Companies, investors, lenders, and consumers are increasingly seeking to incorporate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles into their business evaluations. ESG criteria address public disclosures and policies on a broad range of issues, including climate change, supply chain resiliency/disruption, water use, waste and recycling, environmental and energy justice, human rights, diversity, equity and inclusion, board composition, executive compensation, and anti-corruption.
Companies and investors are working to meet ESG metrics that positively impact a company’s bottom line and reputation — focusing business decisions around these metrics now more than ever. As an added layer of complexity, federal regulation and enforcement initiatives relating to a company’s ESG disclosures will likely increase. Shareholders, lenders, and other stakeholders are driving public companies to address ESG issues and share ESG-related data. Middle market and smaller private companies are similarly feeling pressure from investors, lenders, and their private partners.
Our experience with the evolving standards and frameworks currently used for ESG integration helps clients develop appropriate ESG disclosures, implement company-wide ESG programs, and evaluate the ESG profiles of acquisition targets in the M&A context. Schiff’s multidisciplinary teams are well-versed in the nuances of complex ESG concepts, and include attorneys skilled in evaluating and mitigating environmental, energy, finance, labor and employment, and governance risks and disclosure considerations.
Our ESG attorneys work side by side with clients to:
- Evaluate the legal ramifications and disclosure obligations of specific ESG objectives, helping companies identify attainable and focused goals
- Strategize on how to proactively understand and incorporate ESG metrics to address investor and regulatory requirements
- Provide guidance on the content of voluntary and mandatory disclosures related to, greenhouse gas emissions, energy use and reduction, water use, and diversity and inclusion metrics, as well as record keeping requirements
- Assist in developing renewable energy projects
- Conduct internal investigations and represent clients in government investigation and other matters involving alleged company or personnel wrongdoing
- Review and evaluate sustainability reports
- Advise on various ESG metrics used by lenders and investors, including SASB, GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards, TCDF, and others
- Conduct due diligence of potential investments to understand the ESG profile and ramifications of the target
- Evaluate practices regarding workplace safety, board and employee diversity and inclusion initiatives, and compensation reporting
- Address and represent clients in supply chain, environmental, and climate change regulatory and litigation matters
- Assist in evaluating litigation, insurability, reputational, and other risks posed by the ESG issues most pertinent to each business
- Develop scopes of work for and oversee partners in the consulting, engineering, insurance, and other disciplines to assist companies in developing ESG programs and making ESG-related decisions