Environmental, Social & Governance

Nicolien van den Biggelaar
Eva Schram
Dennis Horeman
+ 18 other experts

Mainstream, complex and critical

...and certainly no longer an "emerging" topic. Environmental, Social and Governance factors – alongside the broader challenge of sustainability – are an increasingly important area for clients.

Society and the law fuel increasing demands on businesses for changes in their transparency, responsibility and ultimately, accountability. A licence to operate is no longer sufficient since public trust in the regulatory approval process has decreased, as in regulatory authorities themselves. Moreover, society is hard-pressed by the advent of climate change and the necessary energy transition, implying massive and disruptive changes in the legal, political and economic landscape, all further impacting businesses already under increasing public scrutiny.

In the absence of political guidance or clear legal frameworks, these developments require complex decision-making and raise new legal questions. Our extensive experience navigating this challenging landscape, and dealing with complex and often politically sensitive matters, puts us in a unique position to handle these matters for corporations and major state-owned entities. We have a well-developed informal network which includes senior advisers and legal staff in central government, and work in multidisciplinary teams that liaise with technical experts to build strong cases that withstand judicial review by third parties in this multifaceted area.

Insights

20 July 2021

ESG financing opens door to lower financing costs and broader sustainability strategy

For businesses, "sustainability" and "corporate citizenship" have been key buzzwords for the last couple of years. Environmental, social and governance aspects of business have gained attention not only from regulators and the general public, but also from shareholders and other stakeholders. This requires action. Sustainable debt instruments are among the tools that companies can use in their transition to a climate-neutral and fair business, while at the same time benefitting from lower financing costs. In addition, many investors (including private equity and debt funds) and other stakeholders factor ESG into their investment decisions.
24 June 2021

Modernising NV law: what next for corporate citizenship, virtual meetings and loyalty shares

The Dutch caretaker government has responded to recent recommendations on NV law modernisation made by a group of experts. The response includes several corporate governance-related motions by parliament. Although no concrete next steps were announced, we do get a glimpse of what changes to NV law may lie ahead.
24 June 2021

Disclosure requirements of EU Taxonomy Regulation further specified in draft delegated act

The European Commission is in the process of further developing the EU taxonomy framework. On 7 May 2021, it published a draft delegated act setting out concrete standards for the disclosure of information on environmental sustainability, as required under the Taxonomy Regulation. Large public interest entities, among others, will need to meet these standards. If the delegated act is adopted in its current form – we expect this to happen later this month – some of the standards will apply to these entities' reporting over financial year 2021.