During the last couple of years, an increasing number of companies have subscribed to the environmental, social and governance (ESG) framework, promising to adhere to, and promote, the goals of corporate social responsibility and sustainable business strategies.
These ESG-oriented companies embrace non-financial accountability indicators to assess the implementation of systems and processes that manage their carbon footprint and treatment of employees, suppliers, and other stakeholders.
The ESG criteria include a commitment to lower “greenhouse gas emissions and CO2 footprint” to support “LGBTQ+ rights and … all forms of diversity.”
The success of the implementation of ESG depends on whether its criteria “encourage companies to drive real change for the common good, or merely check boxes and publish reports.”
The growing list of companies that have committed themselves to ESG reveals that most of these embrace the official narrative on climate change and demonise coal and gas even though these are reliable and clean resources, the use of which would lower electricity prices.
Some obligations imposed by ESG on companies are already legislatively mandated. For example, section 134(3)(m) of the Companies Act 2013 requires the inclusion of a report by companies” Board of Directors on the conservation of energy and a listing of the equipment used to achieve that result.
The ESG Framework received a boost from the adoption in 2015 of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a plan of action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all people around the world.
The U.N. Agenda contains 17 integrated sustainable development goals and 169 associated specific measurable targets. A prominent feature of the agenda is the emphasis on the role of the private sector in advancing and achieving sustainable development initiatives, working in partnership with governments, civil society, and other stakeholders.
Foray Into Politics
Of course, companies’ interest in social responsibility and sustainability is commendable. However, this interest has sometimes been used as an excuse to enter the political arena.
Specifically, several companies have declared their support for social engineering programmes and unrealistic sustainable development goals. Sporting and religious organisations have also often joined the world of politics.
For example, readers would recall that Qantas relentlessly supported the same-sex marriage campaign, which resulted in the adoption by the Turnbull government of marriage equality in 2017.
With regards to race relations, several Australian churches and religious leaders have backed the Voice proposal and encouraged their members to vote “Yes” because they perceive this as the right thing to do.
Very recently, Tennis Australia has called on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) to adopt rules regarding the participation of transgender athletes in women’s competitions.
In this context, the CEO of Tennis Australia, Craig Tiley, told the Sydney Morning Herald that “We are an organisation that believes absolutely in inclusivity, in diversity, in equality—so any decision made will need to be aligned with our core values.”
The Transgender Inclusion Guidelines for Community Tennis specifically state, “Players who identify as women should be allowed to play as women; players identifying as men should be allowed to play as men.”
Most of the time, these actions are not based on or supported by rigid analysis but rely merely on “feelings” and vague ideas of “compassion” and “justice.”
But more importantly, in participating in politics, these institutions radically change the purposes for which they were established.
In the case of companies, their function is to make money for their shareholders and to provide quality service to their customers.
While businesses and corporations will want to keep abreast of the financial and economic management of the nation, their forays into the world of social engineering politics surely divert from their real function and are incompatible with their declared mission.
Driving Away the Traditional Base
Big business and sporting organisations also seem to tolerate the imposition of political correctness codes on people, promote the “cancel culture” movement, and condone the teaching of critical race theory in schools and universities, all of which adversely affect people’s right to freely express their opinion.
In addition, the relentless pursuit by the government of its Voice referendum, aimed at entrenching this body into the Constitution, has divided Australia based on race.
There is no doubt that these developments have alienated stakeholders and members of these companies and institutions.
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For example, many members of the Liberal Party believe that their views are routinely disregarded and even ridiculed by the party in the pursuit of nebulous and untested notions of “diversity” and “inclusiveness.”
The Moira Deeming affair, which involved her expulsion from the Liberal Party for attending a pro-women rally, the rejection of membership applications based on perceived Christian views in South Australia, and the support of Queensland’s Path to Treaty Act—which provides for truth-telling and the conclusion of treaties with Aboriginal people—surely have driven away scores of once-committed members of the Liberal Party.
Similarly, it is difficult for a Christian to stay as a practising member of his or her church if it embraces secular practices and ideas that are antithetical to its core teachings and even allows the incorporation of pagan practices in its rituals.
In this context, writer Joel Agius has argued that Catholics “are fed up with the Catholic Church being pushed towards something that is more of the world than of God.”
Where can these people who are no longer comfortable in their natural homes go? Are they the unfortunate victims of the implementation of ESG by Australian organisations?
Whichever way these questions are answered, there is a discernible need to ensure that the implementation of the ESG Framework does not affect the true function of organisations in Australia.
Article cross-posted from our premium news partners at The Epoch Times.