Expert comment by Jonathan Shopley, The CarbonNeutral Company
The formation of the Legal Sector Alliance has sent a strong message to the UK business community that the legal industry is serious about environmental responsibility. But on an individual basis, how can law firms respond to the scientific requirement of an 80 per cent reduction in emissions by 2050, continue to grow profitability, retain competitiveness and meet stakeholder pressure about action on climate change?
We now have a new date for the postponed Legal Sector Alliance Symposium - 13 January 2011. Our fantastic line up of expert speakers will all be in attendance at 15 Hatfields, UK SE1 8DJ. If you registered for 2 December you will automatically have a place for 13 January.
Registration for those attending in person commences at 15:30, with the event starting at 16:00.
Formally launched in December 2008 by His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, the LSA now represents more than 30 per cent of solicitors in private practice in England and Wales.
For many law firms, the first steps in carbon management can be the easiest ones. The essentials of measuring the operational carbon footprint, engaging staff, setting targets and starting to reduce emissions coupled with early energy and drive can convert quickly into tangible results.
Now in their fourth year, the Law Society Excellence Awards are a showpiece in the legal calendar. The LSA Award for Excellence in Environmental Responsibility recognises original ideas and significant outcomes from environmental initiatives such as carbon management, energy efficiency and sustainable procurement.
The Legal Sector Alliance is hosting a series of regional events in 2010 to showcase the business benefits of taking a proactive approach to climate change, with a focus on key climate impacts and opportunities for law firms.
More and more areas of the business are being considered by law firms seeking to reduce their company-wide carbon emissions. Overall the IT sector will increase its carbon emissions by 6 per cent per year with PC ownership quadrupling to four billion devices by 2020 and emissions doubling, according to a 2008 report by The Climate Group. This compares with around 3 per cent growth in the aviation sector.
Expert comment by Shelley Bartlett and Jonathan Ekin, C-Change
It is impossible to talk about the issues of sustainability and climate change in a business context without referring one to the other. It is evident that they both represent real business opportunities, but also risks. Capitalising on the opportunities and minimising the risks is achieved by making the connections between these issues.
In a unique synchronised move, 32 law firms and the Law Society of England and Wales have unveiled their individual carbon footprints.
The results reveal an overall reduction in absolute carbon emissions of 4% among the LSA Executive members’ since the first public report in December 2008, demonstrating that carbon management remains a key priority for members, despite the economic downturn.