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Top 10 ESG stories in 2020
What were the most popular stories shared in 'ESG on a Sunday' in 2020?
Since I launched this weekly newsletter ‘ESG on a Sunday’ back in May 2020, I’ve shared almost 250 links to ESG related articles, studies and other content.
Now it’s that time of year where you look back (and ahead), so I thought it would be interesting to find out what has been the 10 most popular stories in my newsletter (based on no. of times people have clicked on the links). And share it with you.
So, below you find the top 10 ESG stories in my newsletter in 2020.
Thanks for subscribing. I wish everyone a Happy New Year!
Kind regards, Sasja
PS: My personal conclusion is obviously that I need to do more ESG analyses in 2021 — it’s just so time-consuming…
#1 How sustainable is Amazon?
Amazon’s success has come at a high cost. But there are also a number of positives. So what’s the verdict? In my ESG analysis of Amazon, I argue that in order to fully assess Amazon we need to go beyond the traditional ESG approach. You can read it here.
#2 The Swedish Tycoons
H&M is, in a way, the embodiment of a business model dependent on endless and continuous consumer-driven growth that drowns in cheap labour. So how sustainable is H&M? Read my ESG analysis of H&M here.
#3 We do not pursue size or power
A lot of good things can be said about Jack Ma and Alibaba. For example, the company is on a 1.5C path, better than the target set in Paris.
But as always, it’s not that simple, and there’s much more to look into in order to do a proper ESG analysis of a company. Here’s my ESG analysis of Alibaba.
#4 It’s time we get our hands dirty
We can’t make ESG driven investment decisions about companies based on reports and data which haven’t been verified with reality checks. Real engagement with investee companies needs to take place where their business is. We need to get our hands dirty.
Read more in this interview Reuters did with me in September.
#5 How sustainable is Facebook?
A lot of negatives can be and have been said about Facebook, not least with regards to privacy issues. So it was interesting to see how the company would do in an ESG analysis. You can read my analysis of Facebook here.
#6 Social-impact efforts that create real value
Companies don’t win over investors just by issuing sustainability reports and engaging in other standard ESG practices. What they need to do, says Harvard Business School’s George Serafeim in this piece, is integrate ESG efforts into strategy and operations
#7 CEO’s cannot lead us into a sustainable future
Are CEO’s equipped to transform their business to a sustainable future? No, according to this great article in New York Times they are qualified to make profits, not lead society.
#8 The climate change report cards
How is the world delivering on all the pledges made in Paris? You can find many of the answers in this is very nice read with good explanations and graphs.
#9 Interview with Robin Rouger
The financial industry has an issue with climate data. Or rather: We have a problem with ESG data not capturing real-world impact. But my colleague Robin Rouger has developed a new model to score companies and estimate their climate scenario path in relation to the Paris Agreement. I did this interview with him.
#10 China in Africa
What is really going on with China’s investments in Africa? In this very good piece in Forbes, the authors take a look at the numbers behind and explains what the implications are for Europe.