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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance

Responsible Business Insights

Creating sustainable change

Following the science

The 2015 Paris Agreement committed those world governments that are signatories to limiting global warming to well below 2°C, preferably to 1.5°C, above pre-industrial levels. To achieve this, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions need to halve by 2030 and fall to Net Zero by 2050.

The private sector has a crucial role to play in this and Clifford Chance is no exception. As a responsible business, it is imperative we act now, which is why in early 2021 we partnered with EcoVadis, the 'world's most trusted provider' of business sustainability ratings in 2020, to monitor our own and our supplier's sustainability performance against a global recognised methodology, and in doing so became the first law firm to rollout our sustainable procurement programme using the EcoVadis Platform. It is also why we extended our partnership with sustainability data and consulting firm Carbon Intelligence to develop science-based targets for submission to the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) for approval.

Science-based targets enable us to better understand our emissions and help us build a decarbonisation pathway and roadmap to Net Zero. They show by how much and how quickly we need to reduce our GHG emissions if we are to help prevent the most damaging effects of climate change and, by submitting them for validation we can be certain we are taking an objective, science-based approach.

Working with Carbon Intelligence, we embarked on an in-depth analysis to identify not only Scope 1 and 2 emissions – those from the burning of fuels, such as natural gas, in our buildings and from the generation of purchased electricity – but also to calculate Scope 3 emissions, which includes the goods and services we use to run our firm, from our technology through to our recruitment and knowledge management services, and our business travel, including the modes of transport we use to support the delivery of services to our clients. Achieving Net Zero requires the firm to set reduction targets for all emissions and that means working collaboratively with our suppliers to reduce their emissions, in addition to tackling our own carbon footprint.

Whilst we await the validation of our targets by the SBTi in the new year, we will continue with our decarbonisation plan nd join thousands of businesses around the world who are demonstrating their commitment to mitigating the effects of climate change.