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Clifford Chance chooses environmental protection charity Plan Vivo as winner of its inaugural Sustainable Development Goals award

29 October 2021

Clifford Chance chooses environmental protection charity Plan Vivo as winner of its inaugural Sustainable Development Goals award

Leading international law firm Clifford Chance has named environmental protection charity and voluntary carbon standard, Plan Vivo as the winner of its first ever sustainable development goal award, developed with the objective of supporting non-governmental organisations (NGOs) whose work contributes to the achievement of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Plan Vivo, based in Scotland will receive a £50,000 donation and 500 hours of pro bono support over an 18-month period to support the next stage of its growth, in particular, its ability to measure and evaluate impact and better incorporate the inclusion of marginalised groups at the project design stage.

Founded in 2008, the Plan Vivo model enables communities to access carbon finance, in return for emission reductions generated through sustainable community land-use projects. Over the last 2 years, Plan Vivo projects have planted over 4 million trees on over 6,000 hectares. In this time, its projects have avoided deforestation on 18,832-hectare forests, and have enabled 1,879,228 tonnes CO2 of carbon removals, or avoided emissions. The organisation has a strong focus on supporting climate sensitive rural communities, channelling over $5.8 million (USD) directly to project participants.

In supporting the practical execution of Plan Vivo's objectives, Clifford Chance, will deploy expertise from across the firm, drawing on the experience of lawyers and business services employees, drawing from a wide range of relevant skills and practices.

Jeroen Ouwehand, Senior Partner and head of Clifford Chance's ESG board, said: "Plan Vivo's impact to date was incredibly compelling to the team in its progressive and innovative approach to working both sustainably and collaboratively with the communities it works in. With the world's spotlight on the ever increasingly urgent need for climate mitigation and our commitment as a firm to find ways to actively contribute towards the UN's SDGs, Plan Vivo's promise at such a pivotal time was undeniable. We look forward to working with the organisation in its continued trajectory towards greater impact