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Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)

From sustainability efforts and diversity, equity and inclusion programs to labor management and board governance, companies and institutions are sharply focused on environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks, actions, and goals — or are ramping up their strategies on these fronts. With a wide array of stakeholders — ranging from investors, stockholders, consumers and customers to employees, regulatory authorities, and communities — demanding impactful ESG programs and reporting, companies and institutions are seizing ESG opportunities while striving to mitigate risks.

In this rapidly evolving ESG landscape, attorneys in Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s ESG Group advise businesses and institutions across industries on ESG matters in multiple areas, including:

ESG Counseling

  • Providing analysis of and guidance on current and potential ESG regulations
  • Advising on public ESG disclosure requirements
  • Providing advice on clients’ current and future ESG initiatives, including net-zero emissions targets and operation transitions, and board of directors’ ESG oversight roles
  • Drafting policies and procedures related to ESG in a variety of areas, including carbon emissions, waste management, recycling, material sourcing, equitable workforces, labor management, workplace safety, Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility, cybersecurity and privacy (including GDPR), and community relations
  • Training employees on implementing policies and procedures

ESG Risk Management

  • Analyzing legal risks posed by ESG, including becoming the target of public interest groups and environmental justice considerations on projects that impact underrepresented communities, such as environmental permitting, waste and emissions, and carbon emissions
  • Evaluating climate-related financial risks to operations, such as production and supply chain management, and identifying legal strategies to address these risks

Transactions & Agreements

  • Conducting due diligence on the ESG-related components of transactions, such as environmental compliance and employment practices
  • Drafting and negotiating agreements across the ESG spectrum, including renewable power purchasing agreements, and evaluating the ESG components of vendor and partner agreements

Litigation and Government Enforcement

  • Environmental, including matters related to project permitting; cost recovery actions under CERCLA/Superfund and comparable state laws; environmental justice; and enforcement proceedings under CERCLA/Superfund, RCRA, the Clean Water Act, and other federal and state environmental statutes
  • Securities, including investigations into ESG-related statements later alleged to be materially inaccurate or misleading, and any litigation that may follow
  • Labor and employment, including employment and disability discrimination (e.g., under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Title VII), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA))
  • Cybersecurity and privacy, including disputes, class actions or enforcement actions as a result of security breaches and privacy law violations

Our multi-disciplinary ESG team includes attorneys from practices across the firm, including Environmental, Energy, Corporate, Labor and Employment, Cybersecurity and Privacy, Litigation, White Collar and Government Enforcement, and Real Estate.

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The group includes attorneys who have received the following recognition:

Trade Groups & Associations


Cathleen M. Devlin
Pamela S. Goodwin
Andrew T. Bockis
Sean T. O'Neill