What We Do
and Risk Strategies
RPO was retained through a law firm to assess a utility’s environmental compliance program after the company identified a series of violations that led to enhanced regulatory scrutiny.
After a comprehensive assessment of the client’s environmental practices, RPO developed and implemented a strategy that revamped the company’s compliance and Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) training program.
RPO worked with outside counsel to implement the new program through oversight of external audits, policy changes, training of company personnel and engagement with the company’s senior executives. The company has maintained the recommended EHS changes and demonstrated sustained environmental improvement.
RPO works extensively with U.S. and international law firms on the execution of internal investigations that arise due to internal complaints, pending transactions, or government investigations into environmental compliance.
RPO oversaw an internal investigation involving allegations of environmental misconduct raised by a whistle-blower at an energy company that led to a federal criminal investigation. We evaluated the matter with outside counsel, conducted a series of internal interviews, reviewed applicable regulations and policies, and concluded the allegations were unsupported.
We then developed and executed a strategy to engage with federal officials and worked directly with company personnel to prepare for and navigate a criminal investigation. The government ultimately closed its investigation without any adverse action.
RPO advises companies, the financial sector, and law firms on assessing how organizations perform within their environment and governance lanes.
RPO partnered with an international law firm to build a framework for a large private equity firm to evaluate the environmental performance of assets within its portfolio. The ensuing strategy also allowed the firm to assess future acquisitions and assess risk in a far more detailed fashion than they had previously.
Importantly, when applying RPO’s approach, this firm can now benchmark its corporate performance against peers and provide a level of disclosure that limited partners increasingly require.
RPO serves as an appointed monitor to evaluate corporate environmental conduct at companies subject to environmental enforcement settlements.
RPO was selected to serve as the independent monitor for a company that had recently been criminally prosecuted for violations of federal environmental laws. The selection was made by the company with the approval of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
To carry out this role, RPO formally certifies whether the company is meeting its legal obligations. To make these judgments, we continually assess all aspects of environmental compliance, including evaluations of personnel, effectiveness of systems, and quality of engagement with government regulators.
Transactional and Operational
Risk in the Environmental Sector
RPO provides expert advice to organizations on the environmental implications of the purchase or sale of companies.
Working with outside counsel, RPO advised the proposed purchaser of a company that was assessing risks related to the acquisition of a company that was under federal investigation for alleged environmental violations.
Based on a review of the underlying allegations, compliance practices of the subject company, and understanding of the government enforcement process, we rendered an expert opinion recommending proceeding with the transaction. The acquisition was completed, and RPO’s recommendation was affirmed when the Department of Justice closed its inquiry into the matter.