Suz Mac Cormac spoke to Fortune about the recent push around corporate social responsibility, which has given rise to a new optimism for progress around major social issues like inequality and climate change.

"Most of ESG in this country right now for investors and companies is greenwashing," Suz said. "There are a ton of people who are just putting up [an attorney] who used to be an environmental lawyer, and it's all compliance-based, checking the box."

She added that a corporate ESG strategy that is merely investing in sustainable funds or supporting nonprofits isn't enough, nor is divesting from "bad" businesses, and unless businesses are willing to move away from the practices that are causing the most harm, the rest of their efforts are noise.

"If you have a good policy around ESG, great," Suz said. "But I want to change your whole operations."

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