Irwin Mitchell’s Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) Advisory Service Brings Together 80 Service Lines
Irwin Mitchell is launching a new Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) Advisory Service for corporate and institutional clients leading with new products to audit cyber security and help clients with diversity and inclusion assessment, support and training.
The immediate focus sees the firm bring together its ESG Advisory Services for clients including 80 different service lines.
Alongside the advisory services will be a new web portal where clients will be able to access materials to help them in building their ESG strategies, there will be other new products launching in the next few months including:
- An in-depth cyber security audit which tests key risk areas and checks multiple controls to provide an assessment of the cyber risk profile and digital footprint of the business
- A diversity and inclusion assessment that will help evaluate existing policies and procedures and give recommendations for improvement
- The first in a suite of diversity and inclusion training modules which can be tailored and personalised to meet clients’ needs.
The advisory services, thought leadership, training and audits will also contain specific advice from Irwin Mitchell’s sector experts in sport, real estate, manufacturing, financial services, consumer services and education.
Irwin Mitchell is already working with many organisations in the ESG space including property developer Artisan which is turning 11 acres of land into a sustainable community near the Salt Mills World Heritage site at Saltaire Shipley, West Yorkshire; and Landlink Estates which is developing a business park utilising renewable and alternative energy sources as part of the scheme.
Irwin Mitchell has also set out its commitment to environmental, social and governance principles in recent years with a responsible business strategy focused on sustainability and inclusion. Recently, the firm published an in depth annual Responsible Business Report, which highlighted progress made and aspirations for the future:
- A leader in the legal industry for gender equality – with the highest percentage of female partners and a low gender pay gap
- Ranked 16th in the Great Place to Work Index for Super Large Businesses across the UK with new wellbeing initiatives, improved menopause support for colleagues and achieving Level 2 Disability Confident as an employer
- Publishing its environment strategy and road map to Net Zero by 2040 with a target to achieve 100% renewable electricity across its offices by 2025. The firm is also working with the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTI) to verify its plans
- Bespoke training programme for 60 colleagues involved in ESG advisory services.
A survey of 200 businesses showed that 42% had already implemented or revised their ESG strategy while 35% were looking at options to form their strategy and 22% are just beginning to start their ESG journey*.
are mostly seeing ESG as a vital part of their sustainable growth strategies,
opening doors to new customers and allowing them to retain clients and
colleagues. It can also give them a competitive advantage in a crowded market.
Expert Opinion“As a legal and financial services firm, ESG runs through almost everything we do. Our ESG Advisory Service is about making sure that our clients get value from their ESG advice, as well as benefitting from the experience of our own ESG journey.
“Due to the nature of our work, we’re an ideal partner for ESG services. With expertise in compliance and regulations we typically apply less bias to a business situation and provide objective advice and guidance on legislative issues. Where we believe Irwin Mitchell can add further value is in helping clients in areas of strength for us such as diversity and inclusion and cyber security.
“The driver for some business leaders may be client demand, others are swayed by their moral compass or internal colleague requests, and for some it’s a desire to be a more sustainable business in the widest sense.
“Many people think 2023 could be a tough year but far from being an additional cost, getting ESG right can help businesses both save money and make money. There is good evidence to demonstrate that businesses that are purpose led and that build ESG into the heart of their business strategy deliver improved financial and commercial performance.”
Victoria Brackett, Chief Commercial Officer
Expert Opinion“Similarly to Irwin Mitchell’s own approach to being a responsible business, our research shows that businesses generally believe all three pillars of ESG are considered to be of equal importance. In order to address the risks and realise the opportunities which environmental, social and governance issues create, it is essential that we look at them holistically and through the lens of our different stakeholders.
“At Irwin Mitchell we’ve made significant strides on our Responsible Business strategy in the past few years, setting out our roadmap to Net Zero and our environmental strategy as well as focusing hard on diversity and inclusion with new policies and procedures in place to create a more inclusive workplace.
“It’s no surprise that three-quarters of the businesses our team spoke to want to see that their advisors have already implemented their own ESG policies and initiatives. It’s part of our culture t to share our own progress in this area with our clients and help them with their own ESG journey.” Kate Fergusson, Head of Responsible Business