Do Wealthy Companies Boycott Russia or Boycott ESG?
Since the Russian government’s war of choice began over ten days ago, many companies have evacuated personnel and ceased operations in Russia since they do not want to be complicit with tacitly supporting the invasion.
Human Rights Policies, whether a company has implemented initiatives to ensure the protection of the rights of all people it employs and serves, is a core component of environmental, social, governance (ESG) criteria used by shareholders to measure a company’s non-financial impact.
In the S&P 500:
80% of the companies have Human Rights Policies.
30% of the companies have linked Executive Compensation to ESG.
The S&P 500 is the leading U.S. index. As of March 4, 2022, the index includes 505 leading U.S. companies and equals about 75% of U.S. total market capitalization, valued at $40.7 trillion.
As we currently face a pandemic of greenhouse gases, disease, misinformation, and greed for power, creating instability across the globe, societies, and economies, society requires strong and clear responses from the private sector, along with governments and civil society, in unison to stabilize and secure a viable future.
In response to the Russian government’s war of choice, while many dozens of companies have announced plans to suspend or disinvest in operations in Russia, many companies in the S&P 500 with existing Human Rights Policies and policies linking Executive Compensation to ESG have implicitly chosen to stay in Russia.
These company decisions to stay in Russia are viewed as statements of support for the regime that is terrorizing Ukrainian civilians. (Note: this doesn’t stop at the Ukraine border.)
While companies who are demonstrating leadership have chosen to express corporate opposition to the Russia invasion express support for Ukraine and its valiant citizens, demonstrate their company’s values, reinforce their sustainability pledges, better ensure their longevity in a peaceful world, respond to stakeholder pressures, reduce their exposures to business and financial risks, and protect their brands. These same companies are practicing what they preach via making informed decisions employing their Human Rights Policies to ensure that their activities do not support the Russian government’s war of choice.
Examples of Leadership (Note: not all of these companies are in the S&P 500)
Budvar - halted beer deliveries to Russia
Carlsberg - halts exports and investments into Russia
H&M - suspends sales in Russia
Ikea - suspends retail and business operations in Russia
LVMH - temporarily closes stores in Russia
Nike - suspends on-line sales to Russia
TJX - will sell 25% stake in Russian apparel company
DirecTV - pulls Russia-backed channel
Disney - pauses theatrical releases in Russia
Netflix - pauses future projects and acquisitions from Russia; will not carry Russian state television channels
Roku - pulls Russia-backed channel
Snap - pulls advertising in Russia and Belarus
Sony Pictures - pauses theatrical releases in Russia
Spotify - closed its Russian office
TikTok - blocked Russian media channels from its platform
WarnerMedia - pauses theatrical releases in Russia
Twitter - suspends advertising in Ukraine and Russia
MasterCard - blocks Russian financial transactions
Visa - blocks Russian financial transactions
AMD - halts sales to Russia
Apple - suspends sales in Russia
Cisco - suspends operations in Russia
Dell Technologies - suspended product sales in Russia and Ukraine
Google - blocked Russian media channels from its platforms; stops selling ads in Russia; suspended Google Pay from sanctioned Russian banks
Intel - halts sales to Russia
Meta - blocked access to Russian controlled outlets across the EU
Microsoft - stops selling products and services in Russia
Oracle - suspends business operations in Russia
SAP - suspends business operations in Russia
Airbnb - suspends operations in Russia and Belarus; offers free short-term housing to 100,000 Ukraine refugees
Medicom - sending medical products; launching fundraiser among its employees and will match - to be donated to Doctors Without Borders
A.P. Moller-Maersk - temporarily all container shipping to and from Russia, does not apply to food, medical, and humanitarian supplies
CMA CGM - will not ship to or from Russia
Hapag Lloyd - suspends shipment bookings destined for Russia
MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company - will not ship to or from Russia
Airbus - halts supply of aircraft parts and supplies to Russia
Aston Martin - paused shipments to Russia
BMW - halts exports to Russia and will stop production
Boeing - suspended work (parts, maintenance, and technical support services) with Russian airlines
Daimler Truck- suspended delivery of truck components
Ford - suspending joint-venture operations in Russia
General Motors - exits joint venture producing cars in Russia
Harley-Davidson - suspends shipments to Russia
Hyundai - suspends car assembly plant in Russia
Jaguar Land Rover - paused shipments to Russia
Lufthansa - stops flights to Russia
KLM - stops flights to Russia
Mercedes-Benz - stopped exports of cars and trucks to Russia and its manufacturing
Renault - suspends some operations at car assembly plants
Toyota - halts production at a plant in Russia
Volvo - halts all production in Russia
Volkswagen - will stop production at two factories in Russia