Record Billions Pulled Out of ESG Funds, So Activist Investment Firms Resort to ‘Greenhushing’

Craig Bannister | June 11, 2024
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As Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) funds continue to hemorrhage billions of dollars, activist fund managers are increasingly employing “Greenhushing” to cloak their efforts to de-fund “non-green” industries, at the expense of their clients’ best financial interests.

In the first quarter of this year, “US fund managers suffered their worst-ever quarter for ESG-focused products as the pace of client redemptions intensified,” Bloomberg reports:

“Client withdrawals from US funds targeting environmental, social and governance goals reached $8.8 billion in the first three months of 2024.”

“Environmental, social and governance focused exchange-traded funds experienced their largest net outflows ever recorded in one month [April], at $4.6 billion,” Bloomberg Intelligence reports.

The outflows have gained steam as more and more Americans become aware of the financial cost, in terms of inadequate returns, and radical nature of ESG investing. ESG funds have a widespread legacy of underperforming the S&P 500, even posting double-digit percentage losses, as companies that are politically-neutral on social and political issues are more profitable than those that practice leftist political activism.

The percent of private investors who say they consider ESG factors when investing has fallen from two-thirds (65%) in 2021 to 60% in 2022, to about half (53%) this year, as more Americans prioritize financial performance over politics. All three elements of ESG – environmental, social and governance – are declining in importance to investors and are likely to continue to do so in 2024 and beyond.

ESG funds have now suffered eight straight quarters of net outflows, driving asset managers to what’s known as “Greenhushing”: furtively funding or defunding industries, based on how well they serve ESG’s radical ideological agenda.

“In the face of this criticism, some companies have simply stopped publicly speaking about the steps they are taking to curb emissions or reduce their environmental footprints,” Inside Climate News explains, citing a survey on greenhushing trends.

The term “ESG” has even become so toxic that Larry Fink, CEO of the behemoth ESG-activist investment firm BlackRock, says that he “won’t say it anymore.” When people hear “ESG,” “We lose the conversation,” Fink says.

BlackRock has also removed several references to ESG from its website – but, will continue to coerce companies seeking capital to commit to zero emissions and other “climate change” initiatives.

And, he’s not the only one who’s dropping the term. Analysis of earnings conference call transcripts of S&P 500 companies performed by FactSet reveals a severe downward trend in ESP mentions.

Additional greenhushing tactics used by asset management companies include renaming products, staff and departments to exclude “ESG,” so they can continue pursuing their ideological agenda unbeknownst to their clients.