Last fall, BCW and Direct Impact (DI) completed a State-by-State Snapshot of the ESG Policy Landscape following the 2022 midterm elections. Focusing on 22 influential and political “battle ground” states, we provided insights and cautious predictions on the direction of environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies over the 2023-2024 legislative session cycle across deep red places like Florida, deep blue places like California and “purple” states like Pennsylvania.
We can confidently say our predictions held firm across the top 10 “trendsetting” states we chose to spotlight last November. At the same time, there were a few surprises we discovered that are worth mentioning – notably Michigan. Despite historic Democratic control over both legislative chambers and the governor’s mansion in Lansing, policymakers did not move as quickly and aggressively toward advancing ESG policies as one might have expected when the spring session convened.
However, in kicking off the fall legislative session in Lansing, Governor Gretchen Whitmer delivered a speech in which she called on legislators to advance policies that will require Michigan’s utility providers to produce 100 percent of their energy from clean and renewable sources such as wind and solar as well as nuclear. “We can achieve 100 percent clean energy while balancing reliability and affordability,” Whitmer said during her remarks.
Surprises weren’t exclusive to Michigan. In a novel ruling out of Montana, a judge found that the state legislature has a constitutional mandate to consider the impact of emissions when issuing permits for fossil fuel development. Though open to appeal, the ruling was the result of a small advocacy group leveraging ESG laws to secure judicial intervention with major long-term consequences for the state’s energy sector – demonstrating how easily ESG issues can be weaponized in service of broader policy agendas.
Heading into 2024, the polarizing ESG landscape has only escalated over the last six months – to the point that BlackRock CEO Larry Fink won’t even reference the three-lettered term as it has been “weaponized by left and right".
Read the full report here.
As she kicks off the second leg of her record-shattering Eras Tour in Japan after making history at the Grammy Awards, we can’t help but recognize and reflect on the extraordinary impact Taylor Swift has not only had on her legions of loyal fans (like us!), but on the local communities that have hosted her historic Eras Tour performances.“Swiftonomics” aren’t only about Swift’s global influence but about the incredible impact she has had on the communities where we live and work. Swift has certainly left a “Blank Space” for local grassroots advocacy that we will attempt to fill in through outlining five key things that likely don’t come to mind while scavenging for the best Eras Tour seats or selecting which album to listen to next:
Earlier this fall, Direct Impact gave a warm welcome to Mary Flury, the newest member of our team! She joins DI as a Senior Vice President and Finance Director, bringing nearly two decades of experience in finance and accounting.We recently sat down with Mary to learn a little more about her and her unique role on the financial side of the business.
This fall, Direct Impact enthusiastically welcomed Julie Rollend to the team as a Senior Vice President. She brings two decades of experience in public relations and corporate communications with a background in consumer, lifestyle, hospitality, and technology. She spent much of her career in the travel and tourism sector where she recently led local campaigns across the United States and Canada for Marriott International.
Have a local issue you need to address? Looking to engage the right audience in key communities?Want to reach consumers and policymakers at a hyper-local level? Direct Impact can help.