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Environmental, Social and Governance

Our team integrates practice experience across our firm to advance your ESG goals. We counsel on ESG regulatory compliance and investigations, investor and marketing disclosures, energy-related tax credits, international transactions, and property acquisition and remediation to meet your stakeholder requirements.

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Environmental, Social and Governance

How We Help

Godfrey & Kahn’s Environmental, Social and Governance team assists businesses in navigating the changing demands of investors, customers, employees, and other key stakeholders. Our collaborative approach means you get the experience of attorneys across the firm to help ensure your organization achieves its ESG goals.

Our ESG team includes attorneys from a variety of practices.

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Public companies are subject to increasing regulatory and investor scrutiny related to their ESG disclosures, policies, and practices.

Our securities practice assists these companies with SEC and other regulatory disclosure compliance, including compliance with current and emerging sustainability, human capital, and similar disclosures. We further advise clients on best practices for integrating ESG-related programs and oversight into their Board committee charters and corporate governance policies. Working closely with our corporate attorneys, we represent companies in connection with financing arrangements that include sustainability-linked covenants and other features.

We pride ourselves on offering both legal and practical advice that helps our public company clients properly manage the increasingly complex and constantly changing universe of ESG-related disclosure, governance and investor relations requirements and challenges.

Clean Energy and Sustainable Development

For more than a decade, we have successfully worked with our taxable and non-taxable clients to take maximum advantage of tax credits, grants, and other incentives for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and more recently energy storage, electric charging, and other sustainable and resilient development projects to help significantly lower the cost of and improve the return on those projects.

We work with our clients to take maximum advantage of:

  • utility and other programs
  • power purchase agreements (PPAs)
  • virtual PPAs
  • renewable energy credit purchases
  • other strategies to meet your sustainability, carbon reduction, and resiliency goals

Because we work closely with our clients in developing and effectively implementing their clean energy and sustainability goals, we can also help them create specific, enforceable provisions in agreements with their suppliers and other partners, so our clients can meet their supply chain and overall sustainability goals.


Our environmental practice works closely with clients to achieve their environmental and sustainability goals, leveraging our relationships with skilled consultants and insurance brokers in Wisconsin and regions around the world.

Our team has significant experience in coordinating environmental, health, and safety due diligence in complex international transactions, advising clients on regulatory compliance matters and strategies to mitigate exposure to environmental risks, and navigating the investigation, remediation, and regulatory closure of contaminated properties. We counsel clients on environmental and sustainability-related marketing and labeling requirements to ensure compliance with applicable regulations governing environmental marketing claims and disclosures.

Investment Management

Our investment management team provides advice to investment advisers, family offices, registered funds, private funds, and other financial services companies with respect to ESG investing. We assist clients with regulatory matters, new product offerings, and ESG developments in the U.S. and, through our network, overseas. We represent investment advisers with established ESG practices as well as new entrants to this rapidly developing field. We counsel clients with respect to SEC examinations, disclosure requirements, compliance programs, and governance matters related to ESG.

Privacy & Cybersecurity

Building trust through your ESG program includes maintaining data best practices, and privacy and cybersecurity have been taking a larger role in ESG programs over the past several years.

Our cybersecurity, data privacy & tech attorneys are poised to assist with the full range of services needed, from building data protection and privacy policies and programs to assisting with vendor risk management or managing cyber-incident response and notifications. Our team can offer both legal and practical advice on how clients can properly manage the burgeoning risks related to the acquisition and use of technology, and the ever-increasing amounts of data that arise from that technology in an interconnected world.

Labor and Employment

We partner with business leaders and professionals to leverage our team’s experience and knowledge of regulatory, legal, and social frameworks to identify ESG issues and implement sustainable strategies and solutions that support and develop their human capital.

We likewise partner with our clients to advise on advancing ESG goals in the areas of hiring and compensation, anti-harassment and anti- discrimination, pay transparency, diversity and inclusion, whistleblowing, employee engagement, mental health and well-being, sustainability, workplace safety, and labor standards. Throughout the mergers and acquisitions process, we assist in evaluating the target company’s ESG-related practices and policies during due diligence and draft representations and warranties and disclosures, when necessary, all in the interest of mitigating risks for our clients, as well as identifying areas for improvement post-closing to ensure ESG remains a top priority.

Real Estate

Our real estate team attorneys advise to developers, investors, owners, tenants, and lenders regarding ESG considerations in connection with acquisition, development, management, and financing of real estate, including methods of incorporating sustainable components and practices into projects in a cost-effective manner. We provide support by identifying and working through issues relating to site control, land use restrictions, easements, and construction for wind, solar, hydro, and biomass projects. The team is comprised of forward-thinking, practical, and thoughtful individuals with the expertise and experience to successfully navigate the changing ESG landscape and its effect on the built environment.

Government Investigations

Given increased scrutiny by government authorities, including the SEC, of companies’ ESG factors, the risk of regulatory investigations and enforcement actions has substantially increased. Our team of experienced government investigations lawyers is prepared to advise on compliance with regulations as well as to assist with any government inquiry or investigation.

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