Analysis Group Consultants Explore the Convergence of Antitrust and Sustainability at ABA Conference
November 1, 2023
Vice President Anne Catherine Faye served as moderator and Managing Principal Judy Chang was a panelist on the “Private Sector – What Actions Should Firms Take in a World Without Clear Rules for Promoting Sustainability Efforts?” panel of the American Bar Association (ABA) Antitrust Law Section’s 2023 “Antitrust and Sustainability: Friends or Foes?” conference. Ms. Faye was also a co-organizer of the conference. Alongside co-panelists Sarah Flanagan (Intel Corporation), Stacey Halliday (Beveridge & Diamond), Denise Hearn (Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment), and Peggy Otum (WilmerHale), Ms. Chang and Ms. Faye discussed the growing intersection between antitrust laws and sustainability efforts aimed at fighting climate change and promoting environmental justice.
The discussion centered on the ways in which US firms balance anticompetitive concerns with increased pressures from investors and other stakeholders to pursue sustainability goals. On the environmental policy front, Ms. Chang explored the mounting emphasis on factoring in environmental impacts when conducting cost-benefit analyses, particularly when firms pursue initiatives that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; avenues for maximizing climate mitigation when making operational or investment decisions; and the ways in which shareholder, consumer, and employee perspectives converge to promote GHG emission reductions. In addition, panelists assessed the role of US antitrust agencies and current antitrust laws in facilitating sustainability initiatives and compared US regulations to other regulations worldwide, including in the European Union.