1. WHAT MEANS SESG AND WHY THIS CONCEPT HAS GAIN SO MUCH RELEVANCE?
There is no doubt that the last 20 years our world is going through an unprecedented change. This change is driven by united demand from different stakeholders (i.e. employees, investors, suppliers, and customers). All groups seem to have shifted from a passive to an active stance and are forcing companies to step up against a non-sustainable world. As the pressure became explicit and globalized due to the advance of technology, the changes were catalyzed. Companies are responding with a shift in its operating principles, remodeling its corporate purpose by reference to those issues.
Due to this urgency SESG factors became the top of list not just for governments, but for many businesses around the world. The number of investment funds and entities that incorporate SESG factors has been growing rapidly since the beginning of this decade and is expected to continue rising drastically over the decade to come. Why:
- preserve its ability to maintain/obtain license to operate;
- estimates that flows into SESG investments will exceed those into non-sustainable investments in the coming years;
- lower cost of capital;
- ability to retain and attract talent;
SESG, is the acronym for Sustainability, Environmental, Social, and Governance (which refers to key elements when determining the sustainability and ethical impact of an investment in a business or company).
SESG’s three central elements are:
- Environmental criteria, which examines how a business performs as a steward of our natural environment, focusing on waste and pollution, resource depletion, greenhouse gas emission, deforestation and climate change;
- Social criteria, which looks at how the company treats people, and concentrates on employee relations & diversity, human rights and working conditions, including child labor and slavery, local communities, seeks explicitly to fund projects or institutions that will serve poor and underserved communities globally, health and safety and conflict;
- Governance criteria, which examines how a corporation polices itself – how the company is governed. Focusing on: the entities’ processes, conducts and policies from which an institution is managed and monitored, companies management compensation, tax strategy, donations and political lobbying, corruption and bribery and boards structures and functioning;
It is important to mention that none of the criteria may be analyzed in isolation (environmental and social issues are connected: climate impacts, health, the society and value chains). SESG shall not be considered as a checked box snapshot of the journey (which can be a trap!). When investors and stakeholders use a SESG framework to access the performance of a company, they really want to get to understand under the skin, the company’s journey along its sustainability path and SESG is a way to understand this trajectory.
An interesting article recently published by DLA Piper also mentioned the “Rule of Three”, which are “three core principles to help businesses understand the What? and How? of SESG, so they can deliver impactful change and enjoy the concomitant value enhancement and reputation dividend. Those principles – the Rule of Three – are: Materiality, Advocacy & Authenticity”.
“It is no longer attractive or interesting for a business to show awareness and intention – or even just written processes and protocols. Such a business will need to demonstrate an SESG strategy which is: consistent with its corporate purposes; focuses on issues material to the business; is underpinned by its culture and values; and is resilient to competition and replication.
The leadership of that business will also need to show that it can deliver. This will inevitably require the production of very specific, time-linked and measurable objectives and regular communication of progress – at all levels within the organization – towards the achievement of those objectives. Boards must be brave enough to extend that advocacy externally, not just within the business, and it must be protected by verification to prove its accuracy and also by the authenticity that makes it truly useful to investors.
On the SESG journey 2021 is a year to move from awareness to action and from action to results. That is the challenge for businesses in pursuit of Alpha. It is an easy challenge to state, but a demanding one to implement, especially where time is of the essence and the need for focus is paramount. An optimal response will be greatly facilitated by the principles within the Rule of Three: Materiality, Advocacy and Authenticity. Boards which need to make a difference should keep them close at hand”. [@note to editorial team: insert link to respective article in the report].
This Rule of Three would be then the route for business to meet the SESG’s three central elements we listed above.
Boards which need to make a difference should keep them close at hand.
2. HOW DO WE DO SESG?
“Identifying a company SESG focus is not a separate exercise but should be integrated into a company’s strategy alongside to the core drive for profit. For this to be effective, the SESG focus must be tangible and achievable. Rome was not built in a day, and no company will become a fully responsible business overnight. What is important is to start and to be committed and transparent about it,” said Tiny Thygesen who had started and led five companies as a CEO and founder and a Forbes writer”  [@note to editorial team: insert link to respective article in the report]
Companies do not do SESG, they choose the sustainability path and now different stakeholders are tracking the progress along the entity’s sustainability journey.
