Lawyers Supporting the Impact Revolution
The age of impact economics has arrived and it is reshaping the business landscape. Customers expect companies to not just act ethically, but to take a role at the forefront of the challenges facing society, particularly climate change, social injustice and human rights. Investors are increasingly looking for impact in addition to financial gain. Instruments like the SDGs and the ten principles of the UN Global Compact provide a roadmap for what society needs from the business world if we are to solve the problems facing the world.
What does this mean for the legal profession? The rapid changes in business require a new mindset from lawyers.
The legal profession traditionally tends to look inwards, focusing on the problems and risks inherent in a business, but by shifting our perspective outwards and forwards, lawyers are ideally placed to find new legal solutions that can create genuine impact.
For example, impact investing and impact funds are already gaining a foothold, using private capital to not only pursue a profit, but also measurable benefits for society. In the energy sector, decarbonisation projects need new contractual structures.
As lawyers, we can make the biggest difference by helping our clients develop their own sustainability. To do that most effectively, we have to understand the demands that sustainability put on our clients inside and out. To us, that means that we can’t just talk the talk, we have to walk the walk.
At the beginning of 2020, Castrén & Snellman became the first Finnish law firm to join the UN Global Compact. We have also calculated our carbon footprint as the foundation for a significant reduction in our emissions. Our key sustainability goals are to promote equality, fight climate change and promote the rule of law.