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  • Writer's pictureGustavo Bernal Torres

ESG And Its Discontents: A Defense Of HSBC Banker Stuart Kirk And A Critique Of ESG Orthodoxy

ESG needs robust debate and critique, not unquestioning (and sometimes questionable) adherence to a creed.

  • Stuart Kirk has had enough. Kirk resigned as HSBC’s head of sustainability, saying his position had become unsustainable. The news wasn’t exactly a surprise. In May, Kirk was suspended by HSBC after a video of his speech at the Financial Times’ Moral Money conference went viral.

  • ESG does best, and will thrive, when it is subject to rigorous and intense (good faith) debate. We do not know many of the answers to these tough questions. These are important issues worth fighting about. The alternative, holding ESG up as an unimpeachable orthodoxy, runs the danger of greenwashing and intellectual stagnation. We can’t afford that.



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