Tesla Booted From S&P 500's ESG Index Because of All the Bullshit and Chaos

The ESG Index ranks companies on environmental and social responsibility. Alleged racial discrimination and poor factory conditions knocked Tesla off the list.

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk looks at a new Model 3. The company was just removed from the S&P 500 ESG Index.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk looks at a new Model 3. The company was just removed from the S&P 500 ESG Index.
Photo: Patrick Pleul (Getty Images)

Tesla is having a tough day in the stock market, but not because of its stock price. While the automaker’s stock is down more than 7 percent today, the biggest news comes from the fact that Tesla has been removed from the S&P 500 ESG Index. As you may have guessed, Elon Musk isn’t thrilled about this.

The S&P 500 ESG Index evaluates companies’ environmental, social and governance data to rank and recommend them to investors. According to CNBC, the ESG Index uses criteria that includes hundreds of data points related to how companies handle their environmental impact and treat stakeholders like employees, vendors, partners, neighbors and customers. Each company in the Index is given a score based on these parameters.

Every year the folks managing the ESG Index re-evaluate the companies included on the list. Some stay, some get added, and others — like Tesla, today — get kicked out.

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Some of the companies included on the index are Apple, Microsoft, Exxon Mobil and JP Morgan Chase.

Why Did Tesla Get Kicked Out?

Basically, because of all the controversies you’ve heard about over the past year. Margaret Dorn, Senior Director and Head of ESG Indicies, wrote a blog post explaining this year’s adjustments to the Index. Her report cited claims of racial discrimination and poor working conditions at Tesla factories, crashes linked to Autopilot, and Tesla’s lack of published details about its low carbon strategy or codes of business conduct.

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“While Tesla may be playing its part in taking fuel-powered cars off the road, it has fallen behind its peers when examined through a wider ESG lens,” Dorn wrote.

As with every company removed from the ESG Index, Tesla will be re-evaluated for inclusion on next year’s update.

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Elon Musk’s Reaction

As you may have imagined, Tesla CEO Elon Musk wasn’t happy with the results of the rebalancing. He took to Twitter — as ever — to voice his displeasure at the Index’s decision, calling ESG a scam amongst other things.

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In another Tweet, he shot out a boomer-esque meme about the “leftist agenda.”

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This begs the question: if Musk thinks the ESG is so dumb, why is he so upset about getting kicked off the Index? I suppose we’ll never really know.

It remains to be seen what impact today’s news will have on Tesla’s stock price, but as of this writing, TSLA was down just about 7 percent on the day. Tesla’s stock price is now at its lowest point since July 30, 2021.