March 24, 2023

ESG: Make a Buck Off Humanity’s Demise

Look, I’m sorry if this makes me a downer as we head into the weekend, but this headline from ISS Corporate Solutions shows that capitalism will outlive cockroaches: “The Looming Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Pandemic: Opportunities for Investors.”

Maybe you find this inspiring. “Now I can hedge against a painful encounter with MRSA!” you say as you trade stocks on your way to the hospital. If that’s the case, good on you, please do not let me rain on your parade.

ICS makes a compelling case for this being a measurable “ESG” issue – with these types of data points:

– Share of net sales of antibiotics dedicated to intensive animal farming

– Hygiene management methods at healthcare facilities

– Reducing pharmaceutical ingredients, including antimicrobials, in wastewater at production sites

This all makes sense, but the headline without that context is the type of thing that gives ESG a reputation for being totally absurd in some circles. You would think that humanity could pull together just for the sake of the common good, but apparently “seeking alpha” is the only thing that folks can agree on.

Liz Dunshee