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Environment

Protecting what’s precious

As part of our sustainability efforts, we manage our firm’s environmental impact, such as the energy we use in our buildings, our business travel, the waste we generate and the water and paper we use.

To minimise our impact as much as possible we have set ourselves four targets to be achieved by the end of 2020 (against a 2015/2016 baseline):

  • reduce emissions from office energy use by 10 per cent
  • reduce emissions from travel by 10 per cent;
  • reduce our paper use by 30 per cent; and
  • phase out single-use plastics.

Our London office has an environmental management system that is ISO 14001 certified. We also have a certified energy management system (ISO 50001). Our new office at 100 Bishopsgate will adhere to the same standards.

Other offices are implementing their own approaches to environmental management, following the recommendations of an internal Green Guide. For instance, the ‘Green Lawyering’ initiative is implementing a number of ambitious environmental measures across our European offices. We also have a number of local green committees in some of our offices which are entirely employee led. These committees have championed various sustainability initiatives such as lunch and learns and engagement events. We are looking to launch a global network that builds on these local successes.  

Our environmental policy explains more.

Freshfields has been carbon-neutral since 2007, and since 2015 have done so through a 10-year investment in the Reforestation in East Africa Programme (REAP). REAP is an innovative community forestry project that offsets our emissions and supports the livelihoods of around 8,800 small-scale farmers, while restoring the environment in Kenya and Uganda.

We calculate and make publicly available our annual carbon footprint and report annually to CDP (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project).

Our employees can also choose to offset their own non-work related carbon footprint by purchasing carbon credits through our award winning carbon offsetting scheme- Freshfields REAP (Reforestation in East Africa Programme).

While much of our focus is on minimising our own environmental impact, we also advise our clients in their own carbon reduction and environmental management initiatives, for instance via low-carbon infrastructure development and the issue of green bonds.

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