Sustainable Finance and Responsible Investment has, in a few short years, moved from being a nascent concept and outlying asset class, to an issue of global importance which is front and centre of political, legal and market priorities. Although the rise to prominence has been market led, regulation is catching up.
The rise of ESG
This rise of sustainable finance and responsible investment and the integration of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) factors brings both risks and opportunities for financial institutions and investors.
The opportunities are very real. The global flow of assets into ESG equity funds surged by 45.7% during 2019 compared to the previous year. This represents nearly £450bn worth of assets under management.
Complementing its wider action plan on climate change, the EU launched an action plan for financing sustainable growth. This will introduce a legislative framework and taxonomy for sustainable finance.
Meanwhile the UK government has published the Green Finance Strategy. Its core principles, ‘Greening Finance’, ‘Financing Green’ and ‘Capturing the Opportunity’ set out what it expects from lenders and investors to support the UK’s 2050 net zero target.
How CMS can help with ESG
Our financial institutions expertise extends across banking, insurance, asset management, pension funds, regulatory, capital markets and derivatives. Whether you are a bank, insurer, trustee, investment or fund manager, adviser, broker or fintech founder, we can help you navigate the sustainability agenda.
Our holistic approach to ESG and climate action draws on specialists from across the firm to advise you.
Market-leading experience in sectors aligned to green finance such as renewables, ESG funds, green real estate finance and infrastructure deals.
Advice on the structuring of green finance, bonds and impact investment.
Market-leading financial regulatory advice on EU and national legislation and guidance on sustainability.
Advice and auditing of ESG risks, reporting and opportunities.
- Market-leading experience in sectors aligned to green finance such as renewables, ESG funds, green real estate finance and infrastructure deals.
- Advice on the structuring of green finance, bonds and impact investment.
- Market-leading financial regulatory advice on EU and national legislation and guidance on sustainability.
- Advice and auditing of ESG risks, reporting and opportunities.
Sustainable Finance & Responsible Investment selected track record
Advising on regulatory frameworks
Advising major banks, insurers and asset managers on principles likely to underpin regulatory frameworks including, EU Action Plan for Financing Sustainable Growth, Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related financial disclosures, LMA Green Loan Principles, ICMA Green Bond principles.
Advised various banks, private equity and real asset funds such as Columbia Threadneedle Investments, and John Laing Infrastructure Fund on energy efficiency, carbon and related reporting obligations across the EU. Advices included Article 8 of the Energy Efficiency Directive, ESOS and CRC.
First legal adviser to GRESB
Appointed as the first-ever legal partner of the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB), the leading ESG benchmark for real estate and infrastructure investments across the world.
Nordic renewable financing
Acting for Santander, NordLB, UniCredit, Rabobank and SMBC as lenders, and Crédit Agricole as agent, security agent and account bank, in reaching financial close on the €310m project financing of Nordic Renewable Power AB, a renewable energy company owned by Green Investment Group.
We have acted for many well-known organisations, such as Aberdeen UK Property Fund, Berkeley Homes, BUPA Insurance, Lonsdale Capital Partners, M&G Property Portfolio, Santander and SEGRO Industrial Estates, and others on large real estate transactions involving significant environment risk.
Tracking sustainability legislation
Ongoing advice and monitoring on forthcoming sustainability legislation for a major fund manager across European jurisdictions including the UK, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland and Spain.
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