by Roy Snell

Reefer Madness, SCCE, The IIA, Musk, DeSantis, and Jane Fonda

There was a movie that was shown in schools, a long time ago, called Reefer Madness.  The short movie claimed that smoking marijuana would cause you to lose your mind.  It was intended to get people to stop smoking marijuana by lying and exaggerating the effects of ingesting marijuana. It didn’t work and the movie is now used to warn people about people who lie and deceive to achieve their social and political objectives.

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) programs suffer from the same madness.  Jane Fonda just said, “If there was no misogamy there would be no climate crisis.” To be fair I think she was trying to say if there were no stupid people there would be no climate crisis.  Elon Musk and Ron DeSantis, in my humble opinion, are throwing the ESG baby out with the bath water by decrying everything about ESG rather than suggesting some elements of ESG can help make the world a better place.

If you want ESG sanity I would suggest you visit the Institute of Internal Auditors website…

Environmental, Social, and Governance Resources in Internal Audit | The IIA

There are several great documents such as…

Internal Audit and the Audit Committee’s Role in ESG.” In my opinion it behooves all leaders to understand what the Internal Audit department will be investigating and reporting to the board.  No leader wants to be surprised at a board meeting.

Another valuable IIA ESG resource is entitled, “Internal Audit Plays Critical, Collaborative role in ESG Reporting.” Any company that wants to make sure their communications, marketing and PR folks don’t run afoul of greenwashing related laws should have Internal Audit involved in the review of their annual report.  The IIA states that, “Half of Companies with ESG Disclosures Receive Internal Audit Function Assurance.”

All of the IIA’s ESG resources are more rational than the advice and commentary coming from Jane Fonda, Ron DeSantis and Elon Musk.  I have no problem with any of these people but they are definitely suffering from ESG madness.

If you want the best ESG education money can buy, The Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics has several ESG sessions at their annual European Compliance and Ethics Institute in Amsterdam March 20-22.  Their next ESG virtual conference June 28, 2023. Almost all their major conferences cover ESG extensively.  They also have a ton of ESG podcasts and blog posts that you can reach with this link…

And no ESG resource list would be complete without a link to Osprey’s Soul of ESG blog.

People are lying and exaggerating about the negative effects of ESG.  These are the same kind of people that produced the movie, Reefer Madness.  If you want your leadership to have a little fun and understand that we are having similar problems with lying and exaggeration about ESG, I dare you to play a short section of the Reefer Madness movie for them.  At a minimum they will never forget you and wish you luck in your future endeavors.  You should go watch some of it.  Its kind of funny to look back and see how bad the misinformation was.  I believe that in the future… people will look back on ESG Madness in the same way.

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