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Cryptocurrency is making a big splash as of late in the news. Particularly when Tesla announced that it would accept Bitcoin in the purchase of its vehicles. However, the backlash was swift, and Tesla had to backtrack its decision due to the virtual currency’s poor environmental footprint. This story goes to prove that Environmental, Societal and corporate Governance (ESG) is fast becoming an arbiter of the moral high-ground for companies, and ESG reporting and disclosure requirements are becoming mandatory in the EU and other jurisdictions.
Our article analysis of a recent Forbes article on Tesla’s cryptocurrency announcement and subsequent walk-back, shows that although the article questions ESG’s value as a management discipline the sentiment attached to it is decidedly neutral . Our entity word cloud shows ESG is the most frequently mentioned, demonstrating that although its contextual sentiment is neutral, it is clearly the most important entity. Further proving the growing importance of ESG in corporate decision-making, no matter the questions surrounding it’s value, is that following Tesla’s crypto walk-back Bitcoin went on to experience an intense sell-off. While some might think ESG is purely an optics game, the ramifications of not paying it enough attention are monetary and swift.
Given what has now become evident, that ESG principles are guiding business decisions, it begs the question how Elon Musk could’ve missed this potential conflict? Particularly given Tesla’s very public commitment to environmental and sustainable practices, and it will be worth noting whether this lesson was learned in future announcements.
Take a look at our full MediaSignal article analysis to get more insights here.