One of the most dynamic drivers of the 21st century economy is the imperative to meet the world’s economic needs in more environmentally sustainable ways. This imperative is creating an array of business challenges and opportunities and associated legal issues. Kilpatrick Townsend is helping clients meet the challenges and capitalize on the opportunities of the emerging green economy. Our multi-disciplinary team of finance, tax, business transaction, intellectual property, environmental, real estate and government relations attorneys are counseling clients in a variety of areas, including:
- Renewable Energy
In response to state and federal regulatory requirements and tax incentives, as well as the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, alternative energy resources (including solar, wind, hydroelectric, biomass, and geothermal) are being developed widely throughout the country and the world. In addition, state renewable energy mandates have created markets for renewable energy credits, which give rise to new types of business transactions. Our team is assisting clients with all aspects of renewable energy project development and credit transactions, including corporate formation, project finance, tax counsel, contractual agreements, real estate, construction, IP, and environmental and other regulatory approvals.
- Climate Change
Both Congress and EPA are actively developing greenhouse gas regulatory programs that would impose major new obligations on many sectors of the economy. Even without the adoption of new regulatory programs, many businesses are already looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprints and consumption of electricity. And these voluntary and regulatory developments have produced emerging markets for carbon credits, including carbon offsets generated by activities such as reforestation that capture carbon from the atmosphere. We are advising clients on climate change regulatory considerations and their potential impact on business activities. We are also providing corporate, securities, tax, and other types of business counsel to clients doing business in the carbon marketplace.
- Clean Technology
The challenge of combating climate change and other environmental problems is spurring tremendous technological innovation. Our attorneys have significant experience with the financing of new technology development, establishment of joint ventures and other strategic alliances, placing new technology on the market through commercial transactions and licensing, and protecting valuable intellectual property assets.
- Sustainable Business Practices
Many businesses have implemented voluntary market-driven programs to lower the overall environmental impact of their operations and promote corporate social responsibility. These programs are often formally structured and may involve third-party auditing and certification. We have advised individual clients and trade associations concerning the development of such programs.
- Sustainable Development
Owners and tenants are adopting sustainable development models to achieve cost savings, promote environmental stewardship, and demonstrate social responsibility. Our team has assisted clients with numerous development projects that incorporate sustainable features, including transit-oriented development, green building design, and redevelopment of Brownfields sites. Our involvement with these projects includes counseling on land use approvals, tax policy, efficient use of energy and water, environmentally sound management of waste and wastewater, and environmental remediation. We also have several LEED-accredited attorneys who consult with clients on various aspects of green building certification.
- Green Labeling and Product Certification
With heightened consumer concern about the environmental impacts of all sort of production practices, as well as the potential health risks of consumer products, there is a growing interest in green labeling and product certification. Our attorneys have extensive expertise in the fields of product labeling and certification and are advising clients about green labeling and certification issues.
In addition, our understanding of the green economy is enhanced by the firm’s own commitment to sustainable business practices. Our firm-wide sustainability initiative includes participation in the ABA/EPA law Office Climate Challenge, which includes the Energy Star Program, the Green Power Partnership Program, and the WasteWise Program.