Going green is not woke – it’s essential!.. “Going green is not woke” says the boss of the biggest global money manager.

According to the boss of the largest global money manager, it’s not necessary to be ‘woken’ up to greener living and care more about profit than profits.

Larry Fink, founder of Blackrock, defended his investment in companies by writing an annual letter to their chief executives.

He urged them to adopt a green agenda and said that stakeholder capitalism was not all about politics.

Winds of change: Larry Fink is the founder of Blackrock, which manages £7.5trillion of asset

Winds of change: Larry Fink is the founder of Blackrock, which manages £7.5trillion of asset 

It isn’t a social agenda or an ideological agenda. It’s not woke. It’s capitalism driven by mutually-beneficial relationships between yourself and your customers, employees, suppliers and other communities that allow you to thrive. This is what capitalism stands for.

His belief that a fair pursuit of profits and long-term profit was the key to success meant that firms had to create and share value with society.

‘We focus on sustainability not because we’re environmentalists, but because we are capitalists,’ added Fink, whose own fortune is valued at £800million.

His annual “Dear CEO” missive causes controversy regularly. These comments are just one week after Terry Smith, a fund manager attacked Unilever. Smith said that Unilever had ‘lost it’ and was obsessed with displaying sustainability credentials publicly at the expense of being focused on fundamentals.

Fink also used this year’s letter – entitled The Power of Capitalism – to warn that firms rolling back flexible working ‘do so at their peril’.

“Companies expect workers to be at work 5 days a week. The workplace rarely spoke of mental health. Wages for people with low or middle incomes remained stagnant. 

He stated that “that world is gone” in reference to life prior to the pandemic. Companies that fail to adapt to new realities or respond appropriately to employees are at risk. 

Blackrock manages £7.5trillion of savers’ cash in a host of funds and has huge influence over the companies in which it holds stakes.

Blackrock would rather stay an investor than sell out to carbon-intensive companies. 

Green future: Rather than selling out from carbon intensive companies, Blackrock instead prefers to remain an investor and persuade companies to change their ways

Blackrock prefers to stay an investor rather than sell out to carbon-intensive companies.

However, the money manager was met with stiff opposition to its agenda that focuses on issues of environmental, social, and governance (ESG).

Critics accuse Blackrock and Fink of being ‘woke’ investors and acting like ‘activists’.

Neil Wilson, Markets in the City analyst, stated that chief executives complain about the “pious brigade” that fails to see the real world and the difficulties of doing business.

West Virginia declared this week it would discontinue using the Blackrock Fund due to its economic harm. 

It was pushing West Virginia’s companies into net-zero investment strategies, which would have been detrimental to the state’s industrial sector.

West Virginia is well known for its heavy industries, particularly its chemical and coal companies. The country is America’s second-largest coal producer and fifth for total energy production.

Riley Moore, West Virginia’s treasurer, stated that he has a responsibility to make sure that the state’s taxpayer money are used in responsible and financially sound ways that reflect the best interests for our country. I feel that doing business with Blackrock is against that duty.

Blackrock recommended that companies adopt net-zero investment strategies. This would hurt the oil and coal industries and encourage Chinese investments to West Virginia companies.