ESG: Pomising Framework or Problematic Idea?

April 21, 2023
Center for Professional Ethics and Social Responsibility, Marymount University

1000 North Glebe Road
Arlington 22207
United States

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University of Pennsylvania

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Marymount University

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The Marymount University Center for Professional Ethics and Social Responsibility invites submissions for a conference on “ESG: Promising Framework or Problematic Idea?”

ESG, or Environmental-Social-Governance, has been framed as a responsible approach to investing and corporate management. A key claim is that ESG promotes good corporate conduct and higher profits; in other words, it is good for society and good for business. ESG has gained more and more traction in the business world, but it has also drawn criticism. Progressive critics accuse ESG investment funds and companies of making exaggerated claims and “greenwashing,” while conservatives in state governments have banned public pensions funds from participating in ESG investing and condemned ESG as “woke capitalism.” The Securities and Exchange Commission has worked to more strictly scrutinize and regulate ESG and ESG-related issues. 

This conference seeks to assess the state of the ESG framework and the claims that its advocates and critics have made about it.

We invite submissions that critically engage with any dimension of ESG. This can include assessment of ESG as overall approach, addressing particular aspects of the ESG framework (environmental, social, or governance) or ESG-related issues, implementation, or particular criticisms or defenses of ESG. 

Sample topics include:

Are any of the progressive or conservative criticisms of ESG sound? How can ESG be best justified?

What is the relationship between ESG and other frameworks such as business ethics/CSR, sustainability, and risk management? 

What is the basis or motivation for corporate ESG performance?

Are the three pillars of ESG always compatible or do they require trade-offs?

What is the scope of each pillar of ESG? What are the most important issues in a particular pillar and what do they require? Are some pillars of ESG more important than others?

Can standardization of ESG be achieved?

Submission Process

The submission should be an abstract (no more than 600 words) that summarizes the topic and main line of argument. 

The conference will provide a 45-minute slot for each paper (30 minutes for presentation, followed by 15 minutes for Q&A). 

Submissions, and other inquires, can be sent to Daniel Corrigan at [email protected]

Key Dates

Deadline for abstracts: January 31, 2023

Notification of acceptance: February 15, 2023

Conference date: April 21, 2023

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