Sustainability is the ability of businesses and other stakeholders to create value over the long term in alignment with the Environmental, Social and Governance topics relevant to their sector and business.
Investors may consider several different SESG factors, metrics and data when looking to adopt a SESG investing strategy or apply SESG across a portfolio. These factors typically include industry-specific key issues such as climate change, human capital and labor management, corporate governance, gender diversity, privacy and data security, among others – a life science company and an energy company, for example, may be faced with different key SESG risks and opportunities:
“As a firm, we understand that clients operating in different sectors face unique sustainability and SESG opportunities and challenges. Our proactive sector-based approach to guidance is intended to assist clients globally as they navigate the myriad of sustainability and SESG topics impacting their businesses,” said Ann Ford, DLA Piper’s global co-chair of sectors . [@note to editorial team: insert link to respective DLA Piper site in the report]
We are then committed to making businesses better by helping clients and communities transition to and thrive in a more sustainable future. We understand the unique challenges and needs of each sector and deliver seamless global solutions that help our clients around the world.
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3. WHAT IS HAPPENING ABROAD?
From the proposed EU Taxonomy to the task force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) mandate, it seems that the EU and UK are shaping the pace for SESG changes. However, in fact, the speed of change in the US and Asia will follow this trend during 2021.
Moves on the way to a global sustainability corporate reporting standard are gathering pace. Recent net-zero emissions pledges from the likes of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea suggest sustainability will continue to be imperative in 2021. We have reasons to believe that we will see several regulatory and legislative changes, as well as industry-level initiatives. Please find below some words related to the topic in certain relevant jurisdictions:
CHINA – China prioritizes SESG
A few years ago, it was challenging to make SESG-themed investments in China because there was insufficient data to assess companies’ SESG performance. However, that is rapidly changing. In 2019, 85% of CSI 300 companies released official SESG disclosures, a rapid growth from 54% in 2013. However, among the companies that disclosed, only 12% had audited reports, suggesting ample room for improving the quality of disclosures.
The trend of increasing SESG disclosures in China is driven by a few forces: (i) Chinese regulators had set a goal for mandatory disclosures for listed companies by the end of 2020 (now expected to be 2021 due to the pandemic); (ii) President XI has announced China’s goal to be carbon-neutral by 2060, which will further fuel the transition to low-carbon economy transition; (iii) foreign investors who invest in Chinese assets have to meet their fund domicile standards on SESG when investing in China, driving improved reporting by Chinese firms.
In China’s latest five-year plan (2021 to 2025), the country has pledged to actively implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with authorities prioritizing green improvement in the coming years.
US – Industry Waits for 2021 SESG Action From the US
SESG by the Numbers (2020):
- ≥1 woman director on all S&P 500 boards
- 70% of SESG funds outperformed peers
- 77% of Fortune 100 companies disclosed SESG-related initiatives and commitments;
- Voluntary disclosures by companies are increasing. In 2020, 77% of Fortune 100 companies included information on human capital and environmental initiatives and commitments in their proxy statement disclosures
- $30.7 billion net inflows into US SESG funds
- $17.1 trillion invested with sustainable mandate
For 2021, investors will be looking for SESG-related legislation from the US under a more environmentally minded leader. While specific approaches have not yet made public, President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to re-join the Paris Agreement, made SESG-focused key appointments and further plans to funnel US$2 trillion of federal government spending to the climate budget.
On December 1 2020, the Asset Management Advisory Committee (AMAC) of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) gathered to discuss draft recommendations proposed by its SESG Subcommittee. The subcommittee’s guidelines will inform the direction of future SEC rulemaking. The draft includes recommendations such as the SEC mandating the adoption of standards by which issuers disclose material SESG risks and further suggesting ‘best practices’ to enhance SESG product disclosure.
