Just because someone has “Sustainability” in their title might not mean much

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Here’s a note from Ali Sheridan about this Bloomberg article regarding HSBC’s head of responsible investment being not so responsible about climate (also see this note from Thierry Philipponnat that makes the point that this cynicism from “responsible” people will influence the uninformed public in a harmful way):

In a strange way it’s a relief to see this talk from Stuart Kirk and related coverage.

The assumption that anyone with ‘sustainability…ESG…responsible investment…climate, etc’ in their title is driven by climate science and action is a dangerous one.

It can be argued that the growing swell of new senior sustainability roles are largely being created to meet ESG rating criteria, to improve company reputations, and to delay companies taking serious climate action for as long as possible.

Others wil also argue that these roles can only exist within the ‘business realities’ of their companies, i.e. making profit and driving growth. However there is a a growing cohort of people who get what we’re up against and who genuinely want to drive change.

But for those committed to change, let this be a word of warning. Tread very carefully in terms of which companies you dedicate your working life and reputation to.