The Legal Sustainability Alliance, a collaborative network for the UK’s leading law firms is celebrating its success in saving both carbon and costs as a result of sustained and collective action on climate change.
As USA pulls out/endangers (depending on decision) the global compact on Climate Change secured in Paris in 2015, some of the UK’s largest employers continue to demonstrate that sustainable business is good business. This year’s 10th Anniversary Report shows an average reduction of 15% per capita (per person) in emissions since reporting begin in 2009 amounting to a saving of £148 per employee.
The trend continues downward with the 57 reporting firms (employing over 54000 people) reporting a drop in total emissions, as well as in paper and water use.
‘Sustainable business makes sense for our firm’ said Jeff Twentyman Chair LSA, and a Senior Partner at Slaughter and May, ‘not only does it benefit the environment we see measurable, financial benefits for the business. The challenge for the LSA as we celebrate our 10th Anniversary is we need to reach a wider audience within the legal sector. We need more firms to commit and take action particularly to tackle the difficult issue of business travel, encouraging people to think and behave differently so as not to undermine reductions achieved elsewhere”
- In 2009 26 firms reported representing 27,586 staff : Average emissions per capita 4.9t CO2e
- In 2016 57 firms reported representing 53,313 staff: Average total emissions per firm 3417 tCO2e
- For the LSA member firms who have reported consistently for 7+ years the trend downwards is significant – from average total emissions tCO2e of 9833 in 2008 to 4537 in 2016 (this represents a 54%)
The LSA 10th Anniversary Report provides both a review of the previous decade, highlighting the successes and initiatives of some its 120 members, as well as throwing down a challenge to the whole legal sector to be more proactive in responding to the SDGs, the opportunities of the circular economy and the need to support and guide clients towards sustainable business practices.
“The Legal profession has a critical role to play in the fight to combat climate change, which I believe to be the greatest challenge of our time” David W Rifkin, Co-Chair, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP International Dispute Resolution Group and Immediate Past President, International Bar Association quoted in the LSA report
Notes to editors
LSA 10th Anniversary Report is published 7 June 2017 and available from the LSA website from then on from Legalsustainabilityalliance.com