EU – The New SESG Regulation in the EU and its Applicability to Third Country AIFMs (e.g. Brazilian companies)
Sustainable investing and SESG are increasing also the top of the agenda in the financial services industry, with a vast array of new industry bodies and initiatives both in the EU and globally. New regulations are similarly emerging aiming to reorient capital flows towards a more sustainable economy, to provide more transparency for the end investor on sustainability within the financial markets in a standardized way, thus preventing greenwashing and ensuring comparability. The measures are, to date, the broadest regulatory initiatives developed in sustainable finance.
As a further development in the roll out of its green agenda, a new disclosure regulation will come into force on March 10 – referred to as the Disclosure Regulation or Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR). This will require certain firms, including private banks, wealth managers and advisers, to comply with new rules on disclosure as regards sustainable investments and sustainability risks.
Reports indicate that many managers and advisers are yet to fully address the new requirements. For your information, DLA Piper (global international law firm which we work in cooperation with), has prepared an overview of the main issues in SFDR implementation across Europe and practical guidance on how to address them. (“DLA’s SFDR Guide”) [@note to editorial team: insert link to respective DLA Piper site in the report]
With regards to the applicability of this new regulation to foreign entities (e.g. Brazilian entities), we have transcribed one specific question from DLA Piper’s SFDR Guide in this regard so you may have a better overview of the theme:
“Question No. 2: Does the SFDR apply to third country AIFMs?
Apparently, this is a question even the ESAs do not have a final answer to. In their recent letter to the EU Commission, the ESAs have asked the EU Commission to clarify the extent to which SFDR applies to third-country AIFMs; for example, when marketing EU AIFs under a national private placement regime. Similar questions could arise if non-EU AIFMs manage EU AIFs or provide portfolio management or investment advice to EU AIFs. Portfolio management is defined in Art. 2 para. 6 SFDR by reference to Art. 4 para. 1 no. 8 MiFID II and covers discretionary mandates relating to financial instruments. Investment advice is defined in Art. 2 para. 16 SFDR by reference to Art. 4 para. 1 no. 4 MiFID II and covers the provision of personal recommendations on transactions relating to financial instruments. Non-EU AIFMs providing portfolio management or investment advice to EU AIFs have to fulfil the obligations for financial advisors according to Art. 2 para. 11 SFDR.
A number of EU fund industry associations have stated that SFDR should also apply to non-EU AIFMs if there is a nexus with the EU territory, either via the domicile of the managed or advised AIF or via the country in which marketing activities are carried out. This principle should be applied both ways, i.e. if an EU AIF is marketed outside the EU, the respective AIFM would still need to make the SFDR disclosures. In our opinion, since the SFDR obligations are linked to the existing EU regulatory frameworks (AIFMD, UCITSD and MiFID), the disclosure obligations under SFDR should only apply to non-EU AIFMs to the extent they are covered by the respective frameworks. Accordingly, as an example, if and to the extent the cross-border provision of portfolio management or investment advice by a non-EU AIFM does not fall under MiFID II (which is the case as long as the non-EU AIFM does not specifically solicit target clients or potential clients in the EU), the non-EU AIFM does not have to comply with SFDR ”. [@note to editorial team: insert link to respective DLA Piper presentation in the report]
We hope that you find this summary on what is happening abroad useful.
If you have any queries about the implementation of SFDR or require further guidance please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team. CMA together with DLA Piper has the appropriate team to guide you and help you understand what is needed and how it can be achieved.
4. WHAT IS HAPPENING IN BRAZIL?
An interesting article recently published by DLA Piper brought to light the current “departure from the Friedman Doctrine of maximizing shareholder value” to “SESG strategies showing how they are addressing SESG risk and distinguish themselves from the pack as well”. This is based on the common sense that “companies have a responsibility to serve all stakeholders is now increasingly becoming the accepted norm in international business”. Of course, this has foremost been triggered by major geopolitical and social issues, but businesses are already taking the front line on this discussion and having a deep look at it meant to create disruptive business models from a competitive and economic perspective. [@note to editorial team: insert link to respective article in the report] And Brazil is definitely following this trend.
