The Red Face

Adam Anderson, CEO of Innovex, an oil & gas company, wanted to get his staff The North Face (TNF) down jackets with the company logo emblazoned on it for Christmas.

Unfortunately, the apparel maker rejected the request on the basis that fossil fuel companies, like Innovex, didn’t reflect TNF’s core values – the same standard it applies to porn and tobacco companies.

So Anderson returned fire in a 4 page letter here:

“The recreational activities they encourage are all ones that require hydrocarbons to make the products, to provide the means to get to whatever activity folks want to perform…It’s just so intertwined with everything that we do…

…The irony in this statement is your jackets are made from the oil and gas products the hardworking men and women of our industry produce. I think this stance by your company is counterproductive virtue signaling, and I would appreciate you re-considering this stance. We should be celebrating the benefits of what oil and gas do to enable the outdoors lifestyle your brands embrace. Without Oil and Gas there would be no market for nor ability to create the products your company sells…

…“Low-cost, reliable energy is critical to enable humans to flourish. Oil and natural gas are the two primary resources humanity can use to create low-cost and reliable energy. The work of my company and our industry more broadly enables humans to have a quality of life and life expectancy that were unfathomable only a century ago.”

The ultimate irony with all this woke corporate virtue signaling is that these social justice warriors often get shown up for a complete lack of understanding about the very subject the publicly protest about.

We met a staffer from an Aussie bank the other week who proudly boasted it was stopping lending to companies that haven’t committed to reduce emissions by a certain amount. The argument was that shareholders are demanding it. We retorted that a small select number of activist industry funds who often don’t meet the very requirements they try to enforce on others, are trying to promote the sale of SRI/ESG funds because of the higher fees they can get by appealing to investors who think they’re making a difference when in reality they aren’t.

We did a more conclusive study during a business school lecture. Three funds with three different results were presented in a chart over 10 years. The students didn’t know which fund was what but all selected the one with the highest returns. Naturally.

Before the different funds were revealed we asked whether people would invest in a socially responsible investment fund to feel better about themselves? When it was revealed the SRI fund had the worst performance and the best performing fund rejected such virtue signaling, all still wanted the highest return in retirement. Who knew?

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