America’s Top Responsible Companies (ESGs/CSRs)
Consumers are becoming increasingly more thoughtful about the brands they support and buy from. In the U.S. and UK, 68% of online consumers might stop buying from a brand with weak corporate responsibility practices. Because of this, companies need to ensure their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives are well designed, known and appreciated. Companies understand it’s no longer just the right thing to do. As demand for transparency and corporate responsibility escalates, responsible practices are transitioning from a nice-to-have to a need-to-have. Organizations need to act and transform. Social Rating practices are growing, international standards and certifications are now widespread. In 2021 Newsweek and Statista prepared a list of the 20 most responsible American companies, using a methodology that included a pre-screening, an in-depth CSR document review, and a consumer survey.
However, with such hype over CSRs and ESGs, it is advisable to watch out for possible “greenwashing” and “social washing” cases. For such reasons, while I welcome the growing attention and interest in Impact Finance Investing, I understand Damodaran’s skepticism over ESG Investing. Consumers and investors alike still need to go beyond social ratings or take them with a grain of salt. After all, when a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure (Marilyn Strathern).
Sweat Your Assets, Master Your Finances.