Since SESG risks and also opportunities will vary from company to company and according to the industry sector in which they operate, we are enumerating a few examples of SESG arenas in which Brazilian players are focused on.
Boards which need to make a difference should keep them close at hand, but bearing in mind that, as well pointed out also in the article written by our colleagues abroad, “the very first challenge for companies’ boards is this: identify the material SESG issues in your industry and develop initiatives for your business that set you apart from the competition”, keeping authenticity, aligning words and actions vis-à-vis their “corporate purpose, issues material to the business, besides underpinning by its culture and values”. “Focus on those that are hard to copy” and make it real, not only a written policy. [@note to editorial team: insert link to respective article in the report]
The energy industry has been at the forefront of SESG-related matters for some time. SESG principles are deeply aligned with several challenges that the power sector will face in the near future. One of them relates the need to increase energy generation versus decarbonizing the matrix to reduce emissions. Renewable sources are key to address this task and when we think about Brazil, we have some good numbers:
- Brazil’s levels of insolation are one of the highest in the world and solar generation is definitely on the rise: an increase of at least 5.3 GW of photovoltaic solar power is expected in 2021, a growth of 65.6% in relation to last year;
- Our country has natural characteristics that make the us a world leader when it comes to renewable power (its power matrix is already composed of approximately 80% of renewable sources);
To illustrate the progress of renewable energy source based on the SESG strategies is the bioenergy (name given to energy from organic matter of plant and animal origin, such as biomass, biomethane and biogas), we have seen a growing number of laws aimed at encouraging and regulating the bioenergy generation both at the federal and state levels,
In addition, the incorporation of SESG’s principles in the companies’ business plans is also leading to the growth of other areas in the Brazilian energy market:
- Energy certificate (I-REC) market, which has practically doubled the number of emissions of I-RECs in 2020, from 2.5 million in 2019 to around 5 million;
- Energy efficiency market, which with its use of renewable distributed generation and smart grid technologies combines the “Three Ds” of modern power generation: decarbonization, decentralization and digitalization;
- The Brazilian Securities and Exchange Commission (CVM) is currently in the process of improving the standards of reference forms released by publicly-held companies to include information related to SESG issues and promote a broader disclosure of the social, environmental and climatic risk factors to which companies are is exposed and how to mitigate these risks. CVM will also require companies to (i) publish reports on their commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) relevant to the context of each business; (ii) adopt performance indicators based on SESG issues; and (iii) provide information on gender and race diversity in staff and management positions, as well as report differences in pay between different positions and between genders and races.
- A new type of SESG index emerged in September 2020: the S&P/B3 Brazil SESG Index, which was jointly developed by S&P Dow Jones Indices (S&P DJI) and the Brazilian Stock Exchange (Brasil Bolsa Balcão – B3). The Index was designed to measure the performance of securities meeting sustainability criteria. Companies involved in controversial weapons, tobacco, thermal coal and companies with disqualifying United Nations Global Compact scores are excluded. Remaining eligible companies are then weighted in the index by their S&P DJI SESG Score resulting from the Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA). Currently, the S&P/B3 Brazil SESG Index has 96 companies in its portfolio;
- The Brazilian Government has been creating opportunities for green investments, more intensively since last year. In the beginning of 2021, the Government has already launched the following programs, as a strategy to protect and avoid the increase of deforestation, especially in the Amazon region:
– increase of forest concessions, which aims at the management of public forests by private companies through their sustainable management and practices;
– Adote um Parque (adopt a park), which seeks to attract resources to fund the conservation and maintenance of federal conservation units throughout the country; and
– National Program of Environmental Services (Florestas +), with the objective of promoting and consolidating the environmental services market, recognizing and valuing activities such as conservation and monitoring in native forest areas, through the payment for such environmental services with resources that can be raised from individuals and private legal entities and from international cooperation agencies;
- FEBRABAN (Federação Brasileira de Bancos) has also presented a proposal of creation of a green taxonomy in the Brazilian banking system, in order to establish criteria to be analyzed by banks in their portfolios, considering their contribution to a green economy and exposure to socioenvironmental risks;
Real Estate [sob revisão de Rafael Bussiere]
- According to a survey conducted by GBC, civil construction in Brazil consumes approximately 75% of its entire natural resources, 44% of the energy produced and is responsible for 39% of Brazilian net carbon emissions related to energy. In this scenario, civil construction sector in Brazil had to adapt to a new reality in which a minimum degree of engagement to the preservation of the environment is required, as well as the adoption of practices focusing on slowing global warming. Therefore, the civil construction sector has been applying some practices to minimize its negative impact, such as obtaining certificates of sustainability for diverse projects, including commercial and residential buildings, stadiums, shopping centers, schools, among others. In Brazil, the most common certificates are the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), certified by GBC Brasil, and the AQUA Process, certified by FUNDAÇÃO VANZOLINI.
