Freshfields looks to slash air travel in sustainability push

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By Thomas Connelly on

Magic circle player also vows to reduce paper consumption and ramp up use of renewable electricity

Freshfields has pledged to reduce the number of times its lawyers jet across the world on business as part of a raft of new measures to make the firm more environmentally sustainable.

The magic circle player has set its sights on reducing carbon emissions from business travel by 30% over the next five years, with a particular focus on air travel. Freshies also set the “ambitious” eco-goals of reducing paper usage by 40% and phase out single-use plastics in all of its offices by the end of 2021.

The firm, which chalked-up a B for ‘eco-friendliness’ in our latest Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey, also pledged to purchase 100% renewable electricity by 2030.

Georgia Dawson, Freshfields senior partner, commented:

“Our new environment strategy, with its bold targets and strong focus on the firm’s global carbon footprint, will ensure Freshfields remains a sector leader in integrating environmental objectives within our business. Building on our success in meeting the five-year targets we set in 2016, we are confident that through our new strategy we can achieve a successful and sustainable future for our firm.”

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But Freshies eco-efforts stem beyond just planes and paper. The outfit’s new HQ — 255,000 square feet of a shiny new skyscraper at 100 Bishopsgate — is understood to feature sustainable furniture made of recyclable plastics.

It isn’t the first firm to up its green endeavours, with Herbert Smith Freehills recently announcing its aim of reducing carbon emissions to net-zero by 2030. CMS, meanwhile, has committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2025 as part of its Climate Action and Sustainability programme.

Even future lawyers are upping their eco efforts. Last year Legal Cheek reported that the University of Nottingham Law Society hoped to become the UK’s first carbon negative law soc by ditching, among other things, law firm brochures and paper tickets.

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