Heartland Institute Releases Anti-ESG Scores for 2024 Presidential Candidates


Report includes ESG histories and letter grades for 11 presidential candidates in 2024 election

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL (October 12, 2023) – With the 2024 election season kicking into high gear, voters ought to be well-informed regarding where the 11 presidential candidates stand when it comes to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) scores. In recent years, ESG metrics have become ubiquitous throughout corporate America, with those on the left primarily pushing for their implementation and those on the right generally opposed to ESG scores.

As voters prepare to cast ballots in both the Republican primary and the general election, The Heartland Institute has prepared a succinct report documenting the ESG policy positions of each of the 11 presidential candidates so that voters can make educated decisions about this significant macro-economic issue when they head to the voting booth.

The following statements from ESG experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at [email protected] and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 312/731-9364.

It is not an exaggeration to say that ESG represents one of the greatest threats to individual freedoms, democratic institutions, and macroeconomic stability facing us today. While the dialogue on ESG has tapered in recent months, it is vital that we continue to protect society against ESG and raise awareness regarding the magnitude of the problem. Though some of the candidates for our next president have paid appropriate attention to this threat, as this new report reveals, others have not. Anyone running for president needs to be cognizant of and aligned against ESG. Our new report compares where they stand.

Jack McPherrin
Research Fellow
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

(McPherrin is the author of the Heartland report titled “Environmental Social, and Governance (ESG) Scores: a Threat to Individual Liberty, Free Markets, and the U.S. Economy” that was published in April, 2023.)

In 2024, voters will face a stark contrast when it comes to the issue of ESG scores at the corporate and personal level. On the left, President Joe Biden has fully embraced the enactment of ESG metrics, as his Department of Labor and several other executive agencies have passed rules and regulations that have increased the use and scope of ESG. On the right, with a few exceptions, most of the candidates for the Republican presidential nomination have articulated anti-ESG positions that align with free market principles.

As the battle between stakeholder capitalism and shareholder capitalism continues to be waged, it is up to American voters to decide the fate of ESG. Thanks to this handy guide, voters will have access to an unbiased, fact-ridden report as they ponder which candidate to support both in the Republican primary as well as the general election.

Chris Talgo
Editorial Director and Socialism Research Fellow
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) metrics pose a substantial threat to individual liberty and consumer choice. All presidential candidates should vehemently oppose them, but, as this study shows, that certainly isn’t the case. Some of the most prominent figures in the 2024 race have largely ignored the dangers of ESG, and a small number openly support them. Voters deserve to know who these candidates are, as well as the identities of the biggest champions of the anti-ESG movement. Because of this groundbreaking report, concerned citizens have, for the first time ever, access to this important information all in one place, opening the door to significant progress on this vital issue.

Justin Haskins
Director of the Socialism Research Center
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

Since beginning our work on the topic of ESG, it has become clear to me that ESG represents one of the most important topics of our day. It is not hyperbole to acknowledge ESG, if stringently enforced, can fundamentally reshape our economy and bend the will of society to align with the agenda of international ruling elites. Our report shows which candidates understand the true nature and potential impact of ESG and which candidates choose to bury their heads in the sand. 

Donald Kendal
Deputy Director of the Socialism Research Center
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

The Heartland Institute is a national nonprofit organization founded in 1984 and headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our website or call 312/377-4000.