Legal Sector Alliance - acting on climate change
26 August 2009
The LSA is now well into its second year, and has grown from the original 18 founding members (of which Burges Salmon was one) to over 120 firms who have signed up to the LSA principles. LSA member firms represent 20% of solicitors in private practice (sole, small, medium and global firms), but also include in-house Counsel.
The LSA Principles
As a member of the Legal Sector Alliance, we have committed to:
1. Measure, manage and reduce the impact of our operations
2. Work with external stakeholders to reduce our indirect impact
3. Integrate awareness of climate change across our business
4. Consider the implications of climate change in the advice we give
5. Work collaboratively to engage in the public debate on climate change and to develop, apply and promote best practice across the sector
6. Report on our progress and be accountable
LSA members are committed to take action on climate change by adopting the LSA principles listed here. The principles cover members’ own operations, but also their wider influence on clients, suppliers, employees and policy makers. The principles provide a framework to support both individual and collective action by law firms.
"Climate change is the greatest challenge facing mankind today and we only have a very small window of opportunity to act. I am enormously heartened that the legal sector understands the gravity of the threat. By joining together in this way you are demonstrating precisely the kind of leadership that will make a difference."
HRH The Prince of Wales
The need to reduce carbon emissions in the procurement process has prompted the Legal Sector Alliance to develop a sustainable procurement guide for law firms.
The global downturn means that the LSA is working even harder to emphasise the cost savings and efficiencies that result from adopting sustainable business practices. A recent Law Society survey found that many lawyers/law firms remain sceptical about the negative impacts of climate change and so the work of the LSA will focus on adding value for its members and leading best practice in the sector. A key objective for 2009 is to extend the remit beyond carbon and climate change and to support members on wider sustainability issues, including waste and water use.
To coincide with the publication of the EU White paper on adaptation, the Legal Sector Alliance has worked with Ecofys, a specialist climate change and energy consultancy, to develop a series of nine briefing notes outlining the key concepts of climate change adaptation for different sectors, and the relevance of new and emerging policy and best practice in this area.