- The Real Estate sector has been seeking the adoption of sustainable practices for some time now, either through the adoption of environmental certifications, such as the Green Building Council, by LEED, an international system of environmental certification and guidance for buildings that aims to encourage the transformation of projects, construction and operation of buildings with focus on sustainability; or through the adoption of environmental management systems, such as ISO 14001 [Rafa – este bullet point de certa forma sintetiza o acima. Por favor, nos avise qual narração você prefere manter];
- According to GBC, the average reduction in projects that have sustainability certifications is 40% in water consumption, 30% in energy and 65% in waste. In addition to these benefits, it is possible to state that those buildings have a reduction in consumption and costs of raw materials, their construction works are also more agile, as well as their resale tend to be higher. Those are some examples of benefits brought by the adoption of sustainability in civil construction, but the positive outcomes are not limited to them.
- Aiming to foster the sustainability practices for constructions in order to preserve the environment, some Brazilian municipalities have already instituted projects granting discounts in the value of the real estate ownership tax (IPTU) for the taxpayers who adopt practices which are beneficial to the environment. Such practices include the use of sustainable energy, capture of rainwater and its use, selective garbage collection, green roof, permeable floor, among others.
- Also, we have seen the implementation of sustainable practices in the development of real estate projects. In Rio de Janeiro, for example, new regulations require that new buildings, including hospitals and shopping malls, construct water reservoirs for rainwater storage and adopt energy efficiency criteria.
- Sustainability practices are also leading Real Estate Investment Funds to adopt these principles. The fund structured by the manager Integral Brei has helped to raise funds for the creation of a smart city in Brasília/DF. This small city, which will be developed in a 1 million square meter area, located in the North Wing, will house several projects. It is intended to be district to be used for innovation, with the presence of technology companies and startups.
- The National Development Bank (BNDES) itself signalizes the importance of sustainability and governance by creating and developing financial instruments in order to enable capital raise for financing sustainable economic activities, among which the Green Bonds stand out.
- This financial support brings a new perspective of fundraising for projects in various sectors of the real estate market (residential, student housing, high-end offices) that adopt the BNDES guidelines for granting financial support, such as compliance with Brazilian legislation and environmental licensing (prior license, installation license and operation license).
