Corporate Controversies That Defined 2021

DECEMBER 17, 2021


  • Social issues dominated the 2021 news cycle when it came to corporate failures to manage Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risks.
  • Big Tech generated the most ESG news coverage, with Google LLC’s parent Alphabet Inc. at the top of the list.
  • Companies with commercial ties to the Myanmar military and the entities it controls faced increased scrutiny by NGOs and media following the February 2021 coup. Companies have begun taking measures to limit their risk of being involved in human rights abuses, although considerably more work is required.
  • The pressure on more than 100 global brands with alleged supply chain links to forced labour of ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China continues to grow.
  • In addition to its devastating impact on public health, the COVID-19 pandemic had a particularly adverse impact on supply chains in 2021, highlighting issues such as underpaid wages and denial of benefits and severance pay, as millions of workers were dismissed or furloughed due to the pandemic.

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