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Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance Viewpoints

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With ESG, Things Aren’t Always As Green As They Seem

October 22, 2020 | Blog | By Pete Michaels, Alyssa C. Scruggs

Environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) investing has captured the attention (and dollars) of more institutional investors each year and continues to grow exponentially. However, how can an ESG investor be sure that the investments it is making truly align with the values those funds purport to prioritize?
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Executive Compensation Practices in Pharma – Insight into Congressional Oversight

October 7, 2020 | Blog | By Alexander Hecht, Anthony DeMaio

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California has enacted the nation’s first diversity mandate for public company boards. As we previously reported, the new law (AB 979) builds upon California’s first- in-the nation statutory gender mandate for public company boards.
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California Seeks to Expand its Board Diversity Mandate

September 9, 2020 | Blog | By Jennifer Rubin

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Regardless of size or industry, thoughtful director appointment is critical to the success of any public company.  Yet following the departure of a director, many boards are left scrambling to locate and onboard a suitable replacement.  Even boards that purposely undertake to increase the number of directors may struggle to balance numerous (and sometimes competing) concerns.  Below are a few pointers for promoting good corporate governance practices when appointing a new director.
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Disclosure Considerations Regarding Operations, Liquidity, and Capital Resources

July 21, 2020 | Advisory | By Anne Bruno, Ginny H. Lee

This advisory discusses the SEC’s recent guidance on operations, liquidity, and capital resources disclosure that companies should consider in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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This advisory summarizes recent proxy advisor guidance on and strategies for adjusting annual performance goals in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Juneteenth, and Beyond: Our Commitment to Change

June 19, 2020 | Article | By Robert Bodian

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As the national conscience has elevated after the death of George Floyd regarding social justice and racial equality, many employers have begun to self-reflect on their own standing with communities of color and the Black community specifically. For many companies, the diversity and inclusion function has taken center stage to process concerns, facilitate trainings and determine metrics for progress. The recognition that more needs to be done on racial equity inside and outside the workplace has led to a record number of companies providing recognition of Juneteenth – a historic day for many African-Americans celebrating the reading of federal orders in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, which proclaimed slaves to be free.

Whether it is a company recognizing this event by initiating a new diversity action plan, facilitating a day of self-education and reflection on racial progress, or giving staff some form of PTO, here are some of my thoughts related to Juneteenth.
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Energy & Sustainability Connections Newsletter – June 2020

June 4, 2020 | Article | By Thomas R. Burton, III, Sahir Surmeli

The June issue of Energy & Sustainability Connections covers news about renewable energy development company East Light Partners, energy policy news from Washington, recent M&A activity & more.
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Energy & Sustainability Event Highlights — June 2020

June 4, 2020 | Article | By Thomas R. Burton, III, Sahir Surmeli

Learn about upcoming energy industry webinars, including one on impact investment strategies for family offices in a post-COVID-19 world hosted by Mintz.
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Executive Compensation: Moving Forward in a COVID-19 World

June 2, 2020 | Blog | By Alexander Song, Anne Bruno, Michael Arnold, Steve Gulotta, Andrew Bernstein, Alexandra Serre

Employers reacted in a variety of ways to cope with the unprecedented financial impact of COVID-19.  Employers must begin to shift their focus to whether their current executive compensation practices are designed with sufficient incentives to retain key employees and to spur recovery and sustained growth.  This post reviews the range of cost-cutting measures companies have enacted over the past few months, and provides guidance on executive compensation issues employers should consider as they move forward in a COVID-19 world.
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Investor Advisory Committee Pushes SEC to Lead on ESG Disclosures

June 1, 2020 | Blog | By Sahir Surmeli, Thomas R. Burton, III

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Investor Advisory Committee’s Investor-as-Owner Subcommittee recently voted 14-4 to approve a recommendation that urges the Commission (SEC) to begin an effort to update the reporting requirements of public companies to include material, decision-useful environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors.
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This advisory discusses regulatory and investment community developments related to human capital management and provides suggestions for companies newly focused on HCM.
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Sustainable Investing Will Change the World

May 31, 2019 | Blog | By Sahir Surmeli

In the past several years, green bonds, sustainability bonds, social bonds, and bank loans with environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles embedded in loan pricing have been finding their way to market. Find out more about the importance and prevalence of these bonds here!
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Updating Risk Factor Disclosures in 2019 Annual Reports

January 8, 2019 | Video | By Megan Gates

Megan Gates identifies cybersecurity and ESG (environment, social, and governance) as two key areas of particular interest to both the SEC and institutional investors in 2019 and the need for companies to address these areas as they update risk factor disclosures in their annual reports.
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Energy & Sustainability Legal Feature - October 2018

October 4, 2018 | Article | By Thomas Burton, Sahir Surmeli

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The world is changing! Over the last several years, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria have been an emerging focus in the investing world, primarily driven by equity investors where it can be harder for a company raising funds to correlate capital costs with ESG impact.
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Impact Investing: Doing Well by Doing Good

December 15, 2015 | Article

From the days of divesting assets from companies doing business in apartheid South Africa and withholding investments to protest big tobacco, values-based investing has come a long way. And it’s no longer just about hippie companies like Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, which pioneered the concept of corporate social responsibility. With impact investing, investors are now seeking to use the markets to solve the toughest challenges of our time, such as financial inclusion, climate change, access to health care, and affordable housing. So what exactly is impact investing?

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