• Ampersand Partners

Blog Series: Contribution of the legal profession towards mainstreaming ESG



Companies globally are increasingly having to define their ESG strategy. And that strategy not only encompasses the activities of the company, but also its broader value chain.


Service providers, including law firms, must now demonstrate to clients how their ESG values align. In other words, they need to start walking the talk. This is a recent evolution for legal service proviers, presenting a unique opportunity for them to start driving impact across the value chain - moving beyond just providing advice on compliance.



In this six part blog series, Homy Dayani-Fard is in conversation with Yannick Hausmann and Adrian Peyer, Co-founders of impactvise, an ESG data analytics, consulting and education provider – dedicated to legal professionals, both law firms and in-house general counsel.



Let's hear about their sustainability

journeys.


YH:

I'm the co-founder of impactvise, and the former Group General Counsel at Zurich. I was Group General Counsel for almost 12 years, responsible for legal, compliance, and regulatory affairs globally.


During that time, I experienced the evolution of ESG in a multinational corporation. In the beginning, ESG was a side topic, discussed primarily in specialised committees. In recent times, the topic of ESG became centre stage, not only amongst management, but also at the board level. For me, one of the biggest evolutions was to see that ESG is becoming part of how a company is run and how a company is organised.

The question I raised for myself was, “what is the contribution of a legal team towards the ESG journey?” And for me, personally, I realised that simply advising on ESG topics is just not enough.

AP:

I was also with Zurich Insurance Group for almost 20 years in different legal positions including Company Secretary of the Zurich Group and General Counsel Corporate Center.


As Yannick outlined, we certainly saw the rise of ESG within the company but also externally.

One action that the legal function is able to take is putting ESG explicitly into consideration when selecting law firms to work with. And having been responsible for this process at the group level, it was a good opportunity to start engaging with law firms on what they do on ESG themselves. That was my initial step into sustainability.

At the same time the pandemic hit, and I asked myself 'what can the lawyers contribute and help in this health crisis?'. I initiated “Legal Solidarity”, a project providing pro bono legal support for individuals and SMEs in need due to the pandemic. That really gave me the push to say there is more to do for the lawyers in today’s economy. That's when I took the final step to leave Zurich and co-founded impactvise.


Stay tuned: In our second blog, we will hear from Yannick and Adrian about the imperative of law firms to take a stand on social issues.


 

About us:

Ampersand Partners is a management consultancy bringing strategic clarity and execution momentum to accelerate the transition to a sustainable, regenerative economy. The Energy Transition and Sustainability practice helps energy companies navigate the energy transition and non-energy clients deliver their net zero ambitions.


impactvise enables lawyers to act and advise for positive impact by providing industry-leading ESG data analytics, sustainability-oriented consulting, and educational training for the legal services sector.



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