Guide for General council on Corporate Sustainability
We believe the case is made. It is now time for General Counsel to deliver upon it. We believed it was true when we published our 2015 guide and believe that it continues to be true today: General Counsel (GC) are better placed, better equipped and increasingly able to drive change and deliver value to their organizations through an increased focus on corporate sustainability.
When we explained this in our 2015 guide, it was clear that we had struck a chord. GCs were enthusiastic about corporate sustainability, but they also highlighted the need for practical guidance on how to embed it in their organization’s DNA. What do good practices look like and how do you achieve tangible results?
This 2019 Guide seeks to support GCs by examining five areas in more detail, providing practical tips and strategies for success inspired by the GCs who participated in its development.
• Corporate Sustainability and Business Integrity. How can GCs embed corporate values and responsible business conduct within their organizations to help ensure corporate sustainability?
• Corporate Sustainability and Fiduciary Duties. How can businesses successfully integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into decision-making processes?
• Human Rights and Supply Chain Diligence. How can GCs respond to ever greater calls to consider the sustainability of their companies’ supply chains by conducting human rights due diligence?
• Corporate Sustainability and Grievance Mechanisms. How can grievance mechanisms form part of responsible business processes and contribute to securing corporate sustainability?
• Challenges to Corporate Sustainability — Managing a Crisis. How can GCs use sustainability principles to help prevent, prepare for, navigate through and recover from a crisis? We believe that the future of this discussion is not one that focuses on the nature of the value proposition, but instead focuses on equipping GCs with the tools necessary to deliver upon it.
We hope this Guide fosters meaningful conversation amongst GCs and helps them champion good practices within their own organizations. GCs should “shout from the rooftops” about those that are most innovative, value enhancing and/or effective. Welcome to the Guide for General Counsel on Corporate Sustainability Version 2.0.
Tom Shropshire, Partner Linklaters LLP