Responsible Business

We work with our clients and other partners, using the law to build a better world for all.

Operating Sustainably

We recognize that operating sustainably is core to being a responsible business. How we choose to operate impacts future generations and we must play our part in protecting our people and our planet. We are committed to playing a leadership role in driving inclusive and sustainable growth and contributing to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including in the way we run our own business.

As part of our commitment to operate sustainably, we are a signatory to UN Business Ambition for 1.5°C and Race to Zero, which commit us to develop and implement Science Based Targets to reduce our carbon emissions. Our commitments are backed by adherence to the robust CDP reporting framework.  We are also founder members of the Legal Sustainability Alliance, and the Net Zero Lawyers Alliance.

We have launched the next stage of our global sustainability plan to drive continuous improvement. As well as developing our firm's net zero strategy, the key actions include:

  • Updating our travel, energy and real estate policies, focusing on reducing our carbon impact, achieving 100% renewable energy and achieving firmwide accreditation of the environmental management system ISO 14001.
  • Developing and implementing sustainable and resilient procurement policies with a sustainability charter for suppliers, with requirements that will be measured and monitored.
  • Conducting an audit of our existing supplier base at regional and office level and creating standards to guide local procurement decisions.
  • Capturing, reflecting on and learning from the lessons of COVID-19 to shape how we work going forwards and how this gives us an opportunity to reduce our consumption of materials in our future ways of working.

Key Operational Strategies

Real Estate Principles

With our offices accounting for a significant proportion of our carbon footprint, we are committed to the highest levels of sustainability in our buildings, and have developed Sustainable Office Design Principles that positively impact our people and the environment. This framework has enabled us to obtain sustainability certification in 22 of our offices, equivalent to over 65% of our entire footprint. Our framework has been developed based on existing best-practice design frameworks and research, including:

WELL Building Standard v2  BREEAM International RFO Standard (2015)  RICS: Implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (2019) 
RIBA Sustainable Outcomes (2019)  UKGBC Net Zero Carbon Buildings: A Framework Definition, (2019)  U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) 

Renewable Energy

We are committed to 100% renewable energy in all of our main buildings by 2025, and are already using 100% renewable energy in our London office, and our German offices. Where it is not possible to do this (usually where we are in multi-tenancy building), we will look to purchase Renewable Energy Certificates to offset our energy consumption.

Travel Strategy

As a global organization, travel is part of our business and we recognize that our travel generates CO2 emissions and impacts the environment. To address this, we are creating a series of new management processes to apply globally across our organization with our travel agencies and major travel vendors. The intention is to capture our impact and to provide options for each traveler in our firm with the ability to make smarter, environmentally conscious decisions to support the SDGs.

Procurement Strategy

We are in the process of creating a series of new procurement and supply chain processes and policies to apply consistently across our firm globally.

This includes developing a new and robust procurement organizational program to source and manage all the third parties that supply our firm globally. The policies align with the SDGs.

Sustainability Stewards

Each of our offices around the world has a dedicated Sustainability Steward who is a member of the operations team. The Sustainability Stewards are responsible for collecting data, both for reporting requirements and to inform the changes we need to make. They also ensure that our procurement processes prioritize environmentally-friendly products, services, and suppliers.

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