Tesla flies out of S&P sustainability index – Musk outraged

Elon Musk

The Tesla boss accuses the index provider of having lost its integrity.

(Photo: IMAGO/UPI Photo)

new York Electric car maker Tesla has been removed from the S&P 500 ESG stock index for allegedly sustainable investments – Elon Musk does not like that at all. In a tweet on Wednesday, the Tesla boss described the ESG investment category as a “swindle” and accused the index provider of having lost its integrity.

ESG is the English abbreviation for Environmental, Social, and Governance – under this label, the financial industry offers investments in which criteria such as the environment, social issues and good corporate governance are to be given greater consideration.

S&P Dow Jones Indices explained the decision in a company blog. There are “many reasons” why Tesla – despite its self-declared mission to accelerate the transition to sustainable energy – no longer belongs in the S&P 500 ESG Index.

Tesla has slipped relative to the rest of the industry

These included allegations of racism and complaints about poor working conditions at Tesla’s US car factory and the handling of investigations into accidents, some of which were fatal, in connection with the “Autopilot” driving assistant, explained S&P analyst Margaret Dorn. Nevertheless, Tesla’s sustainability ranking has remained relatively stable over the past year. But the rest of the auto industry has improved significantly, causing Tesla to slip in comparison.

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Musk vented his anger on Twitter that the largest US oil company ExxonMobil received a top rating from S&P as one of the ten best companies in terms of sustainability, while Tesla no longer even made it into the index. Tesla had previously criticized ESG criteria as “fundamentally flawed”.

ESG financial products have been criticized for some time. Common accusations from experts are, for example, that the market is not sufficiently regulated and that the label is more of a sales aid for the financial industry. Due to a lack of clear and uniform definitions of what actually counts as a sustainable investment, there is sometimes a suspicion of “greenwashing” in the corresponding investment funds, for example.

More: Elon Musk is a visionary – but increasingly he is alone

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