ESG + Impact

ESG + Impact InvestingNow, more than ever, companies are held accountable for making a positive impact on social, economic and environmental aspects of society. As one of the earliest firms in the space, Goodwin’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) & Impact practice advises clients on effective and efficient long-term strategies to comply with evolving expectations and foster positive change –  including Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), ESG reporting and disclosures, impact and responsible investing, and corporate philanthropy – to deliver results at the intersection of corporate citizenship, purpose-driven investments, social impact and the bottom line. Impact and responsible investing is intended to foster positive change and generate competitive financial returns by taking into consideration ESG factors that help investors both manage risks and generate sustainable, and arguably higher, long-term returns.

Our deep understanding and knowledge of the current state-of-affairs and societal trends, including emerging trends in Europe, such as the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulations (SFDR) and the Taxonomy Regulation, and in the U.S., including updates to SEC guidance, the DOL ‘ESG’ Rule, and other potential updates to come with the current administration, allows us to create effective and efficient long-term strategies. We also have extensive experience with repeat investors in this space. Employing strong CSR and ESG policies not only facilitates positive change, it also acts as a defense against legal and operational risks that can stem from operational missteps by placing renewed importance on transparency, public reporting, and due diligence.

 

Experience

Corporate Social Responsibility & Environmental, Social and Governance
  • Investor disclosure requirements, ratings issues and shareholder activism risks
  • Review of SEC disclosures
  • Assistance with ESG reports
  • CSR and corporate philanthropy program design or redesign
  • Benefit corporation and tax-exempt organization formation
  • Full-service M&A transaction support
  • Due diligence reviews in connection with business transactions
  • Corporate foundation risks
  • Fair lending and Community Reinvestment Act obligations/examinations
  • Responsible uses of customers’ data and compliance with data privacy regulations
  • Vendor management strategies that support sustainability and diversity initiatives
  • New products and services that promote financial inclusion
  • Labor and employment risks bearing on corporate board and employee diversity initiatives
  • Employee benefit programs to promote overall mental, physical and financial well-being
Impact Investing
  • Fund formation
  • Community Reinvestment Act implications
  • AML compliance
  • ERISA
  • FCPA compliance
  • Investment structuring
  • Social impact bonds
  • Tax-exempt status
  • Full transactional support, including M&A, growth equity and venture capital
  • Due diligence reviews in connection with investments
Corporate Philanthropy
  • Foundation formation and ongoing guidance
  • Establishing and advising non-profit entities
  • Governance and policy development
  • International grantmaking and foreign charitable activities
  • Disaster relief programs
  • Cause marketing campaigns and commercial co-ventures
  • Grantmaking procedures and agreements
  • Scholarship programs
  • Program-related investments
  • Compliance with self-dealing and intermediate sanctions rules
  • Executive compensation
  • Donor-advised funds
  • Benefit corporations
  • Collaborations between for-profit and non-profit entities

Overview

Our ESG & Impact practice is committed to ensuring long-term success through implementation of best practices in a strategic, multi-disciplinary approach that balances profit and purpose to ensure our clients are at the forefront of positive change. Our group advises clients on:

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