Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)

ESG has progressed from optional to essential as a factor in contributing to business success.

With each passing year, it becomes increasingly clear that a company’s prosperity hinges on much more than its financial performance. Given the significance ESG now has on the corporate agenda, Canadian companies are looking for ways to embed ESG factors into their strategic frameworks. In fact, businesses that do not adhere to effective ESG standards can be penalized by investors, regulators, employees, customers and suppliers alike.

As Canada’s Law Firm, we combine deep expertise in international best practices with a uniquely Canadian perspective to help you decipher the regulatory, policy, social and market drivers of change across a broad range of industries.

Our diverse and seasoned team cuts across multiple areas including:

With a national reach and a multidisciplinary structure, we can help you minimize ESG-related risks and improve program outcomes in areas spanning climate change, Indigenous reconciliation, resource management, diversity and inclusion, executive pay, community engagement, risk, and governance.

Clients trust BLG to help them move beyond compliance towards an integrated ESG risk management approach that drives improved performance, a lower cost of capital and greater business resiliency.

Investment management icon | Icône de gestion des investissements 

Investment Management

As asset managers struggle to respond to growing investor demand for ESG-based investment vehicles, institutional investors are pushing for greater ESG transparency. Lenders seek guidance on establishing green bonds and sustainability-linked loans, while industry associations consider strategies to advocate for wholesale shifts in methods and practices. Through it all, issuers and reporting companies are looking for practical ways to track, measure and disclose their ESG performance.

From ESG risk and compliance measures to risk mitigation and competitive strategies, our first-class team provides authoritative and practical advice on the full spectrum of legal, advocacy and regulatory issues on your ESG agenda.

View our experience below and for more information visit our Investment Management page here.

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Sustainable Finance

Sustainable finance is a new and rapidly growing force in Canada's financial services landscape. As regulatory changes sweep across the EU, the US and Canada, asset managers and funds are under growing pressure to integrate ESG factors into their investment offerings, enhance their disclosures around climate risk and allay investor concerns around "greenwashing." This creates both opportunity (including the elusive "greenium") and risk for these products' sellers and buyers.

At BLG, we are uniquely positioned to help you meet these shifting requirements by delivering seamless, consistent and pragmatic legal adivce on the underlying indigenous, environmental, labour/employment and governance law matters that underpin most ESG performance metrics.

View our experience below and for more information visit our Financial Services Regulatory page here.

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Corporate Governance

In our experience, complying with legal standards and corporate governance best practices is table stakes for those seeking a significant investment by pension funds and large private equity. Corporate governance needs to be much more than a compliance exercise if you truly hope to avoid reputational risk, the ire of blue-chip investors and the erosion of shareholder value.

Advising management, boards and special committees, BLG’s Corporate Governance team provides comprehensive, results-oriented advice on the governance, strategy, risk management and metrics related to the legal aspects of ESG disclosures and corporate climate change strategies — positioning you to effectively address emerging ESG opportunities and challenges. Our clients rely on us to provide extensive strategic governance reviews and audits given our wealth of legal and board experience and members of our team are also frequently asked to present on ESG-related topics.

View our experience below and for more information visit our Corporate Governance page and our Crisis Management page.

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Environment and Climate Change

The growing global demand for environmentally-sound investment strategies, coupled with mounting investor reliance on climate-related disclosures, has put ESG reporting under intense scrutiny. While the regulatory landscape remains in flux, BLG has the background and experience to help you navigate the complexities associated with all types of environmental and climate change-related ESG reporting.

Whether you're moving to adopt ESG-linked investment standards, respond to investor demands for more transparent disclosures, structure "green finance" and sustainability-linked lending policies, or qualify for government funding based on environmental performance criteria, we can work with you to strengthen your ESG reporting and streamline all your related environmental and climate change disclosures.

View our experience below and for more information visit our Environmental page and our Climate Change page.

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Labour, Employment & Human Rights

As issues of social concern become growing factors in protecting corporate reputation, safeguarding one’s customer base, mitigating operational and sustainability risks, and attracting top talent, businesses in every sector are looking to bring more transparency and accountability into their social performance.

We help you prioritize and operationalize issues that are material for your company's growth and resiliency in such areas as equity, diversity and inclusion; employee relations and wellbeing; human rights; community engagement; reputation management; supply chain management; and product responsibility and stewardship.

View our experience below and for more information visit our Human Rights page and our Labour and Employment page.

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Indigenous Law

A complete assessment of ESG must also include Indigenous perspectives and considerations, particularly critical in the natural resources sectors of forestry, mining and energy. All too often, non-Indigenous-owned companies are not strategically positioned to build and maintain the positive relationships with Indigenous governments and communities that reduce social and environmental risk.

We work with Indigenous and non-Indigenous clients to provide unparalleled guidance on the steps to consider when structuring deals and planning projects, how to engage meaningfully and develop economic partnerships with Indigenous rights holders, corporate governance, ESG standards and the specificities of Indigenous law.

View our experience below and for more information visit our Indigenous Law page here.

Key Contacts

 

 

Group of volunteers | Groupe de bénévoles

 

Corporate Social Responsibility

 

We are committed to using our knowledge, skills and platform to help address vital social issues and to shape a sustainable future.