The transition to a more sustainable economy presents challenges and opportunities. Businesses need to be mindful of the liability risks that may arise in connection with both, so that appropriate environmental, social and governance (ESG) risk management practices can be implemented.
As ESG concerns continue to capture the world's attention in the public, political and legal spheres, the trend of ESG and climate change disputes is gathering pace. ESG disputes continue to be on the rise (see our quarterly ESG Disputes Bulletin), often as a tool to push organisations to engage with the net zero transition with greater ambition, and to improve their ESG performance (e.g. in relation to human rights). Claimants are submitting novel claims, with varying degrees of success, alongside a shifting regulatory landscape offering further opportunities to bring proceedings. “Greenwashing” is clearly a priority globally for both financial and non-financial regulators. Focus on corporate disclosures and product claims are only likely to increase as requirements tighten, and regulatory findings in relation to disclosure failures can encourage follow-on investor claims.
Our multi-disciplinary ESG team advises on a wide variety of ESG-related issues and can assist businesses facing, or potentially at risk of facing, ESG disputes (including greenwashing claims) or regulatory investigations.