As New Critiques of Sustainable Investing Emerge, Don’t Dump Your ESG Fund

Sustainalytics analyst says critiques fail to understand what ESG has already accomplished.

Simon MacMahon 22 September, 2021 | 8:00
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The knives are out for environmental, social, and governance investing, notably in two recent essays: This week, a blog post from NYU finance professor Aswath Damodaran, which called ESG “a mistake that will cost companies and investors money, while making the world worse off, but that it create more harm than good for society,” and not long ago from Tariq Fancy, the former chief investment officer for sustainable investing at BlackRock, who has argued that sustainable investing is a “placebo” that allows people to avoid grappling with difficult environmental and social challenges.

We checked in with Simon MacMahon, head of ESG and corporate governance research, Sustainalytics. A longtime practitioner of sustainability analysis, MacMahon shared his immediate thoughts about the two essays.

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About Author

Simon MacMahon  is head of ESG and corporate governance research at Sustainalytics.

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