martedì 8 dicembre 2020

Pope Francis and Businesses Found Group Promoting 'Inclusive Capitalism'

(The New York Times) The Vatican and business come together. -- It may seem an unusual pairing: big businesses and Pope Francis, a pontiff who has repeatedly criticized capitalism in scathing terms. But they announced a new partnership today, the latest sign of the growing influence of environmental, social and governance, or E.S.G., practices in business.
Meet the Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican, a group of businesses, investors and other groups that represent $2.1 trillion in market cap and 200 million employees. The group has announced pledges toward environmental and sustainable-business goals that fit into the E.S.G. movement, with Francis’ blessing.
The 27 leaders of the council are known as Guardians for Inclusive Capitalism, and include Ajay Banga of Mastercard, Marc Benioff of Salesforce and Brian Moynihan of Bank of America. They will meet each year with Francis and Cardinal Peter Turkson, who leads the Vatican department dealing with many social issues.
“An economic system that is fair, trustworthy, and capable of addressing the most profound challenges facing humanity and our planet is urgently needed,” Francis said in a statement.
The group is the brainchild of Lynn Forester de Rothschild, the businesswoman who has backed ventures to promote so-called inclusive capitalism in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Among them is Inclusive Capital Partners, an E.S.G.-focused activist hedge fund co-founded with Jeff Ubben.
There are reasons to be both hopeful and skeptical of the initiative. The corporate pledges are meaningful, but some aren’t new: BP, for example, restates a commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 that it announced in February. And while the council has posted the pledges publicly, there’s not much to hold the companies accountable (aside from the risk of disappointing the pope).