ESGs and ABCs in the February Bar News

Cover of February 2023 Bar News depicting a glass piggy bank

A little over one year ago, the Harvard Business Review said that “virtually all of the world’s largest companies now issue a sustainability report and set goals; more than 2,000 companies have set a science-based carbon target; and about one-third of Europe’s largest public companies have pledged to reach net zero by 2050.” In other words, ESG is now the standard. But, of course, what the hell is ESG?

Seattle-based attorney and sustainability consultant Nicole DeNamur explains in the newest issue of Washington State Bar News that ESG—which stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance—describes data and reporting that is steadily gaining in market demand and federal regulatory oversight.

Rising investor interest combined with rising regulatory activity “signal a market shift away from sustainability as a marketing tool and toward recognizing environmental, social, and governance metrics as meaningful business metrics,” DeNamur writes. In her detailed overview of ESG (which expands upon and updates her earlier articles published on NWSidebar), DeNamur highlights the challenges and opportunities that come with the ESG framework.

While ESG can make for good reading, something more lighthearted is always welcome. This month, as Bar News does every year, we bring you books as recommended and reviewed by WSBA members and staff. The list of books will delight, inspire, and provoke—as will a months-long project to digitally archive Bar News issues dating back to 1954.

Also this month, WSBA President Daniel D. Clark speaks from the heart about his mentor, the late Chief Justice Mary E. Fairhurst. Ethics columnist Mark Fucile talks about the team sport that is co-counsel relationships. Amanda K. Stephen explains the underground scholars initiative language guide to help you reduce bias in your legal writing. Benjamin Gould explores Washington’s “ABC rule” on attorney fees from collateral litigation. Last but not least, Paul Luvera provides a few tips on how to improve your trial cross-examination technique.