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Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance: Not Simply a Responsibility


Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance: Not Simply a Responsibility

November 18, 2021
John F. Parker

Key Takeaways

  • ESG is a sweeping paradigm shift that not only values corporate transparency, but also unapologetically demands it

  • Industrial players who hope to thrive and survive in the new ESG-conscious global economy must pay attention to the chatter surrounding decarbonization, carbon-capture, sequestration, and net-zero goals

  • By incorporating Natural Capital into business models, companies will not only realize profits but also achieve ESG benchmarks

  • Federal and state legislation is trending toward heightened regulatory action concerning pollution and waste output; therefore, industry should take steps to become better aligned with investor and consumer concerns

  • Clean-Tech may bolster the corporate bottom line


Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance is not simply a responsibility, it’s an ethos. Five months ago, we embarked on a journey to investigate the new sustainability equation—ESG—and narrate its impact on business. What we learned is that ESG is a sweeping paradigm shift that not only values corporate transparency but also demands it.

In the most fundamental sense, ESG represents a set of environmental, social and governance standards for corporate operations that examines how a company performs as a steward of the environment. Theoretically, under the ESG model, companies that recognize the importance of adapting to changing socio-economic and environmental conditions by implementing zealous quantitative analyses focused on the three pillars will be better able to leverage risk in a culture that demands transparency on sustainable and socially responsible practices and ranks corporate viability according to the new equation. This analysis, or snapshot into a company’s environmental, social and governance practices, is said to better inform investment decisions by de-risking the financial matrix. This level of comprehensive transparency is considered crucial for investors and other stakeholders in understanding how a business is performing today as well as its resiliency tomorrow.

Below are links to articles highlighting the trending issues that all businesses—regardless of size or sector—must be acutely mindful of amid the ESG climate of full disclosure:

Why cultivating a strategy to increase a company’s ESG aptitude is essential to corporate durability.

Industries need to be tenacious in their efforts to reduce carbon emissions in order to endure the effects of the rising social cost of carbon.

An exposé on the relationship between economic growth and environmental conservation and how Natural Capital conjoins the two.

Reducing waste generated from emissions, packaging, and electronic devices will help businesses mitigate cost and withstand ESG scrutiny.

How clean tech can promote profitability.

Stay tuned in the upcoming months as we explore diligent ESG practices and dive deeper into the next phase of ESG investing and its focus on the climate.

For more information or immediate guidance, please reach out to our Environmental Law team:



*The authors were assisted by legal interns and University of Buffalo student Colin M. Jackson.