WHILE the concept of ESG, which stands for environmental, social and governance, is relatively well established, its significance here came to the fore recently.
Two particular developments led to this. One was the Top Glove Corp Bhd saga. After it was revealed that the glove making giant had paltry workers’ housing conditions that led to high Covid-19 infections, some analysts lowered their target prices thereby impacting the stocks’ value.
And then BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager that held a 1.61% equity stake in Top Glove, voted against the re-election of six independent directors at the rubber glove maker’s annual general meeting.
The move was ESG-driven as BlackRock held the view that the board had failed in its oversight responsibility relating to TopGlove’s migrant workers’ health and safety. Top Glove has since pledged to rectify those concerns.