ESG: Environmental, Social and Governance

ESG is a hot topic, and rightly so. It is a term with growing significance.

Consequently, companies increasingly feel the urgency to take responsibility for the climate and society. This sense of urgency is reinforced by more critical consumer and investor behaviour and increasingly stringent laws and regulations. But not only that.  Court cases - such as the climate case against Royal Dutch Shell - have also awakened organisations. The urgency to take responsibility for climate and society and start pursuing an ESG policy is present and provided by more and more and stricter laws and regulations. But where to start? What developments are, how do you implement ESG in your organisation? What ESG standards and guidelines are there and what regulations do you need to comply with? 

What is ESG?

But what exactly is ESG? Which international and national laws and regulations are relevant to your organisation when it comes to ESG? How can you adapt your policies and processes to better manage ESG risks?

The abbreviation ESG stands for 'environmental', 'social' and 'governance', which in Dutch translates as environment, society and governance aka good corporate governance. 


'Environment' deals with business activities affecting the environment. These include Co2 emissions, pollution of air, water and land, use and recycling of raw materials, use of renewable energy, deforestation and water consumption. 


'Society' means the organisation's relationships with its stakeholders. This includes working conditions, diversity, equal opportunities, privacy protection, child labour and the personal development of employees within the company. Also, 'society' is about monitoring suppliers' compliance with the ESG standards prevailing within the company; so-called chain responsibility. 

Governance aka good corporate governance

Finally, 'good corporate governance' stands for dealing with corruption, reasonable executive pay, relations with governments, transparent ownership and control structures and tax transparency. 

What can Van Benthem & Keulen's ESG team help you with? 

Organisations will face far-reaching ESG reporting requirements in the coming years.

By making your organisation ''ESG-proof'' as much as possible (now), you avoid problems in the future and increase the value and good image of your organisation. 

Our ESG team can help you identify which ESG obligations currently apply or will apply to your organisation. These include obligations regarding due diligence, reporting, green financing, employment practices, tenders, sustainable investments and business acquisitions, ESG and compliance and sustainable supply. But prohibitions such as 'greenwashing' may also come into play.

Our multidisciplinary team

ESG is an organisation-wide topic. From legal, HR, procurement to marketing, everyone has to deal with it. ESG therefore requires a multidisciplinary approach par excellence. Our multidisciplinary ESG team consists of specialists who, on the one hand, have specialist knowledge in their field and, on the other, extensive knowledge of ESG and its laws and regulations. They are used to working together on challenges and issues from within an organisation. As a result, they can think along with you about your current situation in a very specific and organisation-specific way and can quickly identify which new ESG obligations apply specifically to your organisation or will apply.