Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations impact virtually every facet of a company’s operations amid an evolving regulatory landscape and an ever-increasing pressure to take action and bring ESG factors to the forefront. Our ESG & Sustainability Advisory Practice advises public and private companies, asset managers, and their stakeholders across all sectors on the opportunities and risks associated with implementing their ESG strategies.
To meet this moment for our clients, Morgan Lewis has assembled a comprehensive, multidisciplinary team that takes a holistic approach to assessing the “E,” “S,” and “G” of a company’s strategy, and provides practical advice to integrate ESG-related actions with corporate values, mitigate risk, and defend those actions when necessary. Our work serving clients includes assisting with developing ESG strategies, policies, procedures, and plans; reviewing corporate sustainability and diversity reports; navigating multijurisdictional and multiagency compliance and antitrust concerns; and providing support in the event of an ESG-driven operational and/or reputational crisis.
We provide a full suite of ESG and sustainability advice against the backdrop of a continually evolving consumer and regulatory landscape. Drawing on our extensive government background in the US Securities and Exchange Commission (including its Division of Corporation Finance and its Enforcement Division’s Climate and ESG Task Force); Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; and Department of Labor, our team focuses on “what’s next” for ESG regulation, as disclosures and public statements become part of the standard operating procedure for companies and asset managers.
How We Can Help
With decades of experience across industries, we help our clients
- evaluate overall ESG strategy based on industry and peer practices;
- develop and set sustainability goals;
- ensure their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs meet the demands of employees, investors, and customers, through workplace culture and equity audits;
- guide asset managers and retirement plan advisors through the landmines of investing through an ESG lens;
- scrutinize public statements made in support of corporate ESG goals;
- maximize advantageous tax strategies; and
- handle enforcement and antitrust actions and class action litigation swiftly and effectively as they arise.
Areas of Service
As a global, full-service law firm, we provide our clients with a multifaceted and well-rounded approach to defining and defending ESG strategies. Our ESG and sustainability services for clients include advising on the following:
- Impact investing, fund formation, investment, transactional, regulatory, and compliance
- ESG-related policy, risk management, disclosure, due diligence, and contract provisions
- Tracking of social impact in loan covenants
- ESG transaction structures—from “angel” investing, to syndicated loans, to ESG-specialized financing
- Antitrust compliance counseling on ESG collaborations and industry initiatives
- Antitrust enforcement and private litigation handled swiftly and effectively as the need arises
- SEC ESG examinations and enforcement matters
- Decarbonization and sustainability strategies
- Resource capitalization for clean technology, energy conservation, and emission reductions
- Renewable energy projects involving emerging technologies
- Power purchase agreements—including virtual PPAs
- Permitting, development, and financing of clean energy generation and transmission projects
- Environmental regulatory regime arising from climate change, including under the Clean Air Act
- Supply chain and human rights policies and procedures, and remediation of noncompliance
- Responsible labor practices of suppliers and compliance with forced labor regulations, including the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act
- The US Department of Labor’s efforts to regulate ERISA plan fiduciaries’ use of ESG factors in plan investment decision-making
- Workplace culture, racial equity, diversity, and equity audits
- DEI policy and procedure assessment and training
- Tax advantage optimization for for-profit companies and tax-exempt organizations