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Sustainability, Climate and Environment

The concept of sustainability has received increasing attention in recent years. As stakeholder (including regulators and investors) scrutiny of ESG issues continues to intensify, firms are required to take their environmental responsibilities seriously and to bridge sustainability considerations with their business rationale. Wikborg Rein regularly advise our clients on new regulations relating to sustainability, and this remains a strategic focus for our firm.

We actively engage with enterprises that position themselves for long-term value creation. Our team provides expert advice to ensure compliance with new legal requirements, including in the area of sustainable finance. We offer guidance on the taxonomy for all business sectors, as well as advice according to requirements set out in the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR). We also have extensive knowledge of the obligations set out in the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).

The Paris Agreement and the UN Global Framework for Managing Nature are the two overarching frameworks regarding sustainable development. Our team possesses comprehensive expertise on all aspect of environmental law, including climate, pollution and circular economy regulations.  

We offer

  • Compliance with requirements set out in the EU taxonomy
  • Sustainability reporting obligations (taxonomy, SFDR, CSRD, CSDD)
  • ESG Compliance programs
  • Sustainable finance and the classification of products
  • Assessments of sustainability information in periodic reports
  • Sustainable business development, risks and opportunities
  • ESG due diligence in M&A transactions
  • Sustainability criteria in industrial projects, such as offshore wind
  • Implications of new European climate law (EU ETS, Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, etc)
  • Environmental responsibilities for companies, emissions permits etc
  • Biodiversity and circular economy expectations of companies

Our assistance includes, among others: 

  • ESG: We give legal advice in all areas of climate and environmental law. This includes e.g. all requirements according to the EU Taxonomy, the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), and the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).
  • Business development: We help companies navigate in the complex ESG landscape so that they become well positioned to fulfil business opportunities. The need for reduced climate emissions, a more circular economy and integration of nature into decision making are key in a sustainable business development for the future.
  • Compliance: We assist in the development of compliance programs within different areas of ESG law. We conduct risk analysis, assist in the set-up of compliance functions, facilitate routines for internal control, monitoring and training, etc.
  • Due diligence: We assist in due diligence processes to identify ESG risks in transactions, in connection with portfolio management, etc. Investors are increasingly focused on ESG factors as part of their analysis to identify material risks and growth opportunities.
  • Contracts: We assist in developing contract clauses suitable to support specific ESG matters.
  • Sustainability reports: We assist in the development of sustainability reports while securing the fulfilment of all legal requirements, we give advice on what is "best practice" etc.
  • ESG-risks: We provide a better understanding of ESG risks in various sectors, and why they matter. This includes e.g. climate and sustainability litigation risks, and risks of being accused for greenwashing.
  • EU ETS: We give advice related to the understanding of legal obligations under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), both regarding operators covered by the system and in relation to trading of allowances as financial instruments.
  • Climate and environmental law: We provide guidance on legislative framework in all areas, and assist in the contact with e.g. the pollution authority in relation to applications for emissions permits or follow-up of administrative orders to take action such as environmental surveys or preparing action plans.
Contacts
Profile image of Tonje Hagen Geiran
Specialist Counsel
E-mail tog@wr.no

The green transition

A comprehensive change is needed in the way we use our natural resources. Climate change perspectives and environmental degradation is increasingly reflected in legal requirements. The EU is a driving force in the green transition, with a strong emphasis on maintaining economic growth. Businesses will play a vital part in the green shift. Solutions with reduced climate emissions, a circular economy approach and the integration of nature into decision making are key in a sustainable business development. We assist companies to be well positioned to fulfil business opportunities.

Read more about the green transition here (Norwegian)

Compliance Update

In our Compliance Update we provide our readers with information and updates on current topics in ethics, compliance and crisis management. Enjoyable reading!

Read our latest Compliance Update here

Awards
2023
Tier 1
Legal 500 – Regulatory, Compliance and Investigations
2024
Band 1
Chambers and Partners – Corporate Compliance & Investigations

Read our articles on Sustainability, climate and environment

16/05/2024

EU ETS: New Standard Template from BIMCO and Key Considerations

Following the inclusion of shipping in the EU's emissions trading system on 1 January 2024, the focus is now shifting to the practical aspects of compliance with the regulations, including monitoring, reporting, and surrendering of allowances.

03/05/2024

WR ESG Alert: Another landmark ruling on climate change and human rights, and rules to protect against forced labour and abusive court proceedings

In this month's ESG alert, we highlight the recent landmark climate judgment from the European Court of Human Rights, as well as legislative developments in the EU, including new rules on free allocation of emission allowances, protection of persons who engage in public participation, a revision of the Industrial Emissions Directive, and the approval by the European Parliament of the Forced Labour Regulation.

19/03/2024

EU Council and Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament approves amended draft of the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive

On 15 March 2024, the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) of the Council of the European Union (the "Council") surprisingly approved an amended draft of the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (the "CS3D"). On 19 March, the amended draft of the CS3D was approved by the Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) of the European Parliament.

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