ESG and Sustainability

Sustainability is key for both companies and the environment. Let Fondia’s lawyers help you comply with regulations, minimize risks and seize new possibilities.

Corporate responsibility work becomes legal

Companies in all sectors face complex sustainability challenges but encounter also new business opportunities. Investors, employees, customers, and other stakeholders are increasingly demanding that companies and their management comply not only with binding regulations but also take into account various ethical rules, internal guidelines and international codes of conduct and principles.

Corporate responsibility and sustainable development issues are the subject of rapidly increasing regulation. The EU has recently adopted, drafted, or proposed several legislative initiatives or amendments covering almost all areas of sustainability. Sustainability related legislation is also moving forward rapidly at EU level, with relatively short transition periods.

Managing sustainable development risks with a strategic and proactive approach is becoming a prerequisite for long-term value creation for business. The relevant issues of corporate responsibility depend on the size of the company, its sector, values, among others. Therefore, the relevant legal issues and, to some extent, the applicable regulation of corporate responsibility depend on the company and the sector. However, as a common theme, sustainability concerns all actors, and a company must at least make an informed decision  on how to deal with the increasing sustainability requirements. 

Human rights
Working conditions
Risk management
Corporate responsibility
Responsible entrepreneurship

Fondia's lawyers help your company manage the risks and business opportunities associated with corporate responsibility and sustainability

Fondia's lawyers closely follow developments in sustainability legislation and help your company stay one step ahead. In addition to solid expertise, our lawyers have a clear vision of core business areas and a proactive approach. We assist in all areas of corporate responsibility and sustainable development, including human rights, human resources, the environment, good governance, business ethics and anti-corruption.

Why do you need a lawyer to support you in your corporate responsibility work?

Of course, corporate responsibility is not a new phenomenon, but legalization has really come into play over the last 5 years. Corporate responsibility is an integral part of business operations and, in the future, of risk management and compliance planning. Our lawyers focus on the business implications of the new regulations and will help you identify relevant advice that will benefit your business, whatever its size or sector. We will help you manage the risks and business opportunities associated with corporate responsibility. Credible corporate responsibility work is not only a brand or image issue, but also a matter to consider in the legal risk management. A company may also be held legally liable, for example to its contracting partners, held accountable for its own sustainability activities or, in the worst case, liable for eventual non-compliance.

We can help with these CSR matters and more:

  • Establishment and review of codes of conduct

  • Establishing business processes in line with the new regulation and projecting ESG business models

  • Review of the contractual implications of corporate responsibility requirements and activities

  • Preparation and updating of human rights risks assessments

  • Managing human rights risks in business and creating impactful processes

  • Corporate responsibility in restructuring and M&A: ESG Due Diligence services

  • Regulatory requirements and training for sustainable finance

  • Specific EU taxonomy issues and regulatory implications

  • Application of the Whistleblowing Directive and whistleblower protection legislation

  • Sustainability incentives in executive remuneration schemes

  • Creating sustainability incentives for construction projects

  • Integrating sustainability considerations into supplier contracts

  • Environmental responsibility issues

  • Implementing responsible human resources practices and policies

  • Marketing and sustainability - avoiding "greenwashing" and ‘Green hushing’

  • Sustainability in the governance system

Did you know that...


Sustainable finance regulation is an evolving package

The EU's taxonomy regulation classifies what constitutes environmentally sustainable activities. The Regulation requires comprehensive reporting by larger listed companies and economic operators from 2022. However, companies not yet covered by the regulation can benefit from harmonization and reporting, for example by improving access to finance, investment, and protection from greenwashing allegations. The taxonomy is a dynamic entity that is constantly being updated. There are several environmental objectives, and more criteria will be published. In addition to the EU taxonomy, sustainable finance is regulated by specific disclosure obligations for financial market participants. The so-called Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) will become fully applicable law from 2023. The different pieces of legislation governing sustainable finance form a whole that requires specific expertise to manage.


Climate Neutral EU & Biodiversity Agenda

The EU aims to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. To achieve this, the EU has proposed that the target be included in a climate law that requires EU institutions and national governments to act to achieve it. It is highly likely that in the future, companies will face increasing legal sustainability requirements to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. Biodiversity issues and halting the loss of biodiversity are global issues that are the responsibility of the current generation. The Montreal Biodiversity Conference in December 2022 set very ambitious targets for halting biodiversity loss. Businesses need to be part of this work. Businesses' work on nature is high on the list of priorities when it comes to environmental objectives. However, there is yet little or no established legislation on biodiversity promotion and nature-positive solutions for private companies' activities. For example, how are corporate biodiversity activities regulated and agreed in a private contractual or commercial context? We will help you move forward on these issues.


More regulation is coming and it's here to stay

In the public debate on corporate responsibility, and partly due to the increasing amount of regulation, certain trends can be observed. This is partly why corporate responsibility issues are also subject to negative scrutiny. There is no way to avoid an overreach, but regulation has been put in place partly to make it easier to compare the behavior of operators and to address the main corporate responsibility pain points.

Our corporate responsibility and sustainable development experts

Our experienced legal experts can assist you with all regulatory issues and procedures related to corporate responsibility and sustainable development. Find out more about our experts or contact them directly!