Protecting what’s precious
Our industry-leading environmental initiatives and client work maintain the momentum of our ambitious sustainability goals.
Freshfields understands the need to address the challenges faced by increased demand on natural resources and the impact of climate change. By setting environmental targets in our firmwide operations, participating in global initiatives, and supporting clients through the green transition, we play a leading role in contributing to a more sustainable future.
As governments, policymakers, investors and businesses meet at the annual COP events to address the global measures needed to tackle the challenge of climate change, it is clear that progress through strong leadership and governance will be required. Whether it is through our work on finance, regulation, litigation or transactions, Freshfields remains committed to supporting its clients in turning sustainability pledges into action.
We have made important and sustained progress against our 2021 global environmental targets, including reducing paper by 40% by 2025 and phasing down single-use plastics. These are critical in ensuring accountability and transparency as we move towards becoming a more sustainable firm and reducing our carbon footprint. Building upon these targets, the firm published its near-term science-based targets in January 2023. These targets set the firm on a trajectory of decreasing emissions, which will allow us to develop a long term net zero strategy over the coming year.
Our 2021 targets and science-based targets, all against a 2018/19 baseline
54% reduction in Scope 1 & 2 (operational) emissions by 2027
100% renewable energy supply in all offices by 2030
30% reduction in fuel and energy related emissions
35% reduction in business travel-related emissions by 2027
64% of our suppliers committed to science-based targets by 2027
40% reduction in paper usage by 2025
We strive for the best possible environmental standards in all of our locations, with many of our offices having high sustainability ratings with BREEAM, SKA and LEED. Our 100 Bishopsgate London office was carefully planned to minimise our environmental impact. Our colleagues have helped reduce the amount of single-use plastics in our catering operations. Throughout 2023 and the coming years, further progress will be made to phase-down single-use plastics across the business.
Other offices are implementing bespoke approaches to environmental management within their facilities and have achieved a number of other environmental successes.
In collaboration with leading international organisations, community groups and our colleague-led networks, we have committed to a number of green initiatives that are helping to drive positive change.
Since 2015 Freshfields has offset its emissions through a 10-year investment in the award-winning Reforestation in East Africa Programme. Freshfields REAP, as it is known, helps fight the effects of climate change through reforestation and strengthens the livelihoods of over 35,000 farmers in Kenya and Uganda. Freshfields supports a portfolio of green projects around the world that adopt a variety of innovative approaches to empower communities and reduce greenhouse gases, including gas distribution leak reduction in Bangladesh, and Gyapa efficient cookstoves in Ghana.
We have committed to the Greener Arbitration Pledge, and the Greener Litigation Pledge, helping to minimise the environmental impact of international arbitration and dispute resolution cases. The Freshfields-led New York Circular City Initiative brings together a range of representatives from the public and private divide whose aim is to create a transformational circular economy, where obsolescence is designed out of goods and no waste is sent to landfill.
To further support our focus on responsible business practices, the employee-led Global Green Group brings colleagues together to collaborate, share best practice and promote green activities and community days.