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The ESG Collaborative


ESG Collaborative


Illustrative examples of our environmental ESG counseling experience include:

  • Advising on drafting and launching corporate sustainability programs, including ethical sourcing of raw materials, environmental impact investment, operational sustainability and carbon footprint reduction.
  • Counseling on the financing, purchase and use of energy efficiency equipment and solar and wind power systems and fuel cells, including innovative arrangements to utilize tax credits and utility incentives.
  • Advising on financing a portfolio of renewable energy and battery storage projects to reduce carbon emissions and improve the environment in developing nations.
  • Counseling on negotiating power purchase agreements and offtake contracts for the use of energy generated by waste-to-energy, wind, solar, bioenergy and geothermal resources.
  • Advising on meeting greenhouse gas emissions goals and achieving LEED and other sustainability certifications, reducing waste generation, and increasing the use of low-emissions vehicles and technologies.
  • Counseling a utility scale electric generating station on transactional, regulatory and government affairs matters, including an agreement to repurpose the plant into the leading state-of-the-art commercial scale carbon capture utilization and sequestration facility and wholesale power generator.
  • Advising a renewable energy projects developer on acquiring and preserving farmland throughout the U.S. for sustainable agriculture purposes.
  • Advising on innovative projects to identify energy efficiency cost savings opportunities.
  • Advising manufacturers on the potential use of solar and wind power and projects to help reduce energy costs and support sustainability initiatives.
  • Counseling financial institutions on solar and wind power offtake contracts to help them achieve carbon credits/offsets goals.
  • Managing comprehensive environmental energy audits at manufacturing facilities around the globe.
  • Spearheading comprehensive EHS audits with a focus on implementing best practices in waste management and mitigation and identifying additional recycling opportunities.
  • Providing guidance on compiling data to market and report on the manufacturing of more sustainable products to prevent claims of greenwashing and related regulatory prohibitions.
  • Providing federal Clean Air Act and California Air Resources Board counseling to original equipment manufacturers on a variety of issues, such as emissions regulations (including tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions and hydrofluorocarbon phasedowns and prohibitions), electric vehicles and other alternative fuels, warranty and recall requirements and best practices, and attendant mobile state and federal mobile source matters.
  • Formulating environmental management systems, including policies and procedures to manage environmental risk and increase compliance with health and safety laws and regulations.


Our experience advising on the social aspects of ESG criteria includes:

  • Advising on human capital management programs.
  • Providing guidance on all matters affecting the employer-employee relationship, including regulatory compliance, traditional labor and union relations, immigration, OSHA and workers’ compensation.
  • Assisting in developing employee handbooks and policies such as sexual harassment prevention, anti-discrimination and social media policies.
  • Conducting employer training programs on employment issues such as workplace culture, remote work arrangements, anti-harassment, workplace investigations and ADA compliance.
  • Representing employers in a broad range of litigation, including cases involving discrimination, harassment, FMLA, wage/hour and retaliation.
  • Advising on structuring compensation to incentivize the achievement of ESG objectives.
  • Assisting with OSHA-related investigations.
  • Assisting with employee health and welfare plans and employee compensation, incentive and benefit programs, including equity compensation plans and stock purchase plans.
  • Assisting with ESG-related contractual commitments (supplier, vendor and otherwise).
  • Assessing supply chains for compliance with conflict minerals regulations, including conducting due diligence on supply chain partners and identifying risk areas, and drafting conflicts minerals reports.
  • Assisting with executive succession plans and crisis management.
  • Advising on internal and external communications addressing developing social issues.
  • Helping companies identify and mitigate potential forced labor, modern slavery, trafficking and related risks in their supply chains and counseling them on building compliance and sustainability programs, preparing disclosures and preparing for supply chain audits.


Examples of the ESG-related governance counsel we’ve provided include:

  • Assisting in developing and implementing ESG programs.
  • Advising on SEC and other public disclosures in proxy statements, annual reports and investor messaging, including addressing the SEC’s new human capital disclosure requirements, and in response to the SEC’s evolving climate and other ESG guidance as well as addressing expectations of shareholders and other constituencies.
  • Assisting in implementing board and committee policies related to ESG and ESG risk oversight, including board duties and processes, disclosures, committee charters, codes of conduct and ethics, and other corporate governance policies.
  • Advising on shareholder proposals, activism campaigns and shareholder engagement.
  • Assisting with director independence determinations, potential conflicts of interest and related party transactions.
  • Assisting in developing ESG metrics for compensation programs.
  • Advising on integrating ESG factors into ERISA plan investment decisions and other considerations for fiduciaries making ESG-related investment decisions and exercising their shareholder rights.
  • Providing guidance on how using a behavioral interview process and well-designed board self-assessments can help companies recruit and retain successful and high-performing directors while renewing their commitment to racial and ethnic diversity.
  • Advising on state diversity laws and Nasdaq’s proposed new listing requirements to address board diversity, which would require most Nasdaq-listed companies to have (or disclose reasons for not having) at least two diverse directors, including one who self-identifies as female and one who self-identifies as either an underrepresented minority or LGBTQ+.
  • Assisting with internal and regulatory investigations.
  • Advising multinational corporations on compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other anti-corruption laws, including developing governance documentation and representing companies and individuals in DOJ and SEC enforcement actions.
  • Advising on ESG due diligence in M&A transactions.
  • Providing guidance on collecting, transferring and processing personal and consumer data to ensure strong data privacy safeguards and reduce risks.
  • Designing data compliance programs and advising on mitigating damage if a breach occurs.
  • Advising investment companies, investment advisers and other financial industry participants on legal, regulatory, enforcement and other ESG trends.

