As the sustainability movement grows, so too do the ambiguities under which boards of directors govern. In this article published by the National Association of Corporate Directors, Thomas R. Burton and Benjamin D. Stone, members of our Energy & Sustainability practice group, provide suggestions for how boards can navigate this exciting but still developing sector and help corporations generate both profits and positive impact.

“It is encouraging to live in a time where society is increasingly insisting that corporations generate and measure social impact alongside profit. Not only is this a positive development from a moral perspective, but it’s also good business. In the report, “From the Stockholder to the Stakeholder: How Sustainability Can Drive Financial Outperformance,” for example, Oxford University and Arabesque Asset Management establish that corporations that “incorporate sustainability considerations into decision-making processes . . . show better operational performance and are less risky.”

Mainstream financial and business leaders appear to, in large part, agree. In 2017, Larry Fink, chair of Blackrock, the world’s largest asset manager, sent a letter to CEOs stating that, “to prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.” Investors are following suit, with eighty-four percent (84%) applying or considering Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria.”

Read the full article: “Stakeholders’ Desire for Sustainability Presents Opportunities and Challenges for Boards”

A law recently enacted by the Massachusetts legislature and signed by Governor Charlie Baker will increase the use of renewable fuels to produce electricity, allow the development of more offshore wind farms, enable more technologies to qualify for energy efficiency incentives and increase the use of technologies that store electricity. It is the third clean energy law enacted in Massachusetts since 2016.

Passed by a vote of 150-1 in the House of Representatives and 36-0 in the Senate on July 31st, the last day of formal sessions this year, “An Act to Advance Clean Energy” (H. 4857) was the product of a conference committee tasked with reconciling significant differences between one large Senate bill and four relatively modest House bills. The resulting compromise aligns more closely with the House legislation than the omnibus bill passed by the Senate, but its significance should not be underestimated.

Continue Reading Expansion of Clean Energy Policies Continues

It has been over two years since Governor Baker enacted the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program, and nearly one year since the state’s Department of Energy Resources (DOER) released its final set of proposed regulations for the program. In our latest SMART update, we take a look at where the program currently stands and what energy providers can expect next (read our previous updates here and here).

Continue Reading Update on Massachusetts SMART Program: Where Are We Now?

In May, Mintz Levin client Axiom Exergy closed an impressive $7.6 million Series A round to scale its cold-storage device for grocery stores, bringing its total fundraising to $12.5 million. Led by Shell Ventures and GXP Investments, this financing will allow the innovative thermal storage startup to expand from two pilot installations to fleet-wide rollouts and reinforce its cloud-based data analytics for optimizing electricity consumption.
Continue Reading June Leader in the News: Axiom Exergy Closes $7.6 Million Series A with a New Thermal Storage Model for Grocery Stores

The world is changing! Over the last several years, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria have been an emerging focus in the investing world, primarily driven by equity investors where it can be harder for a company raising funds to correlate capital costs with ESG impact. Last month, multinational food-products giant Danone Group and its bank group, led by BNP Paribas, redefined the ESG landscape with a credit facility that is said to directly link borrowing rates to  “verified positive impact on the word.”

Continue Reading Save the World, Reduce Your Cost of Capital: How Danone is Turning ESG Impact into Lower Borrowing Costs

Analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance finds that roughly 18% of U.S. energy generation is supplied by renewable sources. The details can be found in the 2018 edition of the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook, Bloomberg’s dive into the country’s energy mix and evaluation of how various renewable energy industries are faring.

Continue Reading New Bloomberg Report Finds that Renewables Supply All-Time High of 18% of U.S. Energy Generation

In this four-part series, we revisit 2017’s biggest developments in Energy & Sustainability-related news, milestones, policy changes, and financial transactions. This is the fourth installment of the series. Click to read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Continue Reading Energy & Sustainability 2017 Year in Review: Notable Deals and Financial Activities (Part 4 of 4)

In this four-part series, we revisit 2017’s biggest developments in Energy & Sustainability-related news, milestones, policy changes, and financial transactions. This is the third installment of the series. Click to read Part 1 and Part 2.

Continue Reading Energy & Sustainability 2017 Year in Review: Policy Developments (Part 3 of 4)

In this four-part series, we revisit 2017’s biggest developments in Energy & Sustainability-related news, milestones, policy changes, and financial transactions. This is the second installment of the series. Click to read Part 1.

Continue Reading Energy & Sustainability 2017 Year in Review: Milestones (Part 2 of 4)

In this four-part series, we revisit 2017’s biggest developments in Energy & Sustainability-related news, milestones, policy changes, and financial transactions. This is the first installment of the series. Continue Reading Energy & Sustainability 2017 Year in Review: Tax Bill (Part 1 of 4)