ESG – Environmental, Social and Governance
Creating in-depth value to your organization through an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) proposition
Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) issues have recently been placed at the core of Government policies, and corporations in Portugal, as well as all over the world, have been pushed by legal regulations to meet new ESG procedures and standards. And as both the public and private sector have been pushed into new levels of compliance with regulatory requirements, they have also come to realize that Environmental, Social and Governance concerns are not only good legal practice but also good business. Corporations fit for the 21st century are focused on changes that allow them not only to meet their customers’ needs, but also to have a purpose – one which demonstrates their concern with all of their stakeholders, as well as with their shareholders. Manufacturing quality goods or providing excellent services will in the future be irrelevant if they are not accompanied by the sincere concern of corporations with the environment, the social impact of their policies and the transparency of their governance principles and regulations.
Why ESG matters to your business?
Just as it is necessary for successful business to follow world politics and the economic agenda, the question is no longer why but when your company will be ESG-compliant. Investors and stakeholders expect your company to follow good Environmental, Social and Governance practices if they are to risk investing in it. ESG programs are key components of a long-term and resilient business which increases your company market value and trust.
How can we help?
Strategy and Risk Management
Governance and Risk
Advice to businesses, in Portugal and internationally, in the determination and affirmation of their social purpose and of their long-term objectives and in the development of policies and practices of corporate governance that meet environmental, social and financial sustainability values;Implementation of systems of compliance with ESG standards that allow for the detection, management and minimisation of underlying risks in the taking of strategic decisions vis-à-vis ever-increasing scrutiny by investors, consumers and other stakeholders;Definition of management plans and codes of conduct for projects and transactions that meet ESG standards;Advice in the definition of regulation that is potentially applicable to the business and the identification of potential litigation that could occur as a result of the business activity as well as management decisions;Identification of potential risks for members of the corporate management bodies in relation to decisions they have taken in the context of their legal duties of care and loyalty.
Representation of clients before the courts, in legal action involving alleged violations in the environmental, social or corporate governance field
Risk analysis and reporting
Analysis of transactions in order to identify possible negative impacts at an environmental and social level to the entire production and supply chain;Monitoring of compliance with ESG standards by all commercial partners present in the production and supply chain of the business;Conduction of evaluations of compliance with environmental and ESG social standards in high risk projects and transactions;Advice in contracting new commercial partners guaranteeing respect for the applicable normative ESG instruments, long-term objectives and company purpose.
Advice in the drafting of strategic reports, reports on sustainability and protection of human rights and community interests, as well as on corporate governance reports;Creation of statutory mechanisms that ensure an adequate and rigorous publication of information to partners and other stakeholders;Drafting of regulations and other mechanisms of corporate governance that allow for and connect with various entities of society informing others whenever there are incidents that may generate conflicts of interest between the personal interests of its members and interests of society;Advice on the implementation of mechanisms of transparency and publication of information, as well as in the identification of market trends and sustainability and governance best practices.
Governance and risk
Integration of ESG risk in the system of governance and internal control of banks, investment businesses and issuers of securities and other entities of public interest designated as such by the legal framework of supervision and auditing;Integration of ESG criteria in the decision-making processes of banks, investment businesses and issuers of securities and other entities of public interest;Integration of ESG criteria in the processes of self-assessment of the system of governance and risk management;Counterparty due diligence and ESG ratings.Preparation of non-financial information for banks, investment companies and issuers of securities and other public interest entities.
Products and markets
Preparation of pre-contractual information relative to ESG criteria in investment products;Financing and impact investments, ethical investments, community investments and green investments;FinTech and DeFi investments for ESG activities;State-of-the-art voluntary offsets that ensure transparency and consumer confidence with recourse to cutting edge technology and internationally recognised criteria;Sustainable financial products such as Green bonds and ESG linked loans.
ESG is part of Abreu Advogados’ DNA
Abreu Advogados is in a particularly good position to advise its clients on ESG-related matters. It has dealt with such matters throughout its existence and its team of lawyers – spanning the different practice areas and industry sectors – are well versed on, and particularly concerned with, matters related to the environment and climate change, the social impact of certain corporate policies and the importance of clear and transparent governance rules and principles.
Since it was founded in 1993, Abreu Advogados has been concerned with all of its stakeholders and not just its partners. It was the first law firm in Portugal to introduce a quality management system and have it certified under the ISO 9001 norm (today, ISO 9001:2015). It was also the first (and still the only) Portuguese law firm to publish a Sustainability Report under the directives issued by the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative), to publish its accounts and to measure its carbon footprint. It was also the first and only law firm to publish a stylebook and set out before all of its staff its guiding principles, values and purpose. It is also heavily involved in a great number of voluntary initiatives aimed at creating a more sustainable world, including the UN Global Compact Initiative, the Business Council for Sustainable Development (“BCSD”) and the Certified B Corporations.
Advisory to a sustainability certification company on the implementation of a voluntary carbon emissions footprint compensation marketplace, as a response to the European Energy and Climate goals and its implications on the financial services sector.
Advisory to an African country on the creation and draft of the legal framework of Clean Development Mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol to the UN framework convention on climate change.
Tax and regulatory advice to a Fintech company to develop a platform that combines Universal Basic Income concept and blockchain technology to connect those who want to help and those who need help.
Legal advisory to a major latin American oil company on a set of criminal cases involving suspicions of complex money laundering, in which a financial institution terminated its business relationship invoking failure to comply with duties arising from Portuguese Law on Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing.
Legal advisory to an international media group on the legal risk assessment on compliance concerning the prevention of corporate crimes (and bribery and corruption).