Sustainability and ESG have become a top priority for businesses, as the general awareness on these topics is growing, stakeholder demands are high, and the EU is preparing multiple legislative initiatives in this area. Sustainability is finding its way into the core business strategies of companies and the agendas of the top management and boards of directors. Also, law firms have multiple roles to play in this development, both in advising clients on ESG questions across all legal areas and in developing and executing our own ESG programmes.
This spring, we at D&I set out to codify our sustainability work and develop the ways we work with sustainability at the firm. The result of the work is our sustainability programme, which gives us a clear framework for the efforts and focus within this area, with set goals and metrics. For us at D&I, sustainability evolves around three areas: our advisory services, sustainability within the firm and our role in society.
Our clients are the reason for our existence. Being able to look around the corners, think ahead and prepare our clients for changes to come is key to us. The EU has a turbo mode on with respect to ESG-related legislation, and following the launch of the EU taxonomy and the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), we are now closely monitoring the development with respect to the implementation of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and the final negotiations relating to the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD). In addition to advising on pure sustainability and ESG matters, we see that ESG is becoming part of our advisory in all our service areas. In order to be a forerunner in this field, we have come to the conclusion that developing our service offering in this field requires firm-wide, cross-practice efforts.
“Being able to look around the corners, think ahead and prepare our clients for changes to come is key to us.”
ESG and sustainability, however, are not legal concepts as such, and we have recognised that this is a field in which we need to collaborate closely with experts in other fields, and closely together with our clients. The world and the issues our clients face are more complex than ever, and we believe that established relationships and multi-disciplinary teams are necessary to unlock the value of ESG and sustainability efforts.
Internally, our focus in ESG matters is in our people and the wellbeing of everyone within our working community. We recognise that a key to being successful in advising our clients in their most complex matters is that we are well and work well together, towards the same goal. Inclusion, equity and diversity are of great importance to us and something we are keen to develop and invest in. In all our activities, we also consider our climate impact and try to minimise our carbon footprint.
As one of the oldest law firms (125 next year!) in Finland, we know that we have a vital role in society as a whole. We defend the rule of law, and we can make a difference with our pro bono work. With our expertise, we are well positioned to take a stance in certain sustainability questions, and together with our partners such as FIBS (Finnish Business & Society), we can help build a more sustainable world.
Sustainability comes in many shapes and sizes, and for us, it is at the heart of our advisory services and a strategic focus area. Our mission is to create exceptional and sustainable value together with our clients.