Pinsent Masons and Osborne Clarke up eco efforts with net-zero emissions targets

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By Thomas Connelly on


More firms look to cut carbon

Pinsent Masons and Osborne Clarke have become the latest law firms to up their efforts to reduce carbon emissions, with two science-backed net zero targets.

Pinsents is aiming for net zero status by 2040 and Osborne Clarke is hoping to achieve the same by 2050 at the latest. Pinsents’ green goal has been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), which aims to mobilise companies to reduce their emissions. Osborne Clarke has committed to setting a long-term target with the SBTi in the near future.

Pinsents — which scored an A* for ‘eco-friendliness’ in our Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey — says the new target includes direct emissions resulting from business operations, indirect emissions associated with the generation of purchased electricity, and all other indirect emissions across global supply chains.

It said it has made progress in reducing emissions in areas such as energy consumption, business travel and waste, and that prior to the pandemic, it achieved a 30% reduction in energy consumption across its UK offices — 10% higher and a year ahead of initial targets.

Osborne Clarke, meanwhile, has also set the near-term goal of cutting carbon emissions by 50% by 2030. It achieved an A* for ‘eco-friendliness’ too. This target has been submitted for approval by the SBTi.

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Ray Berg, Osborne Clarke’s UK managing partner, said:

“We’re a socially responsible firm that cares about the impact we make in the world. Building a sustainable business is something we’ve been passionate about for more than 20 years, and investing in our Net Zero strategy was the next step in progressing our efforts. We’re proud to be one of the first firms to make both near and long-term commitments to deep decarbonisation targets, meeting the needs of our clients, people and communities.”

A raft of firms have set similar green goals, with the likes of Allen & Overy, CMS, Eversheds Sutherland, Herbert Smith Freehills, Linklaters and Slaughter and May all publicly pledging to cut emissions.

Meanwhile, Legal Cheek reported earlier this week that lawyers at Reed Smith can now count up to 25 hours of leadership, advocacy, training and development work tied to environmental sustainability towards their billable hour targets as part of the firm’s new Global Environmental Sustainability Plan.

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