This CLE course will advise environmental attorneys on how to work with corporate counsel and other stakeholders to establish measurements and standards when addressing the environmental practices that can impact a company's performance by mitigating risk, creating market differentiation, and providing a competitive advantage while complying with ESG guidance.
Over the past year, concern for the well-being of the environment has correlated directly to corporate viability. Ignoring environmental risk can directly impact long-term financial resilience by affecting access and cost of capital to corporations. Mismanagement of environmental problems can likewise impact corporations' access to talent. The link between the "E" and business value has not always been immediately clear. A core tenet of success is integrating environmental factors into a company's established risk analysis and setting targets, as well as monitoring progress against them.
Environmental counsel should work with the corporate board and counsel to consider how organizations can address a business and societal imperative without undermining their relationships with stakeholders and their ability to create value. The transition is not about eliminating risk but rather managing it, taking on new opportunities as appropriate and mitigating threats to the business.
There are many strategies to increase the value of the environmental commitment to ESG and measure outcomes. Counsel and management should consider policies that positively impact the environment and train and educate employees on the scope and aims of those policies.
To the extent possible, counsel should direct programs that minimize energy usage, utilize a supply chain from low carbon generating sources and replace current suppliers with carbon offset programs. Another strategy is to continually assess the progress of environmental strategy through target setting and data collection. Counsel has to take an active role in educating the board on sustainability and environmental risk to make decisions for the company's future.
The panel will advise how environmental counsel can participate in directing corporate activities and provide measurable proof of compliance with the ESG directives that boards have established. The panel will discuss best practices and how policies and procedures can improve corporate governance while addressing a company's environmental legal liability, as well as the following topics:
- How can environmental counsel effectively work with corporate counsel and boards to establish the "E" portion of a business' ESG profile?
- What are best practices for measuring the environmental impacts of a company and establishing a robust ESG profile?
- What are risks to companies relating to how they evaluate and disclose ESG?
- History of ESG
- Matrix of environmental impact
- Strategies to improve the business' impact on the environment
- Review and install new policies
- Optimize operations
- Proactive with data
- Enhance education of the board
- Drive new business strategy
- Engage stakeholders and communicate