The Rise of ESG Is Creating Data Sweatshops

As written in UnHerd, the exponentially increasing demand for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) ratings for companies has led to a parallel growth in data sweatshops across the globe. Data companies use artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to process the vast amounts of data required to produce a company’s ESG score. However, this process of “data labelling” (where manual input of data is required) is labor-intensive and often takes place in poor working conditions, including in less economically developed countries with low wages, including parts of Africa, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Often, workers are paid less than minimum wage. Moreover, these data centers can also expose data labelers to horrific content, including bestiality and child sexual exploitation, as workers are sometimes employed by social media companies to label images and videos.

ESG was ostensibly developed to encourage investment in “socially responsible” companies that adhere to metrics surrounding climate change mitigation and solving social justice issues. If ESG is truly what its creators say it is, it might be time to re-evaluate the merits of a system that single-handedly creates an entire new market for slave labor. That said, ESG’s creators care nothing for these objectives; in fact, their goal is to enslave the world by controlling its entire economic system. I doubt they would bat an eye at this discovery.

For the full article from UnHerd, click here.

Jack McPherrin ([email protected]) is a managing editor of, research editor for The Heartland Institute, and a research fellow for Heartland's Socialism Research Center. He holds an MA in International Affairs from Loyola University-Chicago, and a dual BA in Economics and History from Boston College.