Sustainability and Climate Change
Climate change and sustainability — along with their related regulations — are affecting the world economy. Throughout the Pacific Northwest, businesses and communities are feeling the pressure from consumers, stakeholders and lawmakers to operate in a sustainable manner.
As the pressure increases and the amount of regulatory change accelerates, companies are struggling to find experts capable of guiding them in matters of regulatory compliance, corporate structure, product development and distribution, labor, and “green” practices as they adapt to this rapidly changing world.
Offering a Broad Base of Experience
Lane Powell’s proven experience in environmental, business, construction, renewable energy, land use, natural resource and tax law enables its attorneys to quickly identify and resolve issues commonly faced by organizations seeking to anticipate, comply with and succeed in the regulatory framework prompted by climate change and by calls for increased sustainability.
Lane Powell’s Sustainability and Climate Change Law team works with businesses seeking competitive advantage through new “green” products offering reduced environmental impact, as well as with companies striving to improve labor, supply chain, distribution and production practices. In this expanding regulatory environment, Lane Powell helps its clients be proactive instead of reactive.
Drawing on Several Disciplines
Lane Powell’s interdisciplinary practice encompasses environmental regulation and sustainable business practices for public, private and non-profit clients. Some examples are:
- Participating at state and local levels in committees recommending legislation and regulations to implement climate change strategies, such as the Washington State Department of Community Trade and Economic Development Land Use and Climate Change Advisory Committee.
- Closely monitoring developments at federal, state and local levels relating to carbon monitoring, air and water quality, emissions caps, and opportunities for buying and monetizing carbon offsets.
- Assisting with corporate formation and business structuring, including drafting charter documents to include principles of sustainability. The Firm’s commercial lawyers advise on aspects such as 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.
- Working with developers and power purchasers on agreements for purchase or sale of output of renewable energy facilities. Lane Powell’s renewable energy lawyers also work closely with the Firm’s well-established tax credits practice to combine renewable energy tax credits in innovative structures with new markets, historic preservation and low-income tax credits.
- 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. Lane Powell is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), with attorneys who are LEED®-accredited professionals.
- Helping clients avoid claims of unfair trade practices or “green-washing,” as well as defending lawsuits alleging environmental damage or improper emissions.
Capitalizing on Opportunity
Lane Powell believes smart business and sustainable business are often inseparable. With the new and evolving focus on the relationship between environmental and human-influenced processes, the companies that succeed will be those who capitalize on ever-expanding opportunities.
Sustainability and Climate Change
Sustainability and Climate Change
Lane Powell has successfully represented clients in a number of matters involving newly instituted sustainability regulations and practices:
- Negotiated the design contract on behalf of a Seattle architectural firm for the first downtown Seattle high-rise condominium to seek LEED® certification, with an application for Gold Certification pending.
- Represented Sustain, LLC, in forming a new Oregon limited-liability company to license intellectual property relating to recycling textile and leather cutting scraps into new products. The technology will enable licensees to use closed-loop regeneration to reduce the environmental footprint of their products while enhancing current margins.
- Represented Cleanway Environmental Partners, Inc., in licensing technology to manufacture and sell a new absorbent material for removing heavy and inorganic contaminants from stormwater runoff.
- Represented the developer of a pilot project for the USGBC’s new LEED® for homes rating system. The project received LEED®-Platinum certification, the first in the state of Washington and only one of seven in the U.S. The Firm also assisted the developer in obtaining rezoning approval, enabling the client to develop a cluster townhome project on property formerly zoned for single-family use.
- Represented an outdoor apparel retail company that adopted rules of corporate responsibility requiring it to conduct its business in an environmentally and socially responsible manner, and charging its directors and officers with implementing this policy consistent with their fiduciary duty to the shareholders.
- Represented Bank of America regarding state tax credits in financing of the groundbreaking Oregon solar highway project, the first of its kind in the nation.
- Represented Lime Wind LLC regarding construction financing and project development for Oregon’s first community scale (under 10 MW) wind farm in Baker County, Ore.
- Represented Green Lane Energy regarding construction financing and project development for one of Oregon’s first biogas facilities in Junction City, Ore.
- Represented ZeaChem Inc. regarding land use, New Markets Tax Credit financing and project development of its cellulosic ethanol demonstration facility in Morrow County, Ore.
- Represented SunRun with regulatory and legislative issues concerning third party financing of solar projects and SunRun’s entrance into Oregon’s residential solar market.
- Represented EV4 Oregon regarding tax credit financing and project development for its innovative electric vehicle charging stations with solar canopy and battery storage.
- Represented SoloPower regarding the development of its thin-film solar manufacturing facility in Portland, Ore.
- Represented XZERES Corp. in development of commercial contracts for sale of its wind turbine and power efficiency products.
- Represented Gerding Edlen regarding third party financing of solar projects on two Oregon high schools.
- Represented Solar Congregations regarding financing of solar projects on several Oregon churches.