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Be Wary of ESG Backlash
September 1, 2023
Reed Smith attorneys summarize recent developments in the contentious matter of environmental, social and governance initiatives, and the backlash against them. Some companies are going dark, or “greenhushing” in the face of attacks such as the anti-ESG legislation introduced by House Republicans at the end of July, ie, H.R. 4767 – The Protecting Americans’ Retirement Savings from Politics Act, which would amend shareholder and proxy voting processes in a way that prioritizes growth over political issues and allow the exclusion of ESG proposals.
States have passed both pro and anti-ESG legislation. The article suggests that general counsel should consider both sides of the ESG debate and stay informed of all nuances. For example, know the communities your company conducts business in and understand their values. A better understanding of your customer base will also help, and fostering internal dialogue around the topic of ESG will go a long way toward coping with changes if and when they come.
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