Financial TimesFinancial Times

How ESG investing came to a reckoning

By Adrienne Klasa, Simon Mundy and Harriet Agnew

06 Jun 2022 · 10 min read

The term ESG is less than two decades old, but it may already be coming to the end of its useful life.

The acronym dates back to 2004, when a report commissioned by the UN called for “better inclusion of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) factors in investment decisions”. In the wake of corporate scandals such as Enron and WorldCom, and the Exxon Valdez oil spill, financial institutions eagerly signed on to the “global compact”.

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