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Corporate ESG Initiatives: A Complicating Factor in National Security Policy


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Corporate interest in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives encouraging companies to include more diverse groups of stakeholders and objectives other than profit maximization. Some of these ESG objectives overlap with the work and responsibilities of the government. Government policies often depend on incentivizing corporations through financial incentives. Overlapping interests between corporations and government policy do not guarantee that the actions taken to achieve them will be in alignment and may cause disruptions. In an increasingly globalized economy, ESG initiatives remain subject to the preferences of a corporation's controlling officers and shareholders that may not share the values and objectives of the American people expressed through government policies. The government should develop standard corporate ESG reporting processes that provide reliable information to stakeholders and represent American values and objectives. Additional research is needed to understand how corporate ESG initiatives affect specific government policies, especially those relating to national security issues such as energy, sanctions, and technological innovation.



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