Leading the Way in Sustainability
In a rapidly evolving global landscape, Ropes & Gray stands at the forefront of sustainability and green initiatives. We are deeply committed to responsible operations, ensuring our environmental footprint is minimal. We don't just advocate for a greener world; we strive every day to make it a reality.
Across our firm, we recycle all paper, aluminum, plastic and glass—and several offices engage in composting. Our use of sophisticated HVAC systems, motion sensor light switches, efficient lighting and specially designed faucets ensures reduced energy and water consumption. Our office locations manage day-to-day operations with waste reduction in mind, providing reusable utensils and mugs and offering filtered water and ice machines in lieu of bottled water, for example. We purchase Energy Star-rated computers and office equipment, and printers are configured to print double-sided by default. When taking on new space or planning construction, we make conscious decisions to reuse furniture and infrastructure, when possible, and we responsibly recycle or donate items we no longer need. When purchasing new items, we consider durability, quality and material content and make choices that are environmentally conscious.
Local “Green Teams” across our global offices are dedicated to promoting sustainability practices. These teams meet regularly to brainstorm and implement initiatives and challenges with the aim of encouraging sustainable choices, protecting the environment, and promoting personal health and well-being.
Proudly, several Ropes & Gray offices have received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings certification from the U.S. Green Building Council:
- Chicago (the world’s first LEED Core & Shell Gold Certified building)
- Boston (Gold Certified floors)
- New York (Gold Certified building)
- Silicon Valley (Gold Certified building)
- Washington, D.C. (Gold Certified floors)
- San Francisco (Silver Certified floors)
- Los Angeles (Gold Certified building)
Our commitment to environmental sustainability extends to our pro bono work. We offer pro bono legal advice to organizations promoting conservation and addressing the critical challenges facing our planet.
Preserving Biodiversity in the Caribbean
Established in 2012 with the support of the German Development Bank and The Nature Conservancy, the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF) promotes the conservation, protection and management of biodiversity and natural resources in defined protected areas of land and sea in certain Caribbean countries and territories.
Ropes & Gray has been pivotal to the CBF’s growth, advising the CBF since its establishment on general commercial matters, corporate governance, and a number of partnership and grant agreements associated with the use of funds from its main endowment. Over the past few years, the corporate and commercial work has expanded through grants to more “partner” countries throughout the Caribbean. In 2019, the firm advised on the establishment and implementation of an ecosystem-based adaptation facility, a fund that will award grants for actions supporting climate change adaptation and poverty alleviation.
Supporting Leading Marine Science Institute in Gloucester
Ropes & Gray has been advising research institute Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute (GMGI) pro bono on a range of legal issues since 2015. This strategic advice has enabled GMGI to fulfill its mission of using innovative scientific research and education to address critical challenges facing the oceans, human health and the environment. Most recently, we created a legal framework to protect GMGI’s intellectual property and assisted with collaboration and commercialization agreements.
Advising on Innovative Sustainability Bonds Offering
Ropes & Gray advised Stanford University on the first “sustainability bonds” offering in U.S. higher education based on rigorous environmental stewardship and social responsibility standards certified by external verifiers. The offering was oversubscribed by several multiples.
The offering makes Stanford the first U.S. college or university to issue bonds carrying dual climate and sustainability designations. Stanford went to market selling $375 million in public market debt securities to help finance or refinance campus construction and renovation projects in the university’s capital plan.
The securities are in the emerging Environmental, Social and Governance investment category. Two ESG designations have been externally verified: the International Capital Markets Sustainability Bond designation and the more rigorous Climate Bond verification, reflecting alignment with the Paris accord. Both are based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development goals.
Ropes & Gray has a leading ESG, CSR and Business and Human Rights practice. Our global team of attorneys have been pioneers in this arena for more than three decades, delivering a long-term perspective and depth and breadth of experience that few firms can match.
The practice advises corporate clients, private equity and other asset managers and trade associations across a significant number of industries, asset classes and geographies. Some of the areas on which we advise include:
- Compliance with international standards and regulatory requirements
- Sustainable financial products and investments
- ESG integration, due diligence and more
Awards & Recognition
Innovation in Sustainability for Clients Award
Honored by Financial Times in 2022 for advising Nature Conservancy on a landmark transaction to safeguard Belize coral reefs and fisheries.
Commended in Sustainability
Recognized by Financial Times in 2022 for advising Stripe in the formation of the $925 million Frontier Fund for carbon removal.
Commended in ESG
Our global ESG practice was commended by Financial Times in 2022 for creating a service for clients that tracks state-by-state changes in ESG investing rules.
An ESG and Community Impact Leader
The National Law Journal named Ropes & Gray to its inaugural list of “ESG and Community Impact Leaders" in 2022.
A Recommended Firm for ESG
Ranked as a recommended firm in The Legal 500’s inaugural “Green Guide United States 2022."
A Leading Firm for Global ESG
Ranked as a leading firm for Global-wide Environmental, Social & Governance Risk in the Chambers Crisis & Risk Management 2023 guide.