Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues have long been fundamental to many of the world’s leading companies and asset managers.

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Overview

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues have long been fundamental to many of the world’s leading companies and asset managers.

Today more than ever, corporate founders, executives, and boards of directors also recognize that a well-executed ESG strategy adds value, reduces risks, and builds a more informed and resilient organization. Asset managers, along with institutional and individual investors, are likewise incorporating ESG considerations in their investment due diligence and decision-making. 

Perkins Coie’s ESG Advisory Team understands the challenges of translating ESG values into actionable corporate policies, procedures, and behaviors that can be measured, monitored, quantified, and reported. Our ESG attorneys draw on exceptionally deep experience in multiple related practice areas, including Corporate & Securities, Investment Management, Environment, Energy & Resources, and White Collar & Investigations to help businesses across industries realize benefits, while avoiding the risks associated with failing to effectively implement and accurately report on ESG issues. 

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has signaled that significant change is on the ESG horizon for public companies, investment advisers, and registered investment funds. In the first quarter of 2022, the SEC proposed rules regarding human capital management and climate risk disclosure for public companies, proposed rules regarding ESG-related fund names and adviser and fund investment strategies and announced ESG-related enforcement activity involving a public company and a large mutual fund complex. The SEC staff has also illustrated its continued focus on ESG topics through its articulated regulatory and enforcement priorities as well as comment letters on SEC filings and the ongoing work of the Climate and ESG Task Force within the Division of Enforcement.

  How Perkins Coie Can Help 
Our ESG team lawyers can assist clients with every step of the ESG process, including helping anticipate regulatory changes. This support includes the following:  

 
  • Developing ESG strategic priorities, policies, practices, and procedures;
  • Identifying priority ESG factors for your business;
  • Creating frameworks to assess ESG implementation, measure progress, and report for purposes of accountability;
  • Developing sustainability programs and assisting with sustainability reviews and ESG ratings processes;
  • Preparing compliance policies and procedures;
  • Conducting compliance audits/gap analysis;
  • Preparing and advising on SEC and other investor-facing disclosures;
  • Preparing for SEC examinations;
  • Advising on green bond and sustainability bond offerings;
  • Managing ESG fund formation;
  • Managing supply chain compliance;
  • Advising on anti-corruption and anti-fraud;
  • Counseling on industry or sector-specific ESG topics;
  • Advising on business continuity and incident and crisis response;
  • Defending against claims of misconduct or enforcement actions;
  • Litigating ESG-related claims; and
  • Counseling on and analyzing human capital/employee satisfaction.

 

ESG Practice Tips

Helping clients to establish ESG best practices is key to helping manage risk. Our guidance includes the following: 

  • Prepare investor-facing ESG disclosures and marketing materials with the same internal controls and diligence as reporting on financial results. Avoid “greenwashing” at all costs;
  • Conduct an ESG assessment in order to identify risks and understand current alignment with the business’ core values, disclosures, industry standards, and regulatory requirements (existing and anticipated);
  • Prioritize a subset of ESG issues specific to each company with an eye toward matching the company’s internal goals, increasing value for the company, and reducing risks;
  • Determine whether the company is prepared to publicly commit to ESG goals or targets, guided by core values, industry standards, and regulatory requirements;
  • Monitor, measure, and report on progress;
  • Stay current on ESG regulatory and practice developments through resources including Perkins Coie blogs, Public Chatter, and the Asset Management ADVocate, as well as firm updates and other content available at perkinscoie.com.

 

Resources

Below is a wide range of content pertaining to ESG and its impact on businesses. Please see the information below, grouped by topic, and contact us if you have further questions.

Today more than ever, corporate founders, executives, and boards of directors also recognize that a well-executed ESG strategy adds value, reduces risks, and builds a more informed and resilient organization. Asset managers, along with institutional and individual investors, are likewise incorporating ESG considerations in their investment due diligence and decision-making. 

Perkins Coie’s ESG Advisory Team understands the challenges of translating ESG values into actionable corporate policies, procedures, and behaviors that can be measured, monitored, quantified, and reported. Our ESG attorneys draw on exceptionally deep experience in multiple related practice areas, including Corporate & Securities, Investment Management, Environment, Energy & Resources, and White Collar & Investigations to help businesses across industries realize benefits, while avoiding the risks associated with failing to effectively implement and accurately report on ESG issues. 

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has signaled that significant change is on the ESG horizon for public companies, investment advisers, and registered investment funds. In the first quarter of 2022, the SEC proposed rules regarding human capital management and climate risk disclosure for public companies, proposed rules regarding ESG-related fund names and adviser and fund investment strategies and announced ESG-related enforcement activity involving a public company and a large mutual fund complex. The SEC staff has also illustrated its continued focus on ESG topics through its articulated regulatory and enforcement priorities as well as comment letters on SEC filings and the ongoing work of the Climate and ESG Task Force within the Division of Enforcement.

  How Perkins Coie Can Help 
Our ESG team lawyers can assist clients with every step of the ESG process, including helping anticipate regulatory changes. This support includes the following:  

 
  • Developing ESG strategic priorities, policies, practices, and procedures;
  • Identifying priority ESG factors for your business;
  • Creating frameworks to assess ESG implementation, measure progress, and report for purposes of accountability;
  • Developing sustainability programs and assisting with sustainability reviews and ESG ratings processes;
  • Preparing compliance policies and procedures;
  • Conducting compliance audits/gap analysis;
  • Preparing and advising on SEC and other investor-facing disclosures;
  • Preparing for SEC examinations;
  • Advising on green bond and sustainability bond offerings;
  • Managing ESG fund formation;
  • Managing supply chain compliance;
  • Advising on anti-corruption and anti-fraud;
  • Counseling on industry or sector-specific ESG topics;
  • Advising on business continuity and incident and crisis response;
  • Defending against claims of misconduct or enforcement actions;
  • Litigating ESG-related claims; and
  • Counseling on and analyzing human capital/employee satisfaction.

 

ESG Practice Tips

Helping clients to establish ESG best practices is key to helping manage risk. Our guidance includes the following: 

  • Prepare investor-facing ESG disclosures and marketing materials with the same internal controls and diligence as reporting on financial results. Avoid “greenwashing” at all costs;
  • Conduct an ESG assessment in order to identify risks and understand current alignment with the business’ core values, disclosures, industry standards, and regulatory requirements (existing and anticipated);
  • Prioritize a subset of ESG issues specific to each company with an eye toward matching the company’s internal goals, increasing value for the company, and reducing risks;
  • Determine whether the company is prepared to publicly commit to ESG goals or targets, guided by core values, industry standards, and regulatory requirements;
  • Monitor, measure, and report on progress;
  • Stay current on ESG regulatory and practice developments through resources including Perkins Coie blogs, Public Chatter, and the Asset Management ADVocate, as well as firm updates and other content available at perkinscoie.com.

 

Resources

Below is a wide range of content pertaining to ESG and its impact on businesses. Please see the information below, grouped by topic, and contact us if you have further questions.

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