Minnesota Program Recap: What is ESG? Why Law Firms Should Care!

In celebration of Earth Day 2022, the Minnesota Local Group hosted an educational program about Environmental Social Governance (ESG). On April 20, 2022, Pamela Cone, CEO & Founder of Amity Advisory, walked us through ESG and discussed the important role it’s taking in law firm business.

What is ESG?

ESG is comprised of many parts including:

  • Ethics/compliance/governance
  • Diversity & inclusion/Gender equity
  • Environmental issues/Carbon footprint/Climate change
  • Pro Bono work
  • Community involvement/volunteering
  • Charitable giving/philanthropy
  • Work you do with customers/clients

An important item to note is that the societal impact cannot be separated from business. To make these items a priority businesses must make them an integral and strategic part of the business. Pamela also pointed out that the portion “work you do with customers/clients” is often missed on the list above but is one of the biggest parts of ESG.

How Can You Get Started?

Pamela was able to walk us through a few portions of getting started with ESG. One being that in recent years there has become more and more of an expectation from societies that businesses, and law firms, take these pillars up within their business strategy. Some clients are even requiring their law firms to do external surveys and meet certain requirements before they will work with a firm. One way to get started within your firm is to join the Law Firm Sustainability Network.

She also discussed that a great way to get an idea of where to start is to do one of the external surveys/frameworks. By completing a survey you will then basically have a scorecard of where you can start making suggestions and changes. Also, by doing this on your own, before a client requests it, you have a better opportunity to prepare to be rated/ranked where you want before a client requires it.

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Become Involved with LMA
• Have ideas for presentation topics, want to present, or help out in other ways? Contact LMA-MN Programming Director, McKenna Taylor at mtaylor@fr.com.
• To learn more about becoming involved with the Minnesota Local Steering Committee, please fill out LMA’s online volunteer leadership form or contact LMA-MN Chair Lauren McNee at lauren@pritzkerlaw.com.