Life Sciences & Healthcare
- Life Sciences & Healthcare companies have to demonstrate mostly the (i) environmental integrity of their manufacturing process, (ii) their philosophy on patient access and (as seen in the current developments around COVID-19 vaccines) their readiness to collaborate with competitors, not for immediate profit but for the greater good of humankind. And this includes from the transparency and access in clinical trials and ethical use of the data collected to affordability of the product or service being offered to the patients or customers;
- Disruptive technologies have gained expressive market share in most of the crucial industry sectors and in the Life Sciences and Healthcare arena and this would not be different. The greater focus on the patient experience, from prevention and wellness to diagnosis and management of disease, as well as product-life cycles, the use of AI, machine learning, automation, robotics, and other disruptive technologies will play an important role in bringing players to spotlight;
- Boards in the Life Sciences & Healthcare companies should also keep eyes open to the way raw materials are sourced, how products are designed, manufactured, packaged, sold, reused or recycled, how waste and hazardous material is treated, and how wider environmental and social impacts relating to issues like emissions, plastics, water use, biodiversity loss, labor conditions and community impacts are managed. And this all underpinned by a strict regulatory landscape (which, in this industry sector, narrows the ways in which a player could translate authenticity in its SESG strategy);
- For example, from an environmental point of view, manufacturers, importers, distributors of medicines, as well as other health-regulated products listed by the law, and packaging are required to adopt all the necessary measures to ensure the implementation and operation of the reverse logistics system (take-back system) of products and/or packaging under their responsibility. In general, distributors must return to the manufacturers or importers the products and packaging that have been collected or returned to their care; and manufacturers and importers, in turn, are responsible for the environmentally adequate disposal of products and packaging that have been collected or returned. Since the enactment of a federal law in this sense, new rules have also been enacted in the federal and states levels in order to regulate such obligation, which have contributed to the adoption of sustainable measures in relation to the product- life cycles by the companies. Clearly the countertrend on the take-back system would be the lack of standardized rules, so the big players in this workstream which takes the front to collaborate with the government, regulators, Professional Boards, etc., aiming at promoting betterments in the current waste management system vis-à-vis new mindset on SESG will end up in a position to dictate the meanders of how this obligation may look like in the future;
Insurance [sob revisão de Marcella Hill]
In 2016, the Brazilian Private Insurance Superintendence (Superintendencia de Seguros Privados, SUSEP) issued a letter addressed to the market informing it of the initiative to support the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) [@note to editorial team: insert link to respective section in the report] of the Financial Initiative of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP FI) which is also supported by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS).
SUSEP’s initiative followed the steps of the Brazilian Federation of Insurers (Confederação Nacional das Empresas de Seguros Gerais, Previdência Privada e Vida, Saúde Suplementar e Caitalização, CNSEG), which has 170 supervised entities as members and has supported PSI since 2012. Many Brazilian insurers were already following PSI’s principles and guidance.
As part of the commitment to PSI, SUSEP begun monitoring environmental, social and governance aspects of sustainability in the Brazilian insurance market. Their first step was to identify sustainable practices within the industry by rolling out a questionnaire to the supervised entities asking them to provide their comments as to sustainable initiatives deployed in their operations. The questionnaire was inspired by the initiatives of the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) and Bank of England in the UK and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
SUSEP issued a report in June 2016  collating the information gathered from the market, in which it was noted that sustainability was high on the agenda for most insurers, even though effective steps to put sustainable principles in practice were still ongoing. In the report, they concluded that SUSEP was also committed to its own sustainability, by further developing awareness on sustainable practices internally.
In May 2018, the leadership of CNSEG, SUSEP and UNEP-FI signed the “Rio Declaration on the transparency of climate risk for the Brazilian insurance sector”,  eaffirming the commitment of the Brazilian insurance industry with the purpose of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and establishing dialogue on practical and effective measures to comply with the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) [@note to editorial team: insert link to respective section in the report].
This shows the commitment of the Brazilian insurance sector to the PSI and their engagement with Brazilian supervised entities implementing the recommendations issued by the TCFD.
Since then, even though no enforceable regulations have been issued to impose supervised entities to follow sustainable measures in their operations, SUSEP has been issuing regulations encouraging the supervised entities to make investments in sustainable portfolios and has a purpose to increase awareness of the importance of sustainability for the industry. This year, SUSEP has made a positive commitment in the regulatory plan for the year to enact specific regulation covering SESG.
Apart from the industry sectors but highly relevant to all industry sectors…
A new guidance for employers on LGBTQIA+rights has been issued by the Labour Public Prosecutor Office. In the end of 2020, a Technical Note was produced by the ‘Committee for the Promotion of Equal Opportunities and Elimination of Discrimination at Work’ (COORDIGUALDADE) providing guidelines for the protection of rights of members of the LGBTQIA+ community in the workplace.
