The GC Role in ESG? Leader!

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What role should General Counsel play in driving their company’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) programs? It’s an important question, made increasingly relevant as companies begin to address their responsibilities and actions in the face of the ongoing pandemic, climate crisis, and protests against systemic injustice.

According to Jeff Levinson, Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary at NetScout, the role that General Counsel should play is clear – Leader, and in his cover story for ACC Docket, he explains why and how.

At NetScout, Levinson is responsible for the company’s global legal strategy and legal operations. He plays a strategic role in achieving corporate goals, leading the legal team in support of corporate initiatives, and supporting the company’s ESG, charitable, and community efforts.  

Read the full article The GC Role in ESG? Leader in the November 2020 issue of ACC Docket. We’ve shared a portion, below.

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Amid the pandemic and all that implies, amid the climate crisis, amid protests against systemic racism, amid challenges to the rule of law, amid all of this and more, companies are reckoning with their corporate responsibility to shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers, and their communities. The world has changed, but what has not changed is corporate responsibility. It is now in even sharper relief as companies grapple with different needs and urgency. What has changed is how companies challenge themselves to do more and how we challenge ourselves to do more. General counsel can help lead the way. 

General counsel are accustomed to managing governance, the “G” issues in ESG. They regularly advise the board of directors and work with the C-suite to develop policies and programs. GCs also have some experience with environmental and social issues, like conflict minerals with supply chain managers, hazardous waste oversight with facilities operators, fair labor and employment practices with human resource partners, data privacy and security with CISOs, and climate disclosure under Securities and Exchange Commission Reg S-K.

What is different is the fast-rising prominence of the “E” and “S” issues and the role GCs are positioned to play in propelling ESG programs.The situation is heightened in smalland mid-cap companies that face this challenge without the dedicated sustainability groups that most large-cap companies have…

Continue reading in the digital November 2020 ACC Docket.