Environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria are a set of nonfinancial standards for business operations that investors and other key stakeholders are increasingly applying as part of their evaluation to identify material risks and growth opportunities. Prioritizing these objectives has become an essential commitment for businesses and other organizations. Thompson Hine’s comprehensive ESG team helps our clients achieve success in each of these areas as we partner with them to meet their evolving ESG goals and objectives.
Additional regulatory rulemaking is on the horizon, both in the United States and abroad. Many of the current administration’s priorities are tied to ESG. Additionally, the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulatory agencies are increasingly focusing on ESG issues, and organizations such as the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, Global Reporting Initiative and Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures are working to create additional standards and define materiality to facilitate incorporation of these factors into the investment process. In the absence of a single, uniform ESG reporting framework and with the proliferation of ESG rating agencies, businesses face data collection and reporting challenges.
While investors are a significant driving force to increase transparency and accountability and change reporting obligations and regulatory requirements, the list of stakeholders concerned with businesses’ ESG performance is growing daily. Companies and their leadership understand that an organization’s public reputation and consumer confidence can rise or fall depending on how well it incorporates ESG strategies into its policies and practices. The global pandemic created financial upheaval that was compounded by civil unrest. Add to this scenario growing concerns about sustainability and climate change, and businesses no longer can ignore ESG.
Thompson Hine has always guided clients on furthering their efforts toward sustainability, diversity and social stewardship. At this critical juncture when ESG criteria are increasing in importance as priorities for businesses, their boards and investors, we combine decades of experience with a multidisciplinary team of transactional, regulatory and other practitioners who possess practical, comprehensive legal and business knowledge to help clients develop and implement ESG strategies and accomplish goals to preserve value and mitigate risk. We also provide defense advice in investigations and litigation. Our overall goal is to help incorporate ESG criteria into our client’s business model to satisfy internal and external stakeholders. By using our proprietary SmartPaTH tools and strategies such as legal project management, value-based pricing and our overall investment in technology, we help clients achieve their objectives while providing value and certainty during uncertain times.
Illustrative examples of our environmental ESG counseling experience include:
Our experience advising on the social aspects of ESG criteria includes:
Examples of the ESG-related governance counsel we’ve provided include:
Our ESG team advises on:
Thompson Hine is committed to being a responsible corporate citizen and to promoting the benefits of sustainability. For example, we are working hard to decrease our environmental footprint by implementing measures such as recycling, double-sided printing, timed lights and other sustainable practices. One larger-scale initiative we have undertaken is a major scanning project to decrease our paper consumption. We scan physical records and files and store them electronically instead of maintaining hard copies in off-site storage locations. In addition, as our office spaces have been renovated, we have followed the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) guidelines. We have incorporated an open-concept design in all our offices, allowing for natural lighting throughout the space. Other features include motion-sensing lighting and HVAC systems.
We have long been dedicated to fostering a culture where diversity, equity and inclusion thrive. Through our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiative and our Spotlight on Women® program, we seek to recruit, retain and advance diverse lawyers and provide the tools and resources they need to grow and succeed in their careers. To enhance our efforts, we implemented a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategic Plan that is specific and contains concrete action steps, measurable metrics and detailed objectives to ensure our progress in these important areas. Our commitment extends beyond our firm into the legal profession and the communities in which we live and work. Examples of the steps we have taken include:
For more information, please see our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion page.
Thompson Hine’s commitment to pro bono legal work arises from our conviction that pro bono work is a professional obligation of our firm and our lawyers to the communities in which we practice. Pro bono work not only contributes to the public welfare but also helps our lawyers develop as leaders in law and in public service. Our pro bono service includes counseling and representation of clients who could not otherwise afford representation, as well as services in matters involving significant public policy issues.
Thompson Hine provides the same outstanding legal counseling and representation for our pro bono clients that all of our clients expect and deserve. The firm makes all of its resources available in pro bono matters no less than in matters of our other clients. We strongly encourage each of our lawyers and other professionals to participate in our pro bono program.
We strongly believe that it is our responsibility as good corporate citizens to help enrich our communities, and we have a long history of assisting charitable and civic organizations on a firmwide, practice and office basis. We encourage all lawyers and employees to participate in and support programs that positively impact the quality of life for our neighbors and friends. Our attorneys and staff members also serve on the boards of numerous nonprofit and community organizations. For more information, please see this partial list of the organizations Thompson Hine supports with volunteers, sponsorships, donations and other efforts.
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