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Environmental, Social and Governance

Today’s investors are looking for ways to put their capital to work in a sustainable way, one focused on avoiding harm to people and the planet and creating long-term value through socially desirable activities.

Financial services, insurance and other professionals must now find their way around a rapidly evolving landscape of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors and assess businesses according to their ESG characteristics in order to support investors who wish to make socially responsible investment decisions. Allen & Overy has the subject matter expertise to guide you safely through the increasingly legal ESG landscape.

Our ESG team’s advice is informed by decades of collective experience in environmental, social and governance matters, and by tracking the latest developments in ESG-related regulation and litigation around the world.  We bring together global expertise in specialist practice areas in Environmental Law, Business and Human Rights, Sustainable Finance, Corporate Governance, Employee Engagement and Data protection and Cybersecurity, as well as Consulting Services.

The group's experience will enable you to take advantage of ESG-related business opportunities by helping you find ways to integrate ESG factors into your due diligence practices, portfolio analysis and investment decisions; design and roll out financial products that have a positive social or environmental impact; and monitor and report on your successes in a manner that meets regulatory requirements. 

We can also help you navigate the ESG landscape and help you find ways to identify risks across your portfolio; avoid involvement in adverse ESG impacts; assess the ESG related credit and other risks of your potential clients; gain a competitive advantage as regulation and litigation develops; design and roll out compliance processes and contractual mechanisms to mitigate risks; and obtain assurance and develop reports on your ESG performance. 

Transition to a sustainable economy

Aerial shot - several ice bergs in blue water with small canoe floating in the middle

Sustainability and ESG (environment, social and governance) issues are rising to the top of the agenda.

The transition of the economy to align with the Paris Agreement aims and the UN Sustainable Development Goals is set to dominate the next decade. Explore our insights on developments in the key themes in the sustainability transition.

News and insights

Coding on an LCD computer screen

Publications: 28 February 2024

Digital M&A runs into antitrust hurdles with consumer, life sciences, transport and energy deals also targeted

Digital/tech M&A faced antitrust stumbling blocks as authorities ramped up merger control enforcement in the sector. Overall, however, antitrust intervention in 2023 focused on consumer, life…

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Aerial view of tides on beach

Publications: 08 February 2024

Podcast: 2024 Outlook on global ESG and sustainability regulatory developments

In this podcast, members from our global ESG and sustainability team discuss what lies ahead on the sustainability agenda and the key regulatory developments to watch in 2024.  

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Ice berg and water

Publications: 03 January 2024

Sustainable Transition Seminar Series 2024

Sustainability and ESG (environment, social and governance) issues are rising to the top of the agenda.

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Blocks of ice

Publications: 29 November 2023

Podcast: Key issues to watch at COP 28

COP 28 is a significant milestone. Not only will the conference hear the findings of the first-ever Global Stocktake, which reviews progress against the goals of the Paris Agreement, but extensive…

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Areas in which we assist clients

Risk management and strategy

Risk management and strategy

  • Assist in developing ESG policies and practices
  • Draft ESG management plans and codes of conduct for projects and transactions
  • Design bespoke contractual mechanisms and dispute resolution clauses to permit leverage and exit
  • Advise Board and C-Suite on regulatory landscape and litigation risks
Due diligence

Due diligence

  • Scan transactions and lending to identify potential ESG impacts throughout value/supply chain
  • Conduct structured ESG due diligence and impact assessments on high-risk projects, transactions and lending
Reporting

Reporting

  • Assess effectiveness of responses to ESG impacts, provide metrics and analysis and design alternative strategies
  • Draft strategic reports, sustainability and modern slavery reports
Dispute resolution

Dispute resolution

  • Design grievance mechanisms as early warning systems and remediation processes
  • Dispute resolution: we represent clients before courts and tribunals, where they face claims involving alleged environmental, social and governance abuses
Sustainable finance

Sustainable finance

  • Advise on all aspects of sustainable finance, from corporate green loans or bonds and sustainable supply chain financing, to financing renewable energy projects
  • Develop standards for products such as green or social impact bonds and loans

Awards & accolades

  • Best Law Firm for Commitment to Sustainability - GlobalCapital Derivatives Global and Americas 2022 
  • Legal 500's Inaugural Green Guide, EMEA 2022
  • ESG Bond Deal of the Year - Bonds, Loans & Sukuk Awards 2022
  • ESG & Sustainable Finance Deal of the Year - Saudi Electricity Company USD 500m Untied Green Credit Line, July 2021
  • ESG Deal of the Year Award - For advising Bank of China's inaugural blue bond issuance, the first of its kind in Asia - IFLR Asia-Pacific awards 2021
  • Asia Pacific Legal Advisor of the Year - IJ Global Awards, 2021
  • APAC Renewables Deal of the Year, SB Energy Solar PV Portfolio Refinancing - IJ Global Awards, 2021
  • International Capital Markets / Derivatives Structured Finance Category - IFLR Asia-Pacific Awards, 2021

Recognition

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) brochure

Bird's eye view of a forest of evergreen trees

Learn more about our global expertise in specialist practice areas in Environmental Law, Business and Human Rights, Sustainable Finance, Corporate Governance, Employee Engagement and Data protection and Cybersecurity, as well as Consulting Services.