Taking a Measured and Forward-Looking Approach to ESG Compliance

Between the global pandemic, social justice movements, extreme weather events, political upheaval and supply chain disruptions, the last 18 months have seen a fast-tracked focus by investors, consumers and the public on corporate sustainability and ethics. Adopting those environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards is challenging and fraught with risk, however, especially if done in a rush, according to three ESG experts who spoke on pitfalls and best practices in this emerging field during a recent program sponsored by Strafford CLE Webinars. Panelists Jonathan D. Brightbill, partner at Winston & Strawn; Brooke Hopkins, managing director at AlixPartners; and Sara K. Orr, partner at Kirkland & Ellis, all advised taking a proactive, data-forward approach now before regulatory mandates become the norm. This article outlines the primary points from the panelists’ discussion. See our two-part series on the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative: “What It Is and What It Requires” (Feb. 3, 2022); and “How to Make the Commitment” (Feb. 10, 2022).

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