The Law Society, Solicitors Regulation Authority and 57 law firms have reduced their per-head carbon emissions by nearly 7% since 2010, according to the sector’s annual environmental statement.
The fall from 3.9 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in 2010 to 3.63 tonnes of CO2e last year adds up to the annual carbon emissions of two magic circle firms, a report by the Legal Sector Alliance (LSA) says.
Law Society chief executive Desmond Hudson said: ‘This is no mean feat for a sector that includes firms of all sizes, from sole practitioners to magic circle firms with billion-pound turnovers. Law firms are in a strong position to influence employees, suppliers, clients and policymakers. It is in our collective interest to act on climate change, and we can achieve more by acting together.’
The alliance, a movement of 258 law firms committed to adopting environmentally sustainable practices, found that law firms have reduced their carbon emissions by 1.84%, or 29,035.53 tonnes of CO2e, over the last 12-month reporting period.
According to the report, two-thirds (65%) of firms said they advised clients on environmental opportunities and obligations, while more than one-third (38%) said they provided training to clients. Over half (56%) said they had proactively communicated with clients on environmental and climate change issues.
Some 35% of firms review their suppliers’ environmental performances annually or more frequently, with 38% planning to do so in 2013.
The percentage of firms committed to reporting their climate change performance annually or more frequently is now 41%, up from 38% last year. The report says that 49% of firms have set a waste reduction target and 39% a travel reduction target.