Why ESG matters

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors have not only become more prevalent in today’s commercial world. They are now a critical component in the success of businesses in all sectors, of all shapes and sizes, and at all stages of their lifecycles.

Investors have been using ESG factors to make capital allocation decisions and to monitor asset performance for a while, often demanding that investee businesses have formal ESG policies in place. Regulations now require disclosure against these factors in corporate reporting. SMEs are also increasingly being held to account in terms of their ESG credentials as businesses assess their suppliers. In all cases, wider stakeholders are now looking at the ESG performance of businesses.

Quite simply, ESG makes good business sense. As the world changes rapidly, businesses that manage their ESG risks – and ready themselves to capitalise on the opportunities it presents – are much more likely to survive and thrive in the future.

And it is in managing those risks, while identifying the opportunities, that the help of an ESG legal specialist such as Burges Salmon can make all the difference.

ESG is an opportunity to succeed

For your business, ESG can represent opportunity. We are expert in helping you review, mitigate and manage the legal risks associated with ESG. But we can do more than that for you.

We will help you identify upcoming regulation, trends and market forces that could shape your product and service development – and work with you to define strategies to turn them to your advantage. We will also help with your knowledge planning, to ensure you are always ahead of the curve and proactive in your ESG methodology.

ESG is in our past, present and future

ESG is not just a trend or movement we are following. It is part of our heritage. A fundamental strand of our DNA. We were one of the first legal firms to set up a dedicated environment team, more than 25 years ago. Since then, we have broadened and deepened our expertise, moving way beyond transactional support to provide advisory and forward-thinking advice.

Alongside the legal services we provide, ESG sits at the heart of our business philosophy. As an organisation, we have the courage to care – for you and your business ambitions, for the people in our team, and for the world around us. ESG is about long-term perspective and we are ready to go on a long-term journey with you.

Sustainability and ESG at Burges Salmon

Sustainability and ESG is core to our purpose and our long-standing commitment to being a responsible business. We have strong ESG credentials as signatories to the UN Global Compact, members of Business in the Community, and having achieved various ISO certifications and other accreditations.

We have been independently assessed by EcoVadis, across a broad spectrum of ESG criteria, and achieved their Gold Sustainability Standard for ranking in the top 5% of participant organisations. We also participate in a variety of benchmarks, including CDP Climate, as part of our commitment to continuous improvement.

Areas of focus

Our services cover the full spectrum of ESG considerations, including:





Advising an educational charity with significant landholdings on developing its ESG strategy and assisting with implementation of the strategy.

Advice to a global technology company on compliance with modern slavery legislation.

Advising Kinetic Capital on a £39m loan facility which will finance the development of student accommodation in Nottingham. The transaction is also the first in Kinetic’s ESG programme, through which the lender offers financial incentives for borrowers to deliver on pre-agreed ESG objectives with a focus on initiatives that support the mental health and wellbeing of students.

Advising a French fashion house on its ESG compliance including advising the Board on climate change risk reporting.

Advising a private equity fund on ESG risks arising from the acquisition of a target operating in a sensitive market, including assisting the fund in understanding the rapidly evolving regulatory regime for the target's business.

Advising trustees on risk mitigation strategies in cases where they are asked to invest a high percentage, or the totality, of trust assets in ESG investments.

Reviewing a local authority pension fund’s policies on investment and ESG and advising on a response to an international charity in the context of overseas investment.

Working in partnership with the Scottish Financial Enterprise and delivering the first session of its climate and sustainability-themed COP26 series on 25 March 2021 focusing on ‘Achieving a Net Zero Economy.

Advising fund managers on their ESG policies and communications.

Advising Blue Gem Wind on all aspects of its 96MW floating wind demonstration project, Erebus.

Advising Bristol City Council in respect of the City Leap Energy Partnership, a transformative and innovative project to procure a strategic partner to develop, construct and own a number of energy and infrastructure opportunities to facilitate the council’s ambition of Bristol being a carbon neutral city by 2030.

Advising Progressive Energy and Cadent on the flagship Hynet North West Carbon Capture and Storage and hydrogen cluster project in relation to CO2 aspects and pipelines as well as other participants in all Government led CCUS commercialisation competitions to date.

Principal legal adviser to the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, assisting it with its mission to research and develop fusion energy and associated technologies.

Advising M&S on the award winning community energy scheme, M&S Energy Society, which involves the purchase by M&S of renewable electricity generated by solar panels installed on its stores across the UK, with the generating infrastructure being financed by members of community energy organisation Energy4All.

Advising the developer of a plant which will convert local NHS hospital clinical waste into clean energy.

Advising developers, local authorities, funders and customers on low carbon heat networks and solutions.

Meet the team
Kirsty Green-Mann 2022

Kirsty Green Mann Head of Corporate Responsibility

  • Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability
  • Environmental Management and Assessment 
  • Diversity and Inclusion
Ian Truman

Ian Truman Partner

  • Nuclear
  • Projects
  • Environment
Peter Dunn

Peter Dunn Senior Associate

• Mergers and Acquisitions

• Corporate Advice

• Infrastructure

Joanne Attwood

Joanne Attwood Consultant

  • Head of Licensing
  • Environment
  • Water
Jamie Cameron

Jamie Cameron Director

  • Employment
  • Business Immigration Services
  • Employment Disputes

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