Green Law and Sustainability
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"Green" living, sustainability, and use of alternative fuels are no longer obscure concepts. Today, these concerns and related regulations affect the entire economy and have high interest and visibility. Businesses, communities, and individuals are feeling the pressure—whether self-imposed or from consumers, stakeholders, or lawmakers—to improve their ability to operate in an environmentally sound and sustainable manner. The pressure on businesses will most likely increase, and the pace of regulatory change is expected to accelerate.

Companies are struggling to find guidance on these emerging issues, including regulatory compliance, corporate structure, product development and distribution, labor, or green practices, as they attempt to adapt and prosper in our rapidly changing world.

Jones Walker's Green Law & Sustainability team is a multidisciplinary group that helps clients anticipate, track, and respond to rapidly changing and increasingly complex environmental regulations, with a focus on emerging issues including climate change, green building and sustainable development, green living and corporate operations, and renewable fuels and alternative energy. Experience in environmental, business, construction, renewable energy, land use, natural resources, employment, tax, government relations, and intellectual property law enables our attorneys to quickly identify and resolve issues commonly faced by organizations seeking to comply with and succeed in the dynamic regulatory framework, in which change has been driven by calls for increased sustainability.

Our Energy team works with businesses seeking competitive advantage through new green products touting reduced environmental impact, as well as with companies striving to improve development, labor, supply chain, distribution, and production practices. In this new regulatory environment, Jones Walker helps clients be proactive, rather than reactive.

The firm's interdisciplinary practice encompasses environmental regulation and sustainable business practices for public, private, and nonprofit clients. Some examples are:

  • Assisting architects, developers, landlords, and tenants in structuring agreements for construction incorporating green building practices or achieving LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. The firm is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and the U.S. Green Building Council of Louisiana.
  • Assisting with entity formation and business structuring, including drafting charter documents to include principles of sustainability. The firm's construction attorneys advise on green building issues and product sourcing, development, and distribution. In securities law, they monitor developing trends in disclosure of companies' exposure to climate change and levels of carbon emissions, as well as in corporate tax policy, credits, and incentives.
  • Closely monitoring developments relating to air and water quality issues, emissions caps, carbon quantification and monitoring, and opportunities for buying and monetizing carbon offsets.
  • Helping clients avoid claims of unfair trade practices or green washing, as well as defending lawsuits alleging environmental damage or violations.
  • Participating at the federal, state, and local level in recommending legislation and regulations related to climate change strategies.
  • Protecting the new technologies developed for sustainability. 
  • Working with developers and power purchasers on agreements for purchase or sale of output of renewable energy facilities. The firm's energy attorneys also work closely with the firm's well-established tax practice to combine renewable energy tax credits in innovative structures with new markets, historic preservation, and low-income tax credits.