Law notes: Governor’s signature paves way for socially focused corporations

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Delaware Gov. John Carney signed a bill that paves the way for corporations with a focus on social responsibility.

The Delaware Certification of Adoption of Transparency and Sustainability Standards Act will become effective on October 1.

According to a releasefrom the Wilmington-based corporate law firm of Richards, Layton & Finger,the first of its kind law “represents Delaware’s initiative to support sustainability practices by providing Delaware-governed entities a platform for demonstrating their commitment to corporate and social responsibility and sustainability.”

“ It reflects Delaware’s recognition that sustainability and responsibility are not merely buzzwords that companies deploy to appeal to a broader range of consumers. Rather, those terms embody business practices and systems that are designed to foster innovation and long-term growth while promoting business practices intended to provide societal benefits,” the release noted.

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The act comes in response to calls for greater transparency and sustainability practices in areas such as the environment.

The act is voluntary, applying only to those Delaware-law governed entities that seek to become certified as reporting entities.

The few mandatory features of the act involve the requirement that the entity’s governing body approve its standards and assessment measures as well as the requirement that those standards and measures be made publicly available, the release noted.

The Delaware Secretary of State does not evaluate or pass judgment on the nature of an entity’s standards or assessment measures/

“Delaware entities that are seeking to demonstrate their commitment to principles of corporate responsibility and sustainability should consider seeking and obtaining certification from the Delaware Secretary of State under the Act as to their transparency in sustainability reporting. Compliance with the formal requirements will help signal to investors, clients and customers that they are serious about sustainability practices—and are addressing the matter at the highest levels of their organization,” The Richards, Layton & Finger release concluded.

Fish & Richardson named Best Firm for Minority attorneys

Fish & Richardson has been named one of the “Best Law Firms for Minority Attorneys” by Law360 based on a survey of more than 300 U.S. firms. Fish is on a short list of firms Law360 praised for making headway in diversity and inclusion.

The law firm has an office in Wilmington.

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