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ESG and sustainability

ESG reporting and disclosure

Freshfields advises on the full range of ESG disclosure requirements in global markets, ranging from gender diversity, modern slavery and human rights to climate change and nature protection.

ESG reporting and disclosure is transforming industries, as organisations and investors alike strive towards transparency and alignment. The rise in ESG investment and associated greenwashing allegations has driven regulators globally to step up their efforts, addressing demands for more complete, comparable and verifiable sustainability-related financial information. From board level to investors, stakeholders and shareholders, proper integration of ESG into all business operations is essential from a compliance and evaluation perspective.

New requirements will better enable investors to further the transition to net-zero and provide access to sustainable financial products for organisations, which will be able to operate without exposing themselves to greenwashing risk. The myriad introduction of regulations across sectors, however, inevitably means significant change for organisations in traditional reporting, as treating ESG as a separate category becomes outdated. Regimes introduced across D&I, climate change and sustainability will require companies to take action and seek assiduous legal guidance as they look to source the relevant data on their own operations, their suppliers and from other business relationships.

Client successes

Our advice focused on determining to what extent sustainability reporting requirements apply to non-EU based companies, whether reporting requirements are aligned with each other and how an international group of companies may meet reporting obligations on a consolidated level. This advice became part of a boardroom presentation in which the client determined its general approach to sustainability reporting going forward.

The Freshfields team analysed ESG compliance with respect to disclosure standards (including TCFD, GRI and SASB standards), shareholder engagement, proxy advisory firm expectations and executive compensation matters, and looked at supply chain and human rights considerations and private and public company requirements in these jurisdictions.

Updates will cover climate and energy, the circular economy, transport fuels, state aid and taxation, and compliance. Each update will be tailored to UPM, showcasing relevance and urgency based on analysis from our public affairs and legal teams. Policy files will be updated regularly on either a biweekly or monthly basis.


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