ESG & Sustainability

 

ESG_Sustainability

Mindful of the significant and continuing importance of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and opportunities for clients, regulators and legislators, William Fry offers a dedicated, cross-disciplinary ESG & Sustainability Practice Group to support clients in operationalising their sustainability goals while navigating the myriad of published and planned global, international and local ESG rules, standards and expectations.

Leveraging our deep and extensive knowledge and expertise across key practice areas, our ESG & Sustainability Practice Group advises and supports clients and other stakeholders in managing and optimising the ever-shifting and evolving ESG legal and regulatory landscape, anticipating and responding to market demand for sustainable corporate practices and ESG opportunities while managing ESG risk within their businesses.

Areas of Expertise 

  • Sustainable Finance, ESG
    investing, green bonds,
    sustainability reporting, disclosures          
  • Sustainable Construction
    & Energy Efficient
    Building  
  • Sustainable Corporate
    Governance
  • Strategic Data & Risk
    Management
  • Environmental Impact
    Assessment Law
  • Employment Rights
    & Obligations
  • Renewable Energy
    developments/transactions 
  • Dispute Resolution
    & Litigation
  • Supply Chain Management
    & Sustainable Procurement
  • Equality &
    Human Rights Law 
  •  Financial Regulation
 

 

Responsible Business is integral to our firm's operating model and ESG considerations are at the core of our approach. Read more here

 

Our experience includes advising:

  • on the establishment of the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Europe Awards 2019-recognised alternative investment fund, investing in leading Asian companies actively tackling pollution and climate change;
  • Smurfit Kappa in connection with sustainability-linked revolving credit facilities provided by a syndicate of international lenders;
  • a wide range of market-leading international and domestic asset managers, AIFMs and UCITS management companies including Architas Multi-Managers, AXA Rosenberg, Barclays, Comgest Asset Management, Lazard Asset Management, Legal & General and Natixis Investment Managers on compliance with the requirements of the EU Sustainable Finance Action Plan, including all aspects of compliance with the Sustainable Finance Disclosures Regulation (SFDR);
  • Uniphar (a publicly listed company) on sustainability-linked revolving credit facilities provided by a syndicate of Irish banks;
  • British Airways on its EETC issuance and listing on the Irish Stock Exchange to finance new generation fuel efficient, low CO2 clean aircraft;
  • EirGrid (Ireland's Transmission System Operator) on the structuring, development and financing of the proposed 700MW HVDC Celtic Interconnector between Ireland and France; capital cost of circa €1bn; critical infrastructure for renewable generation;
  • European Investment Bank on its financing of the Oweninny Wind Farm in County Mayo;
  • a range of pension trustee clients, including the trustees of the Guinness Ireland Group Pension Scheme and Aviva's main Irish pension arrangements on SFDR-related matters;
  • a range of Irish unit-linked life insurance undertakings and Irish private equity/venture capital fund structures on various ESG-related matters; and
  • a broad range of international asset managers, including market-leading ETF ranges, on the development of ESG-focused/sustainable product offerings and managing all aspects of the Central Bank of Ireland approval process for these products.

IORP II – The Pensions Authority Publishes Draft Code of Practice

The Pensions Authority has published a draft code of practice (Code) on the IORP II Regulations. In this article, our Pensions Team provides an overview of the key proposals within the Code and its practical implications.


A Greener Scheme? A Pensions Guide to Sustainable Finance Level 1 Disclosures

While most of the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosures Regulation (2019/2088) (SFDR) came into effect on 10 March 2021, the delay in transposing IORP II frustrated the interpretation of the practical impact of SFDR for pension schemes. In this article, our Pensions Team considers the implications of SFDR for pension schemes and the steps trustees may take to ensure compliance.


Upstream Greenhouse Gases – In or Out of Environmental Impact Assessment?

In April 2021, the Irish High Court ruled on a challenge brought by An Taisce against a decision of An Bord Pleanála granting planning permission for a large cheese-manufacturing plant. The court held that An Bord Pleanála's environmental impact assessment was not invalid for having failed to include an assessment of the impacts associated with "upstream" milk production, in particular agriculture-related greenhouse gas emissions.


SFDR Level 2 – 7 Months To Go

1 January 2022 is the next key compliance deadline for funds and fund managers under the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosures Regulation (SFDR). It is also the scheduled effective date of SFDR Level 2 measures, a complex and prescriptive set of technical compliance standards (currently at various stages of finalisation) for SFDR.


Ireland's Offshore Electricity Grid: DECC Release Policy Statement on the Framework for the Offshore Grid

A key step has been taken towards Ireland's goal of delivering 5GW of offshore wind energy by the end of the decade. The Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC) has just published a Policy Statement on the Framework for Ireland’s Offshore Electricity Transmission System.


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Key Contacts

Lorena Dunne Partner

Bryan Bourke Partner

Fergus Devine Partner

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