Chief compliance officers have overtaken role of leading ESG from in-house counsel

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Here’s the key findings from the survey results of in-house counsel about ESG issues conducted by Morrison & Foester and Corporate Counsel:

– ESG’s compliance has come into sharper focus as regulation of corporate action and disclosure, especially as it relates to climate, increases globally and C-suite executives, board members, and in-house legal teams adapt.

– 2023 may well be a bellwether, as boards increasingly focus on ESG’s “E” (environmental) and “S” (social), expending fewer resources on “G” (governance) than the prior year.

– Chief compliance officers have quickly overtaken the role of leading ESG compliance from in-house counsel. In 2023, 55% report ESG compliance is led by chief compliance officers. Just one year earlier, 54% of 2022 respondents reported that ESG compliance was led by legal departments. In 2023, 71% combined C-suite and chief compliance personnel-led ESG compliance, compared with 2022’s 63% combined general counsel equivalents and legal departments.