any climate-related business activities. According to the International Business Council (IBC), companies are required to disclose greenhouse gas emissions; carbon footprint; the number and size of business facilities leased or managed in or adjacent to “key biodiversity areas”; and estimated water consumption. Any steps companies will take to align their activities to be as “green” as possible will increase their score.
The “S” in ESG stands for Social. IBC’s metrics rank businesses based on the “percentage of employees per employee category, by age group, gender and other indicators of diversity.” For example, a company could be given a lower ESG score for having the “wrong” ratio of Asian to Hispanic employees, even if the company provides better products and brings in higher profits than a competitor with the “right” ratio of employees.
Other examples of factors that Social standards take into account include how many women and members of “oppressed” or “marginalized” groups are in positions of management and how many employees belong to a union. An entire workforce can be made up of qualified individuals who perform well and meet company goals, but if the company is ruled “unfavorable” by the ESG overlords, it would be ranked with a low ESG score.
This is why so many companies now include Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) seminars in their employee trainings, hire solely based on race and LGBTQ+ identifiers, and have adopted Black Lives Matter and Pride slogans and goals as part of their branding.
The “G” in ESG stands for Governance. This element to ESG is very similar to Social. IBC’s framework includes a company’s “setting purpose,” “governance body composition,” “anti-corruption,” and “protected ethics advice and reporting mechanisms.” For example, does the company’s stated purpose benefit society? Is the company’s board made up of enough members of under-represented social groups? Are they competent in and enthusiastic about environmental and social issues?
Well, that would be people who were never democratically elected to make decisions over the market or the American people in the first place. Banks, corporations, unelected government and United Nations officials, World Economic Forum members, and financial institutions are all working together to write and enforce ESG standards.
In so doing, they ensure that their own ideological goals are promoted to the exclusion of other values. Their pocketbooks become thicker because they’re investing in industries and companies that benefit from their agenda (think Bill Gates and his push for “meatless meats” and “nutritionally dense food using insect species,” i.e., bugs). Massive power is consolidated and transferred to a small minority of global elites. And crony capitalism becomes the new economic system of the world.
Many corporations have already exposed themselves as “woke,” but sometimes it takes some digging to determine whether or not a company aligns with these left-wing values.
Most often, one can determine which companies are complying with ESG standards by reviewing the “About Us” or “Our Values” pages on the company website. Indications of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) goals on the website is a dead giveaway. The Instagram pages of companies, especially during the month of June (or LGBT Pride Month), is also very telling.
For those who just want a list of places to avoid for easy reference, author and writer David Seminara has compiled this list of companies who have sold out to the woke regime.
For starters, vote in every election for candidates who are clearly not in favor of ESG scores or advancing a left-wing, woke ideology (and that sometimes requires some digging as well). But Christians can also harness the power of the free market by putting their money towards wholesome companies with biblical and conservative values instead of funding companies that blatantly support sin and global power agendas.
One of the ways consumerism can be radically changed for the better is if people start pulling money from companies that hate them and putting their money towards companies that don’t. This comes at a price. Small and local companies don’t have the economies of scale to offer products as the same low price as a global corporation does and local companies might not have your item on-site so you’ll have to wait while they order it and have it shipped to the store.
And there isn’t always a non-woke alternative for everything you might need, but even spending half or most of your consumer budget at alternative companies will make a significant difference.
But if more people shift their spending, this will encourage the creation and growth of these alternatives. What’s more, Christians would do well to build the alternatives themselves. There is a market for non-woke companies and products. It just doesn’t quite exist in the kind of numbers and capacity that we’d like yet, but that’s where Christians and conservatives have a massive opportunity.
Imagine if every conservative began shopping at their local farmer’s markets, boutiques, and coffee shops rather than at Walmart, Target, and Starbucks. Even more, imagine if Christians supported one another in the business sector as the universal Church. What if one of the ways we can encourage one another and build each other up (1 Thessalonians 5:11) is through a merchant/consumer relationship?
For further help “voting” with your dollar, Alison at @votewithyourdollarmama on Instagram runs an entire social media channel notifying Christians and conservatives of woke companies and suggesting alternatives, and the Public Sq app allows you to shop conservative brands online or find pro-American stores near you. Concerned Women for America also put together this list of companies whose profits do not go towards the abortion industry.
As we observe growing corruption in our own government, it’s disconcerting to realize that the corruption of unelected bureaucrats and corporations on a global scale is impacting us on our own soil and that powerful elites are working in tandem to manipulate the masses, direct the marketplace, restrict civil liberties, and get richer and more powerful in the process.
In response, we can be worried and anxious for our own well-being and that of our children — or we can remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 10:28-29:
“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.”
We have no reason to fear the elites who want us to eat bugs and bow to them in worship. They cannot destroy the soul — but God can. And we can rest in knowing that vengeance is His. As He sits in the heavens and laughs while the nations plot in vain, maybe we, too, should have a chuckle ourselves. Maranatha!
Follow Reagan on Twitter! @thereaganscott
Ready to dive deeper into the intersection of faith and policy? Head over to our Theology of Politics series page where we’ve published several long-form pieces that will help Christians navigate where their faith should direct them on political issues.