Over the past decade, it has become mainstream for investors to expand the lens through which they make their investment decisions to include environmental, social and governance factors in addition to the prospect of financial returns. Alternative investment funds attract investor dollars. Stakeholders, in particular investors, are now demanding a more comprehensive accounting of how business decisions are made, how value is created and how the business impacts the environment, employees, communities and others.
While for some creating “value” speaks to more than just financial success, for many others the link between corporate values and durable, long-term financial success has become increasingly clear. Across industries, and no matter the size of the company, investors, boards, executives and others are now seeking to ensure that the business they run, have invested in or that affects them is being managed with a clear purpose, taking into account the interests of all relevant stakeholders, Indigenous peoples, the environment and social factors, all of which can be determinative of value over the long-term. In short, they are looking for the factors that make a business sustainable.
Lawson Lundell’s Social Impact and Business Sustainability Group comprises lawyers with a broad range of expertise, acting for both investors and companies for whom purpose, sustainability and social impact are central. We have been involved in structuring, forming and deploying the capital of social impact alternative investment vehicles, including funds focused on investing in sustainable industries, social enterprise, environmental solutions, food companies, and affordable housing. We also advise on the formation of benefit companies and community contribution companies, and have assisted companies seeking B-Corp certification. In addition, we advise public companies on modernizing their disclosure to meet the sustainability expectations of large investors and proxy advisors.
Today, questions of sustainability touch every element of a business, from the basic principles of governance enshrined in the corporation’s constitution to its strategy, finance, operations and disclosure. Our services are available for businesses across a range of regional, national and international economic sectors and at all stages of a company’s development.
- Working with private companies looking to establish or convert to benefit companies, and to create benefit reports, including incorporation of, or conversion to, benefit companies and drafting “public benefits” and related language for Articles.
- Investment funds aimed at impact investing including fund formation and ongoing advice for investment funds focused on impact investing.
Acquisitions, financings, and other transactions involving companies focused on sustainability.
- Public companies looking to provide sustainability disclosure, including based on voluntary third-party standards, or to integrate sustainability disclosure into regulatory forms.
News & Publications
- Canadian Lawyer, 2.10.20
- Corporate Knights, 14.9.20
- Business Law Blog, 31.7.20
- Business Law Blog, 10.6.20
- Business Law Blog, 14.5.20
- Business Law Blog, 28.8.19
- Business Law Blog, 19.6.19
- Business Law Blog, 16.4.19
- Business Law Blog, 15.2.19