If there’s any company that socially responsible investors should love, it would probably be Elon Musk’s Tesla, the clean-energy electric-car maker.
But turns out green credentials go only so far. Just 86 of about 1,200 do-gooder investment funds tracked by Bloomberg own Tesla shares. And of those, only seven count Musk’s company as a top-10 holding.
That’s much less of a warm reception than these investors have given even to Facebook Inc., which, despite a data-privacy scandal and the founder’s super-voting power, is held by 126 of those funds.
Tesla represents a quandary for the responsible investing set, which looks for companies that they deem supportive of environmental, social and governance issues, or ESG. Musk’s vision for Tesla, laid out a decade ago, was impeccable on at least one score: “to help expedite the move from a mine-and-burn hydrocarbon economy towards a solar electric economy.”
But ESG investors now worry the company’s performance on social and governance issues doesn’t justify its lofty valuation.
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