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Environmental Social Governance (ESG) criteria are a set of standards for a company’s operations that environmentally and socially conscious investors use to screen potential investments. There are no set criteria for the standard. Different institutional and private investors may focus on different aspects of ESG. Generally speaking, however, environmental concerns have been dominated by issues affecting climate change (e.g., reducing carbon emissions, shifting to renewable resources) but may also include compliance with environmental laws, stewardship of natural resources or public health issues (which may also be covered under the "social" rubric).


See, Forbes Magazine, The Remarkable Rise of ESG, George Kell, July 11, 2018 for an overview of the history of ESG's development and some of the institutions that have developed standards for measuring ESG factors.