International outfit sets emissions reduction targets
International law firm Simmons & Simmons has announced near-term targets to reduce global carbon emissions before the end of the decade.
The new green aims are backed by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), a partnership between several leading climate and science organisations that aims to limit global warming to 1.5 celsius.
In line with goals set out in the Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty on climate change, the pledge includes a commitment to reducing the firms direct emissions — those arising from sources controlled by the firm, such as office energy consumption — by 50% by 2030.
It is also planning to tackle emissions from employee commuting, business travel and those from the wider supply chain by 47% by 2030, as these indirect emissions are thought to make up the majority of the firm’s global carbon footprint.
Other measures being put into place to bring down office emissions include switching to renewable electricity; 50% less natural gas use; supporting supplier reduction efforts; and reducing transportation and distribution services emissions.
Simmons’ senior partner and chair of its climate committee, Julian Taylor, commented:
“As an international firm with operations across multiple jurisdictions, we have a responsibility to act to limit our global environmental impact. We are pleased that our near-term commitments to reduce emissions have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, and the important work to embed them across the firm has already begun.”
The news follows a recent announcement from Osborne Clarke, where the firm committed to reaching net-zero emissions by 2040. A handful of other UK firms have committed to the SBTi, including TLT (targeting net zero status by 2040), Pinsent Masons (targeting net zero status by 2040), Eversheds Sutherland (targeting net zero status by 2050 or sooner) and Burges Salmon (hoping to cut emissions by 50% by 2030).