27 Feb 2020

CMS UK distributes app to 3,200 staff to encourage them to become greener

Firm will plant a tree for every employee who uses app as it steps up sustainability efforts

a picture of the CMS app

The mobile app aims to raise awareness about sustainability among staff

CMS UK has developed a mobile app for its staff that encourages them to reduce their carbon footprint.

The app has been installed on 3,200 phones and the firm has pledged to plant a tree for each employee who uses the app and therefore commits to a target to adopt a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.

In a process designed to raise awareness about what individuals as well as the firm can do to protect the environment, users are asked to outline their personal approach to areas including food, travel, recycling and energy.

Each answer has a positive or negative score depending on its relative impact on the environment with a final result turned into a total score out of 100 which appears on the dashboard of the app at the end. 

The lower the score on the ‘temperature’ gauge, the better the user has done. Users are asked to commit to reducing their score by 10% within the next three months, although the firm is at pains to point out that the scores are entirely confidential and no data is stored.

CMS senior partner Penelope Warne said: “Small behavioural changes on an organisational and individual basis are important and cumulatively make a difference. We are hoping this app guides us all in a positive direction when it comes to our carbon footprint.”

She added that the firm’s ambition was to become carbon neutral by 2025 and was “only a few months from establishing science-based targets for carbon reduction that would allow it to achieve that ambition.

The app was built by an in-house team of application developers. The firm has recruited three developers and a UX specialist to work on both internal and client-facing apps, led by head of business applications Eugen Stokes.

Earlier this month it was awarded an above-average ‘B' score by the Carbon Disclosure Project, a not-for-profit organisation that operates a voluntary disclosure system for organisations to report and manage their environment impacts.

The firm’s initiatives include planting nearly 2,000 trees since April 2019 in Europe and Brazil to offset paper consumption and a scheme to turn used coffee beans into biofuel.

Other green initiatives announced by law firm in recent months include the appointment by Ashurst of a global sustainability partner and a commitment by Baker McKenzie to reduce its emissions from energy consumption by 92 percent by 2030 (from a 2019 baseline).