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Climate Resilience

ESG for Corporates

Whether you are at the beginning or end of a supply chain, the onus is firmly on your organization to do the best you can in regards to performance.

Those who make decisions about what to buy and what to invest in—from and with whom, as well as those who rate risk within companies—need access to accurate analysis and sophisticated counsel on issues related to law, regulation and risk.

ESG is an opportunity

While there is a maze of law and regulation, there is also vast opportunity in voluntary measures from a shareholder and customer perspective. Companies around the world are making bold steps in the ESG space.

Companies are now able to:

  • Integrate ESG and sustainability considerations into their strategy with an eye towards long-term corporate resilience and profitability
  • Measure, manage and mitigate their ESG risks
  • Expand their access to ESG-focused investors
  • Identify their ESG risks and priorities and allocate resources to address their priority issues
  • Develop strategies to secure and retain the best people
  • Prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Ensure data management and cybersecurity

Report, disclose and comply

We will work with you and your auditors and assurance providers to ensure that your reporting, disclosure and compliance is not only in accordance with the law and regulation but is also able to meet the growing demands of key stakeholders. We have playbooks and toolkits to assist this process.

Contract

Buy-side organizations need to develop a set of clear and measurable metrics against which they can track and audit the performance of their critical vendors and their progress against future looking targets. They also need to consider what incentives, or remedies and penalties, will apply.

Your third party contracts and processes should give you:

  • Access to ESG data
  • Control over the third-party arrangements if ESG data is not sufficiently clear or harmful to your business
  • Ability to exit without cost for non-compliance

Multi-year strategic outsourcing arrangements to date typically include an obligation on service providers to satisfy a range of policies and procedures surrounding areas like ethical sourcing and bribery and corruption. Regulators, governments, shareholders and consumers are expanding the areas they want addressed to now include sustainability, decarbonization and other environmental practices. Climate-related financial disclosures will become part of the fabric of corporate governance and will trigger new requirements in procurement practices (and oversight) by both customers and service providers in strategic sourcing arrangements.

We assess existing contractual frameworks and build stronger and better ones that reduce future risk around—and capitalize on the value in—ESG.

Implement

As ESG takes a more prominent place on the corporate agenda, boards and management will necessarily take more aggressive steps to develop an ESG strategy and implementation plan.

We will help you launch and implement a decarbonization strategy, advise on green finance transactions, hedge risks associated with climate change, develop diversity and inclusion policies, craft complaint and redress procedures, and more.

Manage risk

Developing and implementing a successful ESG governance strategy is an essential part of managing risk of legal proceedings and regulatory enforcement action. Our specialist ESG litigation, arbitration and enforcement team can assist clients identify key risks and any steps to mitigate them. We combine experience across all strategic areas, including reputation and brand management, and have acted for clients in a number of high profile proceedings.

Learn more about how we can help

Our global team is comprised of lawyers who understand not only the regulatory position in each jurisdiction in which you operate, but also that of the investors and funders. Our approach is holistic, aligned and aimed at helping ESG compliance create value across your entire organization.

Environmental 

From rising sea and land temperatures to shrinking ice sheets, the threat of climate change is very real. As we move towards a low carbon economy, organizations and governments are increasingly required to articulate their climate commitments, and how and when they’ll be met.

We support corporate, financial and government clients in areas of regulatory and environmental law, sustainable finance and bonds, carbon credits, allowances and off-sets, supply chain management, and managing the risks of regulatory enforcement and climate disputes. We’ll also help you fold sustainability into your business’ strategy and navigate clean energy transitions.

Learn more about environmental

Social 

Cases of dangerous or hazardous working conditions and discriminatory practices fill the news, adversely affecting brands. But there are also stories of companies setting bold diversity and inclusion standards, making investments in employee education and future-proofing their supply chains. Whether you are facing regulatory compliance or striving to improve the way your business supports its people, we can help.

We provide practical, legal and strategic advice on human rights policy commitments; health and safety practices; diversity, equity and inclusion practices; due diligence strategy, risk assessments and reporting obligations; and supply chain risk.

Learn more about social

Governance 

Robust governance initiatives and mechanisms are expected by interest holders, shareholders and regulators, but also have the potential to improve culture, increase morale, and even foster customer loyalty. However, raising the visibility of these practices can bring more scrutiny.

We advise clients on board diversity leadership structures and oversight of risk management; and support governance structures by reviewing bylaws, governance and stewardship guidelines, committee charters, codes of ethics and other materials designed to comply with legal and regulatory requirements and establish best practices across the globe.

Learn more about governance

Contact our team

Eversheds Sutherland is present where your employees are—across the globe. Please do not hesitate to contact our legal team if you need more information or require advice.

While there is a maze of law and regulation, there is also vast opportunity in voluntary measures from a shareholder and customer perspective. Companies around the world are making bold steps in the ESG space.