Sustainability and social responsibility
Emphasis on sustainable development in the private sector has increased significantly in recent years and will continue to increase as the nations of the world compete to stop greenhouse gas emissions and prevent the adverse effects of climate change on the environment and society.
As a leading law firm, LOGOS strives to be a role model in the Icelandic economy and wants to do its part to promote that the needs of society today do not have to harm the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
The firm's influence is best felt through the firm's service offering, as the firm has strong connections with the business community and society. LOGOS can use its influence for the benefit of society by utilising its broad knowledge of the laws, rules and standards that apply in the field of environment, social factors and governance, by sharing the knowledge and advising its customers.
LOGOS and sustainability
LOGOS wants to lead in the field of sustainability and look for ways to ensure that day-to-day operations and decision making are integrated with these perspectives.
LOGOS has established policies on sustainability. The aim of the policy is to ensure progressive emphasis in LOGOS' operations and the interests of society are always considered. Emphasis is placed on recognising the negative effects that the firm's operations may have on the environment and reducing them as much as possible. LOGOS respects all internationally recognised human rights in all respects and expects the same from its customers and service providers.
LOGOS's priorities and actions in the field of sustainable development are listed in the policy.
LOGOS services in the field of sustainability
In addition to being a leading law firm in Iceland, LOGOS has extensive knowledge of sustainability, including sustainable investments, corporate governance and social responsibility. LOGOS can provide its customers with a comprehensive service that complies with the latest sustainability standards.
LOGOS assists its customers in complying with laws and regulations in the environmental, social and governance field, e.g. in fulfilling the legal obligation to provide information in connection with sustainability, adapting governance to social responsibility and advising on the issuance of green financial instruments.
LOGOS considers it its social responsibility to share the knowledge that the firm acquires through research and work in this field. Below you will find practical information about sustainable finances and other sustainability related topics compiled by LOGOS.
EU action programme
The European Commission published an action programme for sustainable investments in the first half of 2018, outlining the actions that the EU intends to implement in order to steer the flow of capital towards sustainable solutions. The idea is to reform the financial system so that it can become part of the solution, not a thorn in the side of shaping a green and sustainable economy. On the basis of the action plan, the EU issued three regulations affecting Iceland, Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 on sustainability related disclosures in the financial services sector, Regulation (EU) 2019/2089 on sustainable criteria and Regulation (EU) 2020/852 on the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment (EU classification system).
Further information can be found in an article by Helga Melkorka Óttarsdóttir and Arnar Sveinn Harðarson, titled Financing a sustainable society.
The classification system
Regulation (EU) 2020/852 on the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment establishes a harmonised classification system, which makes it possible to classify economic activities according to whether they are environmentally sustainable or not. By harmonizing investors' understanding of the concept of environmentally sustainable business, the regulation facilitates comparisons between sustainable investments and strengthens investor confidence in those investments that are said to be green. The classification system will also oppose "green washing", i.e. prevent investments from being marketed as green without unless they actually are. The system provides a basis on which to base the actions and instruments of the Union, its Member States and the EFTA States. Thus, EU standards for green bonds and the new EU eco-label for financial products are based on the classification system of the regulation.
Further information can be found in articles by Helga Melkorka Óttarsdóttir and Arnar Sveinn Harðarson, titled The environment and investments combined and The backbone of the green economy
Towards the end of 2019, the European Union published Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 on sustainability‐related disclosures in the financial services sector (SFDR). The EU considers it necessary to increase investors’ access to reliable, orderly and accurate information related to investment sustainability, which will make it easier for them to allocate their capital to investment products that have a positive impact on the environment and social issues. In short, the regulation requires certain companies in the financial markets to consider sustainability and inform investors whether, and then how, such factors are taken into account when making investment decisions. Various companies may need to review their operating methods and internal processes so that they can meet the disclosure obligation.
Further information can be found in an article by Helga Melkorka Óttarsdóttir and Arnar Sveinn Harðarson, titled The fight against green information chaos in financial markets.
The new EU standard for green bonds is part of the EU’s efforts to finance the EU’s carbon neutrality by 2050. The standard will be the first of its kind within the EU acquis but is based in part on the principles of the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) on Green Bond Principles. The EU standard is in many respects similar to the ICMA principles but, goes further in the requirements for issuers. The standard is not binding, and bond issuers are free to use it. On the other hand, a financial product may not be called a European Green Bond unless it meets the requirements of the standard.
Further information can be found in an article by Helga Melkorka Óttarsdóttir and Arnar Sveinn Harðarson, titled Standardization of green bonds.
The concept of sustainable corporate governance involves giving managers the tools to focus on the long term healthy development of companies, instead of constantly having to return as much short term profit as possible, which can have a negative internal effect on the company in question, as well as the negative external impact on the environment and society. The EU has put forward some progressive proposals in the field of sustainable governance.
Further information can be found in an article by Helga Melkorka Óttarsdóttir and Arnar Sveinn Harðarson, entitled Sustainability and profit maximization.