Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)

Canada

ESG advisory services

Adding to the list of challenges businesses face, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues are rapidly becoming priorities. Discussions abound on how businesses can plan for, and comply with, increasing market demands for enhanced environmental activism, a stronger commitment to sustainability, an active role in addressing social issues and an overall improvement as to how businesses govern their entire supply chain.  It is essential that businesses understand ESG risks and opportunities.

ESG Factors for businesses

ESG factors have evolved over the past few years and have now become a critical focus for businesses, investors, NGO's, governments, stakeholders, financial services, lenders, insurers and consumers. Expectations of businesses in this dynamic landscape have never been higher. The effects and impacts is in their brand, strategy, reporting, human capital management, operations, risk management and long term value.

Under the E, there are a number of critical factors including climate change, carbon footprint, circular economy, biodiversity and water use; under the S, there are employee health and safety, social justice, systemic racism, diversity and inclusion, and human rights (as well as human rights abuses such as modern slavery) factors; under the G, factors include corporate purpose, board and C-suite gender diversity and pay equity as well as shareholder activism. Businesses are doing a deep dive into how these issues present risks and require careful management and oversight as well as opportunities to be explored and activated.

In addition to the internal structure and reporting issues and requirements, there are stronger external pressures. Proponents of responsible investing, impact investing and sustainable investing are continually pressing for better and more standardized reporting of Canadian ESG issues. Simultaneously, governments around the globe are continuing the transcendence of "hard" law over "soft" law and originating new and more complex regulatory and compliance programs which create additional risks and obligations for businesses.

Class actions and single plaintiff litigation have opened the door for more far-reaching and impactful jurisprudence that stresses risk management efforts.

The adoption and application of international standards, principles, guidelines and goals, which may impact strategies and operations across a business and in a multiplicity of jurisdictions, have many businesses working diligently in unfamiliar territory.

We can help

Our ESG advisory team provides a wide spectrum of advice helping clients to understand their responsibilities and identify where risks and opportunities may lie.

Our ESG advisory services include Governance, Risk Management, and Due Diligence advice; Investment & Financing options, and Compliance & Reporting in connection with the following:

Our ESG advisory services

Contact our Canadian team

Elizabeth (Beth) Burton

Partner, Financial Services Practice Group Leader (Calgary)

Stephen Pike

Partner

Lorne Rollheiser

Partner, Head of Oil & Gas