Foley Associate Hillary Vedvig recently presented at the American Bar Association’s 51st Annual Conference on Environmental Law in San Francisco, California. The Conference focused on the future of environmental law and how emerging topics and trends are fundamentally changing environmental law practices, including COVID-19, climate change, and emerging contaminants. The conference explored how the transformative movements over the past year have impacted business, environmental protection, and the engagement of diverse stakeholders. Panels and speakers addressed novel approaches on solutions to climate change, sustainability, clean air, agriculture, chemical management, natural disaster response, and other transformative issues.
Hillary also had the opportunity to present on a panel titled “ESG for Gen Z: Sustainable Finance and How Young People Are ‘Voting with Their Wallets’ and Raising the Bar on What’s Expected of Green-Minded Corporations.” In their discussion, they dug into questions related to sustainable finance, the proposed rulemaking by the Securities and Exchange Commission addressing greenhouse gas emissions reporting, and a variety of Environmental, Social, and Governance (“ESG”) initiatives and issues. The panel was moderated by Jill Cooper, Senior Principal at Geosyntec Consultants and Hillary’s co-panelists were Roger Martella, Chief Sustainability Officer at General Electric and Maram Salaheldin of Clark Hill. They addressed how consumers, investors, and employees are looking at the environmental and social impact of companies, especially from a Gen Z perspective. As companies start the process of making more extensive commitments on ESG metrics, they stressed the need for careful consideration of making ESG promises or commitments and how accountability will factor into whether such commitments by companies will truly make a difference, both the environment, and to consumers. The panel touched on topics that continue many new and existing discussions on ESG, which is becoming a more central topic in every day conversations in a variety of industry sectors, and from boardrooms to living rooms.
Stay tuned as new developments come up on ESG considerations, where Foley is committed to helping our clients navigate in this evolving area. For more information, please contact Hillary Vedvig or your Foley attorney.