Our ESG team advises on:

  • Acquiring real estate necessary to support ESG-related projects
  • Board matters, including strategies for responding to activists
  • Corporate governance and ESG disclosures
  • Corporate integrity and compliance
  • Development of ESG programs
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Counseling
  • Employment issues
  • Environmental regulatory compliance
  • Energy efficiency projects
  • Energy reduction audits
  • ESG executive compensation issues
  • Human rights compliance in supply chains
  • Investment portfolio risk assessments and responsible investment strategies
  • Mass torts and securities claims
  • Power purchase agreements
  • Prevention of greenwashing claims
  • Public company reporting compliance
  • Renewable energy projects including solar and wind power
  • Strategic corporate risk assessments
  • Supplier and vendor contractual ESG matters
  • Supply chain management and circular economy strategies
  • Sustainable and green finance and investment
  • Tax credits for sustainable investments
  • Waste reduction and recycling
  • Water conservation and resource management


Thompson Hine is committed to being a responsible corporate citizen and to promoting the benefits of sustainability. For example, we are working hard to decrease our environmental footprint by implementing measures such as recycling, double-sided printing, timed lights and other sustainable practices. One larger-scale initiative we have undertaken is a major scanning project to decrease our paper consumption. We scan physical records and files and store them electronically instead of maintaining hard copies in off-site storage locations. In addition, as our office spaces have been renovated, we have followed the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) guidelines. We have incorporated an open-concept design in all our offices, allowing for natural lighting throughout the space. Other features include motion-sensing lighting and HVAC systems.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

We have long been dedicated to fostering a culture where diversity, equity and inclusion thrive. Through our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiative and our Spotlight on Women® program, we seek to recruit, retain and advance diverse lawyers and provide the tools and resources they need to grow and succeed in their careers. To enhance our efforts, we implemented a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategic Plan that is specific and contains concrete action steps, measurable metrics and detailed objectives to ensure our progress in these important areas. Our commitment extends beyond our firm into the legal profession and the communities in which we live and work. Examples of the steps we have taken include:

  • Implementing an innovative recruiting and hiring model designed to eliminate bias and identify critical traits and behaviors that are indicators of success within our organization.
  • Earning Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Rule 6.0 Certification in 2023 (our fourth consecutive year of achieving certification) and committing to 7.0 certification. The goal of the Mansfield Rule is to increase the representation of women lawyers, attorneys from underrepresented racial and/or ethnic groups, attorneys with disabilities and lawyers who are members of the LGBTQ+ community (collectively, “historically underrepresented lawyers”) in leadership by broadening the pool of lawyers who are considered for significant leadership and governance roles, lateral openings, promotions and pitch opportunities. The Mansfield Rule measures whether law firms have (1) affirmatively considered at least 30% historically underrepresented lawyers and (2) tracked the demographic makeup of the candidate pools for the above-mentioned leadership roles and activities in the firm, allowing firms to improve recruiting, development and advancement of historically underrepresented lawyers.
  • Collaborating with our clients and external organizations on initiatives aimed at advancing diversity within the firm and the legal profession overall, including fellowships for diverse summer associates.
  • Attaining membership in the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), a group of corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners dedicated to creating a truly diverse U.S. legal profession, and annually sponsoring our diverse summer associates and attorneys to participate in the LCLD Scholars, Pathfinders and Fellows programs.

For more information, please see our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion page.

Pro Bono

Thompson Hine’s commitment to pro bono legal work arises from our conviction that pro bono work is a professional obligation of our firm and our lawyers to the communities in which we practice. Pro bono work not only contributes to the public welfare but also helps our lawyers develop as leaders in law and in public service. Our pro bono service includes counseling and representation of clients who could not otherwise afford representation, as well as services in matters involving significant public policy issues.

Thompson Hine provides the same outstanding legal counseling and representation for our pro bono clients that all of our clients expect and deserve. The firm makes all of its resources available in pro bono matters no less than in matters of our other clients. We strongly encourage each of our lawyers and other professionals to participate in our pro bono program.

Community Engagement

We strongly believe that it is our responsibility as good corporate citizens to help enrich our communities, and we have a long history of assisting charitable and civic organizations on a firmwide, practice and office basis. We encourage all lawyers and employees to participate in and support programs that positively impact the quality of life for our neighbors and friends. Our attorneys and staff members also serve on the boards of numerous nonprofit and community organizations. For more information, please see this partial list of the organizations Thompson Hine supports with volunteers, sponsorships, donations and other efforts.

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