Responsibility is legal actions

Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability

How do we as lawyers support responsible business? At Fondia, we are very excited about how our customers conduct responsible business in an inspirational and long-lasting way. We want to support this through legal means. What does this involve?

Sustainable development through legal means

It is important to include sustainability objectives and obligations in contracts sufficiently comprehensively and in a way that their implementation can be effectively monitored. Application procedures for environmental permits can be managed in such a way that local communities are taken into account and their approval gained for operations. Lawyers are needed to support the huge transformation in renewable energy projects and the circular economy. Public procurement practices can be developed in such a way that sustainability perspectives can be taken into account – current legislation already gives excellent tools for this, which we wrote about earlier. Even competition law is moving away from completely market-based thinking to consider sustainability aspects. Legal assistance may be needed in connection with the marketing of sustainable business and its regulatory surveillance to avoid greenwashing.

Human rights as a part of business

Until recently, it felt a bit distant for corporate lawyers to talk about human rights, even though in practice these rights serve as guiding principles for many laws such as employment law. Now we want to advise companies on what they need to take into account to ensure that human rights are upheld in company operations and in, for example, supply chains. New legislation on appropriate diligence related to this is expected from the EU potentially at the end of the year.

More regulation to ensure a sustainable future

Financial markets play a key role in the realization of sustainability targets, as ultimately investors decide which investments are financed. This objective as well as the transparency of investment sustainability is now also being promoted in the EU through regulation. Lawyers can help interpret and apply this fairly broad and detailed regulation. The EU’s Green Deal and its objectives of carbon neutrality and biodiversity will introduce a lot of new legislation into the picture.

Many other aspects

Responsibility aspects are also included in data protection and employment law. The right to privacy is one of the most important human rights and responsible management of data protection promotes this as well as fairness and transparency. Our employment law experts have already developed ways to promote responsible employer policies such as diversity and inclusion in many ways.

It is important to implement responsibility into business in a genuine way – otherwise, companies may find themselves slipping into “responsibility washing”.

Our experts are happy to help with your responsibility work!