Elon Musk launches ‘Satanic’ ESG as World Economic Forum convenes in Davos

Investment decisions based on a company’s view of its environmental, social and governance (ESG) responsibilities have been gaining traction as the world on a global scale experiences adverse events as a result of global warming and social injustice.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting currently taking place in Davos is making a special effort to focus on the focus that companies must place on their ESG responsibilities.

“In the heat-charged months of 2022, it became abundantly clear that the health of the planet is deteriorating. Investors and the general public expect companies to be part of the collaborative, multi-stakeholder effort to restore -lo and be transparent,” the WEF said on its site.

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A biased narrative

While this was a well-received notion by most attendees, a handful spoke out saying that the narrative and intent around promoting ESG is being skewed.

One of those people was Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock Inc, an investment firm, who said the ESG conversation was creating a lot of polarization. American author Michael Shellenberger spoke about the WEF meeting, suggesting there were other agendas at play.

It was to Shellenberger’s tweet that Tesla CEO Elon Musk responded that the “S” in ESG stood for satanic.

In May of last year, Musk described ESG as a “scam that has been orchestrated by fake social justice warriors.” He said so in a tweet where he regretted that Exxon has been ranked in the world’s top ten environmental, social and governance (ESG) list by the S&P 500, while his company Tesla did not make the list.

Musk’s management style

It’s easy to see how Musk would expect Tesla to rate highly as a responsible ESG company. After all, Tesla is the electric vehicle manufacturer that is said to provide the blueprint for the future of environmentally responsible modes of transportation.

NOW READ: Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance: A Fixed Income Game Changer

However, Musk’s management style is what could be the key in the works that is seeing his company valued higher.

While the electric car appears to help mitigate environmental issues, when it comes to social and governance factors, Musk seems to be lacking. Musk has been criticized in the media for targeting female employees during layoffs.

His management style and lack of transparency as a leader during the Twitter acquisition were also criticized.

Musk’s recent response to Shellenberger’s post might just be a case of sour grapes.

In Tesla 2021 Impact Report, the company noted that current ESG assessment methodologies are fundamentally flawed. To achieve the necessary change, ESG must evolve to measure real-world impact.

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