Sustainability Practice

Sustainability Practice

The Sustainability Practice Group at Paladin Law Group has been participating in the design, development, and realization of municipal and corporate sustainability plans, sustainability strategies, pollution prevention, and renewable energy projects for nearly two decades. We boast professional sustainable business acumen and a comprehensive regulatory understanding of legal requirements related to these issues, including local, state, and federal laws. Through projects in Europe and North America, our team members have contributed to sustainability planning processes and renewable energy development – going beyond “greening” efforts – to take into account long term economic and social impact reduction while integrating ecologically responsible planning processes.

We have demonstrated success in regulatory innovation and developing new means of achieving higher levels of community master planning, development, and sustainability performance in the face of climate change.  In the auditing and assessing of environmental, social and financial impacts, we draw on decades of sustainability experience and the disciplines of systemic thinking, sustainable development, and sustainability management systems.  The result of our work is a carefully calculated benefit to all stakeholders: the environment, society, and the economy. (See our Projects page for examples of our work.

The following is a partial list of our sustainability services:

  • Management Consulting, Strategic Planning and management systems:  Environmental Management Systems (EMS) and Sustainability Management Systems (SMS), Greenhouse Gas reduction strategies
  • Strategic planning and compliance counseling for climate change regulation, greenhouse gas emissions, carbon accounting and management, energy efficiency and all issues related to  California’s AB32 and the pending carbon trading market
  • Product stewardship, product liability counseling, and strategic product planning and product compliance program design and implementation
  • Design tools for sustainability supply chain management, auditing and compliance for green certification standards, development of public reporting, product labeling and end of life producer responsibility
  • Review and write ordinances and municipal codes to support environmental performance improvement and green business standards
  • Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR reporting, corporate non-financial reporting, green advertising, marketing and green claims compliance, corporate communications on sustainability and green business practices, and green branding/brand protection

Management Consulting

Our professionals have been called upon by many leading companies, public agencies, and non-profit organizations.  Our unique approach provides insight on the critical financial, environmental, social and governance issues facing business and society, while catalyzing innovation and leadership within each of our clients.  We are a diverse and experienced team with a global network and client base, and we create solutions that capitalize on the complex challenges and opportunities our clients’ face.

When providing management consulting to businesses, governments, universities, non-profit and non-governmental organizations, we adapt our toolset to fit each enterprise’s unique cultural needs and objectives.  We focus on teamwork and collaboration, combining our knowledge and experiences with that of the client’s, allowing for the emergence of creative, implementable solutions.  We use a structured problem–solving approach where all opinions and options are considered, researched, and analyzed carefully before recommendations are developed or implemented.  Diversity of ideas is an asset and strength; effectively working with diversity is central to the value we add to our clients.

Our professionals draw on sustainable strategies, practices, and management techniques that we have tested and adapted over the years, transcending and including the following tools:

  • A comprehensive, systemic approach
  • ISO standards and our own Sustainability Management System framework
  • People and Culture Development
  • Financial modeling, budgeting, planning (including triple bottom line approach)
  • Visual and hands-on facilitation and engagement of diverse groups
  • Multi-stakeholder engagement
  • Causal and systemic diagrams to get to the root of the problem and formulate solution
  • Comprehensive Strategic Planning tools and planning
  • Communications and Marketing plans
  • Natural Resource efficiency (zero waste/emissions, water, energy, and raw materials)
  • Product Design, development, and quality assurance
  • Legal and regulatory compliance requirements and various other certifications

Strategic Planning

Using a unique suite of strategic and systemic tools, Paladin’s sustainability practice group conducts comprehensive strategic planning processes for businesses, non-profit organizations, and cities.  By keeping the diversity of voices from all levels of the organization present throughout the process, the pertinent challenges are dealt with in the strategic plan, while the strengths are amplified.  Our approach to strategic plans:

  • Includes strategies for Business Sustainability – the responsible and effective application of natural capital, financial capital, and human capital to enhance enterprise performance
  • Work with initiatives in each department as well as cross-functionally between departments
  • Strategize for 1 to 5 years
  • Have a visioning component that can span up to 50 years
  • Include traditional strategic planning analysis such as competitive landscape analysis, SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats), and Blue Ocean strategic positioning
  • We also incorporate into the strategic planning process the historical/cultural impacts affecting the system the business operates within overtime

All of the above are included within our systemic/holistic planning process, thus, result in relevant, implementable, strategic plans which evolve with the organization over the long-term in the face of risk and change.  Our unique strategic process itself catalyzes transformative innovation and leadership in each of our clients through building a keen sense of clarity around the purpose of the system and which key leverage points need to be shifted in order to create the magnitude of change needed to achieve the desired outcomes.

