Natrona County High School class provides ninth grade students with lesson on ESG criteria and “conscious capitalism”


A concerned community member sent a public records request to Natrona County School District to acquire a lesson plan and materials from a ninth grade “Business Foundations” class at Natrona County High School during January 11-13, 2023. Students were provided with a “Social Entrepreneurship and Social Responsibility Research Assignment” that pushed for political social issues to be considered in entrepreneurship and businesses. The lesson also included “Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria” which is often used to push businesses into accepting and adopting divisive political ideology.

The lesson taught students about so-called “conscious capitalism” that is a “business philosophy with a central premise that companies should serve all significant stakeholders, including the environment.” The lesson also promoted the idea of a “social entrepreneur” as “someone who wants to improve social and/or environmental conditions while still generating profits.” A tenet of “conscious capitalism” is that “every business should have a higher purpose that transcends making money.”

In the discussion of ESG, the lesson specifically mentioned “social issues,” including “equality” and “climate change.” The lesson described ESG as “a set of standards for a company’s operations that socially conscious investors use to screen potential investments.” The lesson further taught that the “common good” is an idea that “may refer to the collective welfare of the community” or “may refer to the individual welfare of each person in the community.”

An assignment that followed the lesson has students match definitions with these ideas.