It’s hard to follow the “doing well by doing good” mantra

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Here’s a note from Alison Taylor about this Bloomberg article:

If you are connected with me, you are likely interested in sustainable business. So, you should definitely be following Bloomberg News’ Saijel Kishan, who is thoughtful, skeptical, balanced and smart.

Here, she asks a great question: If Al Gore’s own investment fund is struggling to achieve its “doing well by doing good” mantra, what should we really expect from anyone else?

“The company’s slipping performance points toward a common pitfall of socially aware investing: It’s easier to do well while doing good when high-growth but comparatively clean industries (read: technology) are in the market lead. That makes it difficult to assess whether an ESG fund’s edge comes from its principles or because it’s simply leaning into the right sectors.”

This would make such a great discussion in any classroom, and is one of the best explanations I’ve read for why ESG is going to stay messy, fraught and ambiguous for the foreseeable future.