Our diverse team and the global reach of our client base and network allow us to look creatively at business and societal challenges and enable us to help clients think more strategically and creatively themselves about the products, services, and business models that will ensure their long-term success.

Paladin’s strategic planning service offerings can be combined to suit the organization’s needs.  The following is a list of possible ways to commence a strategic planning project:

  • Strategic Planning: Devise strategies for driving a specific business/organization/city to full economic potential, whether through an annual planning process, a transformation effort, or a turnaround situation.  Strategic planning to assess both current and desired states; phased strategies on how to move from status quo to the desired outcomes
  • Corporate development and growth:  Driving a business to full potential, expanding into profitable adjacent businesses, and redefining the core business by leveraging a company’s “hidden assets” and scalable business models
  • Emerging Markets Strategy: playing to win in new fast-growing markets, and how to compete against “emerging market champions” and expand globally
  • Holistic Innovation Strategy: leveraging the creative AND the analytic to revolutionize new product development processes and ensure efficient allocation of R&D, while paying attention to the diverse management skills and resource pools available within the organization
  • Business Sustainability: addressing relevant social, environmental, governance, cultural and ethical issues responsibly and profitably
  • Internal Business Strategy – Review of mission and values as well as actual operations; thorough analysis of current state in and between all departments. Strategies are devised to set and reach targets

Sustainable Behavior Change

Through working with behavior change models in sustainable development and strategic planning projects worldwide, Paladin has refined its method of successfully creating sustainable behavior change.  Our approach is described as a grassroots community-based model, drawing on social cognitive theories, the diffusion of innovation, appreciative inquiry, and systemic facilitation for complex issues.  When our community engagement skills are aligned with top-down incentives and innovative policies, positive influence and action is optimized.  The community-based approach gains buy-in and solidarity from those who are to change their behaviors, and allows them to take action in a way that is uniquely their own.  In addition, our approach to behavior change allows for sociocultural accuracy both in the goals that are set and in the concerns that are addressed from the outset.  In addition to a barriers and benefits analysis, we look at the whole system in order to create narratives and strategic action plans which encompass the many layers of behavioral influences acting on the system.  For instance, our assessments clarify what the people themselves have identified as threats to their sustainability, as well as what their behaviors are cued from. As external reinforcements are not reliable for lasting changes, our work in behavior change sets up the outcomes to be based primarily on intrinsic rewards.  This is a systemic and iterative process which we have facilitated in cities and businesses of all sizes.  It can be scaled and replicated without blanketing one-size fits all solutions across communities with varying degrees of readiness for behavioral innovations.  Our face-to-face engagements start the process with an understanding of the sociocultural and human elements of the system, and thereby can better affect positive, social change.  In addition, social media technologies can be used to amplify Paladin’s community-based approach to behavior change.

Corporate Law Practice

Our professionals specialize in corporate formation for both private and non-profit clients.  We work with clients in every phase of venture development from the start-up to mature operations. We assist entrepreneurs with business plan development, valuation, and business/product concept development, along with registration and protection of trademarks.  We also introduce our clients to investors and strategic partners that are well aligned with the client’s mission in order to bring the entrepreneurs’ products and services to market.  Finally, we help guide our clients through the challenges of sustainable operations, including supply chain, certification processes, and long-term economic and social profitability.

We are experienced in creating traditional for-profit structures, such as limited liability corporations (LLC) and both C and S corporations, as well as more cutting-edge social enterprise models including the low-profit corporation (L3C), benefit corporation (B-Corp), and flexible purpose corporation (CA SB 1463-pending).  Additionally, we have structured non-profits (501(c)(3)) and innovative hybrid models.

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