Freshfields wins inaugural Green Arbitration Award
Freshfields has won the inaugural Campaign for Greener Arbitration Award for Sustainable Behavior. The award, which was presented July 1 at the Global Arbitration Review (GAR) Awards 2021 virtual ceremony, is a collaboration between GAR and the Campaign for Greener Arbitrations.
Freshfields earned the award for its multi-pronged carbon-reduction efforts, including: the establishment of a Green Arbitration Task Force to further reduce the carbon footprint of its global international arbitration practice; through the implementation of the Green Pledge Principles; and for the firm’s 5-year environment strategy, which includes a carbon-offsetting program that supports the livelihoods of 9,000 farmers in Kenya and Uganda while enhancing gender equality.
“We can change our world for the better daily. This important initiative is a great way for all of the Freshfields arbitration practitioners to play their part,” said Boris Kasolowsky, co-head of the firm’s international arbitration group, who accepted the award for the firm.
The Campaign for Greener Arbitration—which itself won the GAR Award for Best Development in 2020—is an initiative launched by independent arbitrator Lucy Greenwood in 2019 to reduce the carbon footprint of the arbitration community. Approximately 20,000 trees (the equivalent of the tree population of New York City’s Central Park) are necessary to offset the carbon emissions of a mid-sized arbitration, according to the organization. Earlier this year, the Campaign launched a Green Pledge with eight Guiding Principles to raise awareness of this significant carbon footprint within the arbitration community, and, on Earth Day 2021, the Campaign released a Framework and set of Protocols to promote better environmental behavior through a series of action items geared towards the various actors of the arbitration community. The Protocols serve as practical guidance for implementing the tenets of the Guiding Principles.
Freshfields was among the first global law firms to sign the Pledge, which has now been signed by over 600 hundred individuals and organizations, committing to its principles of greener arbitrations and thereby taking another step forward in the firm’s global environmental strategy. Freshfields has been committed to carbon neutrality since 2007, and since 2015 has achieved this through an award-winning carbon offsetting program, the Reforestation in East Africa Programme (REAP). Other steps undertaken by the firm to reach its ambitious global environmental targets include phasing out single-use plastics in all offices by the end of 2021, reducing paper usage by 40% and carbon from business travel by 30% by 2025, and powering all offices with 100% renewable electricity by 2030.
”The Pledge represents a wonderful synthesis of how we can collaborate with clients to practice law and deliver results in the most environmentally positive way,” said Timothy Wilkins, Global Partner for Client Sustainability. “The international arbitration team has set the gold standard by which other practice groups at the firm will aspire to emulate. I’m thrilled to see them honored in this way.”
Shortly after signing the Pledge, Freshfields’ international arbitration group established a Global Task Force to implement the principles of the Green Pledge and further reduce its carbon footprint. Noiana Marigo, head of the firm’s international arbitration practice in the Americas and co-head of the Latin America practice, has helped lead the effort.
“This initiative further illustrates the role our International Arbitration Group plays in shaping thought leadership in new and emerging areas of international arbitration,” said Marigo. “Over the past few years, the team has also played a significant role in the development of The Equal Representation in Arbitration (ERA) Pledge, which seeks to increase, on an equal opportunity basis, the number of women appointed as arbitrators and the profile of female practitioners within the profession.”
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This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide legal advice. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.