Freshfields expands client sustainability commitment with new global appointment
- New Head of Client Sustainability & Environment joins from University of Cambridge
- Appointment adds academic and consultative expertise to firm’s sustainability offer
- Freshfields commits to Science Based Targets Initiative
Global law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (‘Freshfields’) has appointed Dr Jake Reynolds as its new Head of Client Sustainability & Environment, effective immediately.
Reynolds will be integral to driving Freshfields’ global sustainability offering, acting as a leading voice across five key client priorities including energy transition, human rights, corporate governance, climate change and sustainable finance. Reynolds will support the firm as it continues to provide strategic legal advice for clients as they transition towards more sustainable operating models, drawing on the firm’s experience across practices, sectors and jurisdictions.
Reynolds will also lead the firm’s own internal environmental initiatives. He joins at an exciting time as the firm explores new strategies to reduce its environmental impact, including an important focus on Scope 3 emissions reductions.
The firm continues to be at the forefront in this space, with recent mandates including a commission by the Generation Foundation, the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and UNEPFI to author a report on legal requirements for large asset holders investing for sustainability impact.
Freshfields Global Partner for Client Sustainability Tim Wilkins said: “We’re delighted Jake will be joining the firm – a unique opportunity for us to complement our legal services with his extensive experience in academia and consultancy at the forefront of a wide-range of sustainability topics. I’m confident that by bringing together this know-how, we can provide our clients with the best possible advice on their vital transitions to sustainability in a pressured and fast-changing world. We believe that collaboration within and across disciplines and industries is vital to making this happen. We’re looking forward to Jake’s leadership.”
Reynolds said: “I’ve watched business interest in sustainability grow from ad hoc CSR in the 1990s to the central role it plays in boardroom discussions now. Every part of the economy is embracing change, from public policy and business to private capital and law. I’m looking forward to supporting this journey for the firm and its clients.”
Reynolds joins Freshfields from the University of Cambridge, where he was an Executive Director at the Institute for Sustainability Leadership. Here, he implemented a Centre for Sustainable Finance to spark change across the investment, banking and insurance sectors and was architect of Rewiring the Economy, the Institute’s ten-year plan for a sustainable economy. Reynolds’ experience includes commissioning the first carbon footprint of the NHS, intended to align its huge spending power with climate change, and shaping public policy at the UK Sustainable Development Commission.
In 2021, Freshfields outlined new environmental targets to reduce operational and business travel emissions, minimise paper consumption and phase out single-use plastics. The firm also committed to the Science Based Targets Initiative and anticipates that these ambitious near-term targets will be validated before the close of 2022. Find out more about Freshfields’ sustainability commitments here.