The Technical Note contains 7 recommendations for employers. Although these are recommendations and not legally binding, compliance is important to ensure a healthy working environment for all employees and to avoid labor claims and other adverse consequences for the employer:
- employer should consider the employee’s Social Name for all purposes, regardless of whether there has been a legal name change;
- it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure a healthy working environment that preserves both the physical and psychosocial health of their employees. Therefore, employers should help to resolve Psychosocial Risks, adopting measures to prevent LGBTQIA+ employees from suffering, in any way, including Violence and Harassment arising from any prejudice and intolerance related to gender issues;
- it is recommended that transgender people have access to spaces in the workplace divided by gender, according to their gender identity, for instance in the case of bathrooms;
- LGBTQIA+ employees have the right to Parental Leave, as established by law;
- during the pandemic, employees living with people who are part of a risk group should be offered the possibility of performing their activities remotely, since it is the company’s responsibility to deal with the Compatibility of Professional and Family Responsibilities of their employees;
- employers must be aware of signs of Domestic Violence in their LGBTQIA+ employees and take appropriate action if signs are identified, i.e. by warning the competent authorities and prioritizing the safety of the victim;
There is a significant number of employers tending to focus on D&I policies and drafting new recruitment processes in order to avoid any type of discrimination in the workplace, since the admission selection of the candidate and the admission procedure.
To make the outcomes clear if Brazilian firms relentlessly exploit material SESG issues and opportunities in your respective industry sectors…
Harvard Business School has published a study in which they clearly demonstrate, based on an accounting standard setter, that firms across the world which have been consistently paying attention to material SESG issues did better than their competitors:
“[…] Firms performing better on material sustainability issues experience relatively more positive changes in profitability margins. Specifically, we find that changes in return-on-sales (ROS) and sales growth are more positive for the portfolio of firms performing better on material issues. […]
“We find that firms with superior performance on material sustainability issues outperform firms with inferior performance on material sustainability issues in the future” . [@note to editorial team: insert link to respective section in the report]
5. CMA & SESG
CMA alongside DLA Piper is committed to further developing its SESG strategy.
Given worldwide footprint, DLA Piper is on spotlight for SESG strategies across the globe, and CMA is also trailing the front line of this in Brazil:
“DLA Piper is equally committed to further developing its own already robust pro bono and diversity and inclusion programs. […]. Pro bono efforts span a number of areas, from supporting asylum seekers and serving vulnerable immigrants to assisting food banks and promoting juvenile justice. The firm’s D&I recognitions and initiatives include its certification as a Mansfield Plus firm and an Inclusion Blueprint Champion for Firm Leadership; its ongoing partnership with New York University’s Kenji Yoshino, Director of the Center for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging and Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law at NYU School of Law; pipeline development efforts such as the Raja Gaddipati Fellowship; and professional development programs through the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD)” . [@note to editorial team: insert link to respective DLA Piper site/presentation in the report]
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CMA’S D&I POLICY
In spite of progress in recent years, the legal profession continues to face challenges around diversity, and we are on a mission to change that. We recognize that generating meaningful improvement in this area requires intentional, systematic, and sustainable efforts, and we are steadfast in the commitments we have made to our people, our clients, and our communities to follow through on our goals. By establishing a diverse client team at the outset, and thus providing young, diverse associates with significant responsibility on client matters, we can continue to build and strengthen a diverse team for clients with deep institutional knowledge while simultaneously providing important professional opportunities for up-and-coming talent.
It is important to mention that CMA adheres, when applicable, do DLA Piper’s diversity initiatives.
One of our most relevant initiative on the D&I arena was the hiring of Tree Diversidade, a specialized consulting firm on D&I matter, which will assist us all long the way. [@note to editorial team: insert link to respective Tree Diversidade in the report]
COMPLIANCE POLICY AND PROGRAM
We believe that ethics and principles are the basis for any relationship, which is one of our values. That is why we have a Compliance Program encompassing: (i) a robust Code of Ethics and Conduct; (ii) an Ethics Committee; and (iii) a communication channel. The Code of Ethics and Conduct covers all integrity risks faced in the practice of law, especially, firm members behavior, confidentiality of information, conflict of interests, and relationship with clients, vendors, suppliers, competitors, government bodies and press.
