Sustainability

What are law firms achieving in pursuit of sustainability?  

We hosted a roundtable with our members from the legal industry to uncover exciting opportunities and how to navigate the key challenges on the path to net zero.

Words:
Planet Mark
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As the urgency behind the climate crisis develops, so does the public’s attitude towards the ethical nature of companies. The heightened focus on ESG considerations for law firms and their clients highlights the need for the legal industry, like other sectors, to swiftly adjust to this shifting landscape.  

Recent years have seen firms step up and demonstrate genuine climate and social leadership However, there remains a significant amount of work to be done. So, we organised an insightful roundtable with our members from the legal sector, to uncover a wealth of insights into the challenges and opportunities that await. 

Navigating the key challenges 

Several key themes surfaced regarding the legal sector’s challenges in the transition to net zero: 

1. Client pressure and the moral question: Law firms today face a complex moral challenge. On one hand, they strive to accommodate clients with a great climate track record, while on the other, they seek to guide others toward environmental responsibility. The pressure to exclusively work with environmentally conscious businesses is on the rise, creating a delicate balancing act for these firms. 

2. Financial constraints: In a financially turbulent landscape, law firms must weigh the cost implications of aligning with environmental and social values. Balancing budgets becomes a persistent struggle. However, firms recognise that addressing sustainability can pave the way for long-term financial growth. 

3. Technology and paper usage: The legal sector’s excessive paper consumption significantly contributes to its environmental footprint. While alternatives like e-bonding have been explored, usability, time efficiency, and energy efficiency issues have hindered their widespread adoption. Furthermore, the slow integration of technology within the courts complicates matters further. 

4. Reducing business travel: Business travel, a longstanding tradition fostering connections and opportunities, poses an environmental challenge. Simple travel policy changes or offsetting flights no longer suffice. Some firms are now implementing individual and team carbon budgets to promote environmentally conscious travel choices. The consideration of electric company fleets is also on the table, although their uptake remains limited, emphasising the need for effective internal engagement strategies. 

Dive into the full legal industry roundtable insights 

Interested in learning more insights from our roundtable? Download our legal industry insights where we delve deep into the challenges that the industry faces and chart out the necessary paths to tackle them. 

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How Planet Mark can help 

On the journey to sustainability, legal firms are finding a trusted partner in Planet Mark. The journey towards net zero starts with a fundamental step: measurement and understanding. Our Business Certification equips businesses in the legal sector with the tools to accurately measure their emissions, providing a clear baseline to evaluate their environmental impact. Armed with this insight, companies can engage employees, communicate their progress with transparency and strategically make informed decisions as they work towards achieving net zero emissions.  

Scope 3: how to navigate indirect emissions and improve data

Tuesday 23th April 2024, 01:00 pm - 02:00 pm