The COVID-19 crisis raises critical questions about the meaning of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risks and opportunities to investors and industry in the post-pandemic world. Approaching answers to these questions requires careful learning and analysis. One small positive outcome of this pandemic is that the disruption has generated a body of innovative thinking and writing from business, education, non-profit and government leaders. As part of Acorn International’s commitment to ongoing learning, we’re sharing a roundup of some articles we have found most useful in re-imagining ESG as we emerge from this monumental public health and socio-economic disruption.

From surviving to thriving: Reimagining the post-COVID-19 return

Kevin Sneader and Bob Sternfels, McKinsey & Company

The authors provide an interesting take on how companies can build back stronger in the post-pandemic era by reimagining their business model. In this article, McKinsey analyzes four strategic areas, namely recovering revenue, rebuilding operations, rethinking the organization, and accelerating the adoption of digital solutions, and suggests that those who step up their game will be better off and far more ready to manage the risks and opportunities of the new normal.

Reopening the economy in the midst of COVID-19: What happens if an employee refuses to return to work?

Taylor Eric White, Foley & Lardner LPP

As employers try to navigate the rules to re-open their businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic, this article gives an important overview of an employee’s rights and duties in terms of safe return to work, as per US legislation. Additionally, the author highlights ways for employers to better manage the business disruption of COVID-19 and associated legal risks.

India’s Covid-19 app fuels worries over authoritarianism and surveillance

Hannah Ellis-Petersen, The Guardian

Tracking technology has been on the rise since the beginning of the pandemic but what happens when it is used in a country with very light anti-surveillance, privacy or data protection laws? Does safety become the priority to the detriment of privacy? This article evaluates the possible abuse of powers linked to this technology, with a specific analysis of India.

Will Coronavirus Be the Death or Salvation of Big Plastic?

Zoe Schlanger, TIME

In this article, the author cleverly links the COVID-19 pandemic to the decline in oil prices and a missed opportunity for plastic production. Will the pandemic force countries to pull back recent legislation banning the use of all single-use consumer plastic? What does it mean for the fight against climate change?

Garment supply chains in intensive care? Human rights due diligence in times of (economic) crises

European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected people all around the world in different ways, and the actions of some people on one side of the world have affected the lives of others on the other side. Indeed, the economic recession linked to the pandemic has led to a significant decrease in retail spending, thus jeopardizing the jobs and working conditions of garment workers. This paper underscores the existing power imbalance between consumer-facing brands and their

suppliers and how this imbalance has been exacerbated by the crisis.





CDC, FEMA have created a plan to reopen America. Here’s what it says.

Public Health Principles for a Phased Reopening During COVID-19: Guidance for Governors



Who Put the ‘S’ in ‘ESG’ (and What Does It Mean)?

COVID-19 Lessons: How to Measure “S” and “G” in ESG?

Measuring the Immeasurable: Scoring ESG Factors

Putting the ‘S’ in ESG: Measuring Human Rights Performance for Investors

Sustainability Was Corporate America’s Buzzword. This Crisis Changes That



Respecting Human Rights in the Time of the COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 Tracker: Insights for a Time of Crisis

Europe’s Strong Labor Laws Aren’t a Guarantee for Lower-Wage Workers

How Safe Is “COVIDSafe” – Australia’s COVID-19 Contact-Tracing App?

Protecting human rights amid COVID-19 crisis

COVID-19: A Human Rights Checklist

COVID-19 and Global Human Rights: Shifting Priorities for Governments, Civil Society, and Companies



Addressing climate change in a post-pandemic world

Purpose: Shifting from why to how

Africans can fight COVID-19 with stakeholder capitalism

News & Notes

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