Dana Perino Issues Stark Warning About ESG Agenda, Gives Key Abortion Example

"ESG forces companies to prioritize political causes over their shareholders."
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 31: U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen visits "The Daily Briefing" with Dana Perino at Fox News Channel Studios on July 31, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
John Lamparski/Getty Images

Fox News host Dana Perino issued a stark warning Wednesday about the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) movement affecting corporate America and the culture more broadly.

The system has been criticized as a tool to force Left-wing politics and racial and gender quotas on corporations, even at the expense of their shareholders.

“ESG forces companies to prioritize political causes over their shareholders,” Perino asserted on “The Five.” “That’s what it does.”

“And there’s a lot of commentary now about the ‘E’ part ESG, the environmental part,” the former White House press secretary continued. “I think the ‘S,’ the social part, is also really interesting, because, for example, if a company does not take — doesn’t allow for reimbursement of travel for an abortion, the employees at that company might declare it a ‘hostile work environment’ and in the ESG guidelines you can get docked and that hurts the company.”


Perino was not the only one on “The Five” to warn against the movement.

“Here’s the bottom line: companies should be concerned about their bottom line,” Judge Jeanine Pirro remarked. “They have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders, to their bottom line. And all this other stuff, they may feel good about it, it has nothing to do with their bottom line.”

“So don’t interfere with my ability to make money,” she added.

Greg Gutfeld, too, said ESG is putting customers and shareholders second to Left-wing politics. 

ESG is a “corporate policy that’s being instituted in some companies, mainly large companies,” he said. “This policy exists independent of its shareholders and its customers. It actually gets between them. It shifts the attention onto social justice and climate issues.”

“If I were a shareholder, I would be livid,” Gutfeld continued. “I would sell my stock immediately. I would only invest in companies that do not participate in this.” 

One movement countering the ESG agenda is a new index fund from Strive Asset Management that will push corporate America to pursue profits rather than social agendas.

The company, launched earlier this year by entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, will sell its Strive 500 exchange-traded fund (ETF) — a basket of shares meant to track the profits of the nation’s 500 largest companies — on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker STRV.

The firm will use “proxy voting and shareholder engagement” to press portfolio companies to maximize “value over all other agendas,” according to a statement from Strive obtained by The Daily Wire.

“Our message to America’s largest companies is simple: focus on your mission, not someone else’s social agenda,” Ramaswamy explained. “Hire talent based on merit over other social factors. We hope to drive positive change through our shareholder engagement.”

Ben Zeisloft contributed to this report 

Related: ESG: The Invisible Fist Of The Economy

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