ESG & Sustainability

  • Overview
  • Who To Contact
  • Recent Developments

Environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) initiatives shape management structures, disclosure practices and sustainability commitments for a diverse range of organizations. Strong ESG performance can help businesses attract and retain investment, anticipate and respond to a wide array of risks, and capitalize on key strategic growth opportunities. As governments, investors, public and private companies and their stakeholders increasingly recognize the broad importance of achieving and maintaining strong ESG performance, proactive leaders in all sectors are integrating ESG solutions into their everyday business practices and retaining ESG experts to provide strategic advice and a competitive edge.

The Aird & Berlis ESG & Sustainability Group is composed of lawyers from key practice areas, including Capital Markets, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Corporate/Commercial, Financial Services, Intellectual Property, Mergers & Acquisitions, Municipal & Land Use Planning, Real Estate and Tax. Properly understood, ESG considerations can be integrated seamlessly into every organization in one way or another. Our members are expertly suited to assist with matters such as:

  • Board governance matters, such as board composition, cybersecurity and privacy issues, executive and board compensation, business ethics, accountability and overall governance
  • Advising sustainability, ESG and clean-tech focused clients to take advantage of emerging opportunities in the Canadian capital markets landscape
  • Oversight of ESG and sustainability risks and opportunities, and stakeholder engagement, including peer group analyses and benchmarking assessments
  • ESG disclosure frameworks and the production of voluntary ESG disclosures, and mandatory ESG disclosures as new reporting requirements emerge
  • Transactional due diligence, corporate due diligence, and environmental risk identification and analysis, and negotiating related transactional risks
  • Management of supply chain and procurement policies, risks, procedures and opportunities
  • Emerging sustainable finance opportunities and complying with existing and developing ESG standards
  • Environmental assessments, approvals and compliance obligations and compliance with energy efficiency standards
  • Tax implications of ESG regulations and structuring transactions in a tax efficient manner that aligns with ESG goals
  • Sustainability-related aspects of commercial real estate purchases, leases, and renting arrangements, and real estate joint venture initiatives focused on the development and/or sale of energy efficient and environmentally friendly properties
  • The protection of ESG and sustainability-focused innovations, technologies and products through patents, trademarks and copyrights
  • Employment laws and regulations that impact ESG, such as equity, diversity and inclusion policies, workplace health and safety and employee relations
  • Indigenous rights and issues, including best practices for engaging with communities, joint venture negotiation, project support and impact benefit agreements
  • Affordable housing projects and other ESG and sustainability-related opportunities and partnerships with municipalities
We advise clients of all sizes on how to capitalize on ESG opportunities, close compliance gaps and reduce risks. Through the development and implementation of ESG solutions, our interdisciplinary group is committed to supporting our clients, their shareholders and the communities in which they operate, as they establish, protect and uphold comprehensive ESG policies and practices.