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Public Finance: ESG

Smart In Your World
Investors are increasingly considering ESG factors in making investment decisions. Concern around climate change, social justice, infrastructure, and governance is driving decision making in many sectors, particularly in the public and mission-oriented non-profit sectors. Our group is actively assisting clients to devise innovative and impactful programs and financings, as highlighted below.

Environmental Transactions

Renewable Energy

  • Representing a Tribal consortium on what is expected to be the largest renewable project in the country when completed, generating an anticipated 2MW of power.

Energy/Recycling Efficiencies

  • Represented a city in its negotiation of a vendor contract for the installation of increased energy efficiency street lighting and the related underlying tax-exempt equipment purchase financing.
  • Representing the developer of a demonstration project evidencing proof-of-concept that existing office buildings can be retro-fitted to be net neutral in both power and water consumption.


  • Represented the seller of 51,000 acres of land to the State of Washington for conservation and resource management purposes.

Social Transactions

Workforce and Affordable Housing

  • Created a private sector mechanism for preserving workforce housing including the formation of and the obtaining of IRS recognition for non-profit client Washington Housing Conservancy. The first project preserves 825 housing units and provides social services for the tenants. It is funded with loans and grants from a global corporation’s housing equity fund, loans from a private-sector impact fund, and a modest amount of philanthropic equity. This mechanism has the potential to be replicated nationally.
  • Represent a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) nationally in credit enhancing affordable multifamily housing bond transactions. Helped the client structure its first-ever risk-sharing transaction involving the client, its lender/servicer, and a housing finance agency. The GSE is providing credit enhancement for a bond-financed sustainable development loan to a public-private JV borrower. Loan proceeds are being used to pay a portion of the cost of acquiring, rehabilitating, and equipping over 1,700 apartments in 18 tenant-occupied public housing buildings in New York City. The transformation of these units is featured in this CBS News segment.
  • Assisted a GSE with the development of sponsor-initiated affordability restrictions for conventional multifamily housing properties to encourage the increased supply of workforce housing, help borrowers garner ESG designation and achieve favorable financing terms.


No matter the sector, ArentFox Schiff attorneys provide corporate governance and social responsibility advice to client boards and management on ESG matters such as oversight, disclosures, investor engagement, contracting and compliance.