Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


Law firms plump for synchronised carbon reporting

March 2009

Eighteen law firms and the Law Society of England and Wales have simultaneously published reports revealing their individual carbon footprints.

The firms and the society have published their results at the same time, in the same place and using the same methodology. Each measured its carbon footprint adopting a Legal Sector Alliance (LSA) protocol.

All participants in the synchronized effort are founders of the LSA, a coalition of firms and organizations that works on sustainability in the legal sector.

Emissions vary significantly according to size, but the participants – who include Allen & Overy, SJ Berwin and DLA Piper – hope that sharing results will help firms benchmark performance, find areas for improvement and swap ideas for carbon reduction.

Other companies joining the LSA or using its protocol to calculate their carbon footprints will not have to publish the results, but the LSA’s founders hope they will follow suit after seeing the benefits.

Nigel Knowles, LSA chairman, said: ‘The significance of disclosing these figures is not at this stage the size of the individual footprints, but the process we have gone through to understand what they are and how we might minimize them. ’

The move has been well received outside the legal community. Stephen Howard, chief executive of Business in the Community, said that by reporting publicly the LSA’s founding members were ‘setting the agenda for the rest of the sector to follow’. The reports are available, consolidated into one document, on the LSA website.

Legal Sector Alliance | UK & NI Ireland | Reporting

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