May 16, 2023

76. The surprising truth about what ESG actually means

Welcome back to Spend Donate Invest! This is a podcast where we talk about ways to line up our values and our money. When we think about the things that keep us up at night. Whether that’s climate change, or homelessness, or the systematic oppression of our communities, we usually talk about how we can claim our power when we vote. Some of us might protest, or organize ourselves in other ways. But what about….our money?

Where do we bank, where do we shop, where do we donate?

Whether you call it:

  • Impact Investing
  • Ethical Investing
  • Socially responsible investing
  • Sustainable Investing, or
  • Values- Aligned investing

You have probably come across the term "ESG" when looking for investments that line up with your values. Often you may hear the abbreviation used as a shorthand for "socially responsible" investing. But this is a gross misunderstanding of what ESG really means!

Tune in this week to learn more! Subscribe to the monthlyish newsletter by emailing

Please share this episode with someone who you think might appreciate a concise, clear, easy to understand explanation of ESG. 


MSCI ESG Ratings Explained 

Sustainalytics What is ESG? 

An Institutional Approach to Gender Diversity and Firm Performance by Letian Zhang 

What MSCI’s ESG Ratings are and are not 

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