Linklaters pledges to cut carbon emissions by at least half over next decade

Firm commits to 70% reduction in Scope 1&2 emissions and 50% cut in Scope 3 emissions

Linklaters has outlined plans to significantly cut its carbon emissions over the next 10 years as part of an effort to support the goals laid out in the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The firm said by 2030 it will reduce its ‘Scope 1&2’ emissions – primarily related to energy use – by 70% and its ‘Scope 3’ emissions – which are primarily related to the purchase of goods, services and travel, by 50%. The Paris Agreement aims to limit global warming to 1.5 Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Matt Sparkes, global head of sustainability at Linklaters and co-chair of the Legal Sustainability Alliance, said: “Responsibility and sustainability are at the heart of how we operate as a business and it is important that we are accountable to this commitment. Our new science-based targets will underpin our climate ambition and action as we continue to identify new and innovative ways to reduce our emissions, including embracing learnings from the Covid-19 pandemic and shifts in behaviour.”

Sparkes added: “We believe that these represent leading targets for the sector and reflect our continued leadership in environmental management – both in operations and client service.”

The carbon reduction targets are the latest effort by the firm to improve its environmental and sustainability credentials. Linklaters says it is the only law firm to have consistently disclosed its firm-wide greenhouse gas emissions as CDP supply chain responders since 2012. Last year the firm was graded A- for ‘leadership’ in the CDP Climate Change Survey for its carbon management efforts for the fourth year in a row. The firm says it is also one of only two international law firms to hold an ISO14001 environmental management standard globally.

Other firms have been ramping up their environmental, sustainability and governance (ESG) credentials this year amid a wider focus on sustainability issues. In April, HFW unveiled a new ESG strategy led by the firm’s first sustainability partner Giles Kavanagh. The firm said the strategy involves a series of targets including advising clients on their ESG goals and reducing the firm’s own environmental impact.

And in March, Dublin-based firm Matheson launched a dedicated ESG advisory group that will focus on climate action and supply chain management, among other aspects related to sustainability. 

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