How’s Your ESG?

By Ted Dieck | Recruiter’s View - Business Climate | Mar 14, 2022

Strange that so many companies would have the same responses, all at the same time.  And then, suddenly, do something completely different.  All at the same time.  

According to The Godfather School of Business:  Someone is making them an offer they can’t refuse. 

Have you ever been in a corporate meeting, when a decision — any decision — was being made?  

It usually starts with a committee or an “Action Team.”  The mission includes a leader, a mission to be accomplished, a time frame, and allocated resources.  Team members come on board and accept responsibilities.  

Sub-tasks include studies.  Lots of studies.  What are the action options?  What are the costs?  The effectiveness?  Does any of this achieve the goal?  And what’s the downside?
There’s always a downside. 

It can take a week (or a month) to arrange the chairs in the lobby. 

No Coffee For You

So, how did Starbucks come in to work, one morning, and decide to shut down their entire Russian operation? 

Isn’t that kind of a big deal?  

It isn’t like they just discovered they’re doing business in a communist country.  

Did they have a list of responses pre-prepared?   If Russia seizes Crimea, that’s OK.
If Russia invades Ukraine, Starbucks will put their corporate foot down? 

It’s Bigger Than That

In an astonishing coincidence, McDonald’s also closed 850 Russian Golden Arches… on the same day that Starbucks shut down. 

Decades ago, I was in the same room with people preparing the McDonald’s presentation to the Russians.  I’m certain most Americans have no clue how difficult it is to be allowed to do business in a communist country. 

And McDonald’s just shut it all down? 

Coca-Cola and PepsiCo also pulled out.
Yes, on that same day. 

And There’s More

BP, Shell and ExxonMobil took action right after the Ukraine invasion on Feb 24.
That made sense, ‘cause, well — oil. 

Big Tech immediately jumped in (or out.)

  • Google stopped providing services 
  • Apple stores closed.
  • Dell and IBM pulled the plug. 

VISA and MasterCard are out. 

Really?

To quote again from The Godfather School Of Business…
“Your enemies always get strong on what you leave behind.”

Putin has already explained who will own the debris abandoned by thick-headed capitalists. 

It’s Huge

When did international corporations suddenly become so thoughtful and caring about the welfare of humanity?

The whole Fortune 500 seems obsessed with making a statement.  Taking action. 

What cattle prod can move these behemoths to commit spontaneous self-injury like that?   

These are all publicly traded companies.  They know today’s damage will be reflected in the next financial report. 

Sales and earnings will drop.  Assets will take a hit.  And liabilities may climb.  

But they still do it.
Immediately. 

Why?

“Reputational Risk”

Weakness

After decades of conditioning, corporate leaders have become easy targets for shakedown artists.
Marxists hustling the outrage of the day can accumulate an impressive collection of mansions very quickly. 

But paying out millions of dollars to Rights and Justice grifters may be small change to a corporation, compared to what’s coming next. 

Infiltration 

The World Economic Forum (WEF) decided decades ago that the best route to power requires changing the culture.  They did that by training promising young corporate activists and placing them on the boards of major corporations. 

We can believe this might be true, because they say so, right on their website. 

It’s now possible for any WEF recommendation to be promoted throughout the halls of power, virtually overnight. 

That’s handy. 

Labeling 

Something in the human mind makes labeling a powerful tactic. 

ESG scores, by themselves, are silly. 

They propose to rank a company, or a person, (or you) in terms of…
Environmental, Social, Governance 

These solemn sounding terms are largely undefined.
They are, in fact, arbitrary. 

It doesn’t matter.
In the hands of a master puppeteer, here’s what can be done… 

Let’s Play With ESG 

An oil company doesn’t want a low ESG score.  (E = Environmental)
So, in no time flat, the website of an oil company shows pictures of windmills. 

Banks don’t want low ESG scores, so they won’t lend any money at all to oil companies.
The price of your gasoline doubles. 

See how easy that is?

Investment companies don’t want any trouble, so they create funds that only invest in companies with high ESG scores. 

This is fun. 

Now, tell the entire Fortune 500 that dealing with Russia might put their Social and Governance scores at risk.
(Remember Reputational Risk?)
Boom!  Everybody walks away from their investments. 

But won’t that hurt their stock?
No!  As a preferred member of the ESG family, ESG funds will continue to invest in their stupid stocks.
It’s everybody else who gets locked out. 

Wow.  Can I use this on people, too?
Sure. You can crush any individual, rich or poor.
Just lower their ESG score, pick a tune, and they’ll dance for you all day long.
They won’t be able to borrow, buy, travel, or eat unless you say so. 

That sounds great.  Can we do anything bigger?
Of course.  You can run the whole world.  The WEF recommends it.
Try this… 

Pull all the good ESG companies out of Russia.
Then tell banks, insurance companies, and shipping companies that being associated with Russian oil might put their scores at risk.
Bang.  That fast, Russia is isolated and weak. 

You can do that? 

We just did.
When a tyrant is threatened, he turns to bombs, nuclear attacks, and chemical warfare. 

Well, it looks like we just might have a success. 

Recruiter’s View

Candidates can work anywhere they want. 

Companies using ESG are not my preferred clients.
I avoid them as suppliers. 

-TD