Archives: Sustainability

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SEC Extends Comment Period for Proposed Rules on ESG Related Disclosures

The Securities and Exchange Commission has extended the public comment period on the proposed rulemaking to enhance and standardize climate related disclosures until June 17, 2022. As a regulation that has been described as a single act that “will change the way business and the economy function,” the ramifications of a short “notice and comment” … Continue Reading

Ukraine is Now a Real ESG Issue

While there has been near universal condemnation of the war against Ukraine by Russia, and our empathy is unequivocally with the people of Ukraine, this invasion of a sovereign nation, something that echoes the darkest days in European history, today presents issues of ESG. This blog post is being written 9 days after Putin’s war … Continue Reading

The ESG Benefit of Paying Employees to Work at the Polls

The “S” in ESG is among the most impactful sustainability factors despite being among the least measured. There are a myriad of Social factors in sustainability, but what they have in common is they are about “social relationships.” A company’s relationship with its employees is key, but so is its relationship with the community and … Continue Reading

FTC Regulates What You can Say about Your Solar Panels

A business that generates renewable energy, say, with solar panels, but sells the Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) for that renewable energy may not then claim it “uses” renewable energy. The Federal Trade Commissions has prescribed that such would be deceptive. That guidance from the FTC is not new, but as both onsite and offsite renewable … Continue Reading

ESG Accelerates Greenwashing

A growing number of American businesses and consumers are looking to invest in and purchase ESG friendly companies and their products and services. Companies have responded with ESG disclosures touting the environmental and social benefits of what they’re selling. Sidestepping for a moment those companies that set out to intentionally deceive other about their ESG bonafides, … Continue Reading

New SEC Guidance Portends More Stockholder ESG Activism

I am excited to be presenting a fast paced and fun one hour virtual program, “Environmental Social Governance (ESG) an Emergent and Fast Growing Area of the Law” for the Maryland State Bar Association Environmental & Energy Section on December 14, 2021 at noon. Registration will be open to all; not just lawyers. Registration for … Continue Reading

Brand Reputation is Number One Reason Businesses Engage in ESG

ESG has become such a large component of my law practice that I am now collaborating with a fabulous group attorneys in ESG Legal Solutions, LLC, a new non-law consulting firm. Nancy Hudes and I are now publishing a new blog at www.ESGLegalSolutions.com (.. yes, this blog will continue). This post originally appeared in that blog. … Continue Reading

A Call for Comprehensive and Clearer ESG Disclosures

Last Wednesday, with a Dutch court finding Royal Dutch Shell partially responsible for climate change and ordering it to reduce emissions and two environmental activists being voted to Exxon Mobil board at the annual meeting, made clear how dramatically the landscape is shifting for all businesses in the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) space, as … Continue Reading

Labor Department Will Not Enforce Anti ESG Rule

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced that it will not enforce recently published final rules by the prior Administration on “Financial Factors in Selecting Plan Investments” and “Fiduciary Duties Regarding Proxy Voting and Shareholder Rights.” This policy statement is in furtherance of the Biden Administration issued Executive Order 13990, entitled “Protecting Public Health and … Continue Reading

ESG Disclosure Simplification Act Passes Committee But Will Fail

On September 20, 2019, the Financial Services Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4329, the ESG Disclosure Simplification Act of 2019. The bill would require all public companies to disclose “environmental, social, and governance [ESG] metrics” as material information about the company. Although there is little if any chance that the bill … Continue Reading
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