• Responsible Alpha Editorial Team

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)

Consumer Goods

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


Entertainment

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


Financial

MasterCard - blocks Russian financial transactions

Visa - blocks Russian financial transactions


Information Technology

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


Service

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


Shipping

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


Transportation

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


Sources:

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https://www.bbc.com/news/business-60593988

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https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-60596699

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