15 June 2023

‘Many clients are on the same ESG journey as we are’

Unprepared for ESG compliance obligations, Irish companies are reaching out to their law firms and asking: ‘How do we get there?’

The Emerald Isle. Synonymous with an Irish countryside of rolling hills and green valleys, William Drennan coined the phrase in his 1795 poem When Erin First Rose. But it also has contemporary resonance. According to CUP’s latest Sustainable Development Report, Ireland ranks a very respectable ninth among 163 countries – as measured by its performance in the 17 United Nation SDGs (sustainable development goals) – right behind Switzerland and just ahead of the United Kingdom. At a corporate level, environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns are equally paramount for businesses across Ireland.

“ESG is going to influence the way that everyone does business,” says Alan Murphy, head of EY Law Ireland. “The challenge is to move it out of the compliance space into the boardroom.” Directors’ minds are certainly being exercised at a multinational level. “We may have been distracted by geo- political issues, but ESG is still a key item on boardroom agendas,” says Rachel Stanton, head of Simmons & Simmons’ Irish office. “ESG policy and ESG strategy impact organisations from an operational perspective and, along with regulation, drive digitalisation.” But, she notes, “There’s a cost factor (in ESG): how is it funded and how does it impact on strategy?”

 

Related News

May 2024 News

Switzerland: Still resilient and reliable?

Like the country in which they operate, Swiss law firms seem immune to adversity beyond their borders. So, how do they do they manage it?

May 2024 News

Germany’s distress: Switzerland needs the sick man of Europe to recover

As the German economic miracle gives way to stagnation and a real estate crisis, can Switzerland remain immune to the challenges facing its giant neighbour?

May 2024 News

A feast for litigators: Fallout from the UBS-Credit Suisse merger

As AT1 bondholders use “the world’s best, most expensive lawyers” to take on the Swiss financial regulator, what lessons does the Swiss bank merger provide?

May 2024 News

Swiss regulation: The privacy vs transparency debate rages on

New data protection law and anti-money laundering proposals that impact law firms’ privacy – how is Switzerland managing to square the circle?