Everyone at CMA has opportunities to grow and pathways to success are transparent. D&I committees, resource groups, professional development initiatives, and mentoring opportunities all engage diverse lawyers and their champions in working together toward a common goal: increased diversity at all levels throughout the firm. As an example, we can mention that, just over a year ago, our senior associates and partners joined the DLA Piper’s mentoring program for women lawyers in Latin American countries, whose main objective is the exchange of experiences and knowledge between them. One of the most important commitments we make to our people is to provide young, diverse lawyers with meaningful, client-facing experiences that facilitate relationship building laying an important foundation for increased career opportunities. Our policies, career plan and training are focused on talent retention and we understand that our clients value relationships.
CMA is a full-service law firm located in the main financial centres in Brazil, positioning us to assist clients with their legal needs throughout the country. For more than 10 years, we have been working in cooperation with DLA Piper, one of the largest law firms in the world (www.dlapiper.com), with lawyers located in more than 40 countries across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. The cooperation with DLA Piper provides access to a global platform with more than 4,500 lawyers from the energy & natural resources industry to insurance, covering different law areas of practice, locations (including UK and US) and cultures – all of them with the same global footprint. This exchange of knowledge between offices ensures more assertiveness and understanding of the clients’ needs in each region.
CMA has a comprehensive services platform and market presence to meet the needs of virtually any type or size of clients. We can assure you that no other law firm in Brazil can unite local and international culture and deliver high quality results with the most cost-effective standards. Our client portfolio ranges from multinational, Global 1000, and Fortune 500 enterprises to emerging companies developing industry-leading technologies.
From start-ups to premium investment funds, they trust us as a value-added business partner. CMA helps clients to meet their strategic planning.
HOW CAN WE HELP?
Because sustainability and SESG have become a board-level strategic issue and requires a broader, forward-looking approach, we can also help you:
- engage with your board and facilitate awareness raising sessions with senior-level executives based on our familiarity with global sustainability frameworks, standards and initiatives;
- identify sustainability and SESG topics relevant for your business, achieve clarity on your objectives and set up an action plan tailored to your business;
- put in place a sustainability and SESG governance structure with clear indicators, reporting lines and a framework of policies and procedures encompassing the full spectrum of the
- sustainability agenda;
- implement your action plan throughout your business lines from a legal and advisory perspective;
- manage your sustainability and SESG projects, including change management and training, and pilot cross-functional teams across multiple jurisdictions jointly with DLA Piper;
- carry out automated SESG due diligence as part of your transactions through Datamaran system; and
- structure and set up SESG products and services you intend to offer going forward;
HOW CAN WE AGGREGATE TO YOUR BUSINESS?
We maintain an ongoing SESG dialogue with major industry players and we contribute to SESG-related initiatives via industry associations, thought leadership and pro bono cooperation.
Quality and Experience
We work with a community of skilled and experienced lawyers including many former inhouse counsel, supervisors and other industry experts who bring the expertise and seniority to properly address your needs.
From Promise to Action
We help you to turn general principles and objectives into a business-focused SESG action strategy and to embed SESG in the DNA of your business, respecting the Rule of Three and, consequently, meeting the SESG’s three crucial elements.
We understand the disruptive power and chances of SESG and consider SESG from all angles relevant for your business.
Skilled in Law and Business
We are experienced in dealing with novel and work-in-progress legal frameworks and know how to break down and apply them pragmatically to your business.
Global and Local
We know what is relevant in your industry and together with DLA Piper we are able to connect you to global frameworks and initiatives on SESG (e.g. PRI, TCFD, GRI, Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance).
 The rights of members of the LGBTQIA+ community are based on the principles of human dignity, equality and non-discrimination, as set out in the Federal Constitution.
[Sugestão: criar email SESG@cmalaw.com; incluir membros do SESG Task Force, diferenciando-os de acordo com o setor. Por exemplo, Fabiano Gallo para energia; Marcella Hill para Seguros; Rafael Bussiere para Real Estate; etc. Um ponto global para recebimento, filtro e direcionamento de demandas (Natasha Najman)].