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The systemic crisis arising from COVID-19 is giving rise to new avenues of inquiry for the responsible investor. If ESG factors didn't seem important before, they certainly should now. And it’s vital to ensure difficult decisions, such as cutting personnel costs, are executed in a delicate and ESG-friendly way.
Chief among new ESG filters are working from home stratagems, furlough policy, and, of course, sick pay compensation.
One particularly glaring example of a lack of ESG accounting comes from the UK pub chain JD Wetherspoons. After being forced to close all 850 of its pubs—following the UK coronavirus lockdown—the chain neglected to guarantee worker wages, sprouting a grassroots campaign of condemnation against Wetherspoons. The actions of premier league football club, Tottenham Hostpurs, is another. They have mai…