Republican Attacks on ESG May Be Overlooking US Workers

(Bloomberg) --

With ESG increasingly in the crosshairs of Republican politicians—be it over the strategy’s efforts to address climate change or the lack of diversity in C-suites—one beneficiary of sustainable investing that the attacks seem to have overlooked is the American worker.

The “S” in ESG includes worker issues ranging from compensation to health and safety. While global warming often takes center stage when it comes to environmental, social and governance investing, the majority of Americans say paying workers a fair, living wage should be the top focus of the biggest US companies, according to a recent survey by JUST Capital, a nonprofit research group.Job creation, worker health, safety and training ranked among the top six priorities out of 20 stakeholder issues. Addressing human rights in supply chains was ninth, while combating global warming ranked 13th in the annual survey.

“The divisiveness of political messages, both on the left and right, is out of touch with what Americans really want,” said Martin Whittaker, chief executive of JUST Capital. “Workers are an issue where people across political divides are united.”