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Nick Fothergill, partner at national law firm, Weightmans

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Weightmans continues to make great strides in its long-held ambition to be one of the UK’s most socially and environmentally conscious law firms. In June 2024, the firm was awarded the highest Platinum rating by EcoVadis, placing Weightmans in the UK’s top 1% of professional services companies for sustainability and social responsibility.

ESG is a subject that has risen up the agenda for many businesses over recent years, particularly since the Covid pandemic. The increasing prominence of ESG as a factor to be addressed by businesses has happened at the same time as growing pressure to contribute to the UK’s Net Zero goals.

However, the focus on ESG and the journey to net zero have been taking place against the backdrop of rising energy prices, inflation and higher interest rates, meaning that many businesses have been thinking hard about their priorities, and about how to be a good corporate citizen and at the same time stay afloat in economically choppy waters.

But the goals of ESG-compliance, net zero and financial prudence and efficiency can often be complementary, and a benefit to businesses. Running your organisation in a way that shows it has good governance, cares for its staff, considers its role in society, is aware of its carbon footprint, and sources cost-efficient green energy makes sense, is attractive to customers and is good business practice.

At Weightmans we are experienced in guiding our clients along the ESG path, and at the same time helping them to both decarbonise and reduce their energy costs.

ESG is a subject that can appear very wide in scope, with new initiatives and rules being announced on a regular basis, and businesses often find it difficult to know where to start their ESG journey. At Weightmans we understand how difficult it can be for businesses who are looking to do the right thing, but find it challenging to know exactly what they need to do.

We offer a guiding hand, and have developed a package of ESG-related services to help our clients, both in relation to broader strategic ESG planning and in relation to specific ESG issues. Our ESG legal services include corporate governance (including how to become a B Corporation), advice on “green” advertising and “greenwashing” claims, green and sustainable finance, corporate sustainability due diligence (including horizon-scanning and associated training), and climate and sustainability reporting.

In addition, the Weightmans energy advisory service, called “Empower”, is focused on helping businesses across the sectors to decarbonise and at the same time to reduce their energy costs, often with the added benefit of boosting corporate reputation and generating new income streams.

Our range of energy advisory services for businesses includes: energy contract reviews and advice on rights and options, dispute resolution and litigation, advice on energy regulation, helping businesses engage an energy consultant to conduct an energy efficiency and decarbonisation review, and advice on the procurement and financing of decarbonisation solutions and how to structure energy projects.

For businesses which follow the ESG and net zero paths, there are benefits to be had in terms of reputation, efficiency and cost savings. At Weightmans, we understand the challenges businesses face on the ESG and net zero journey, we have the services businesses need, and we are here to help.

Published On: 04/07/2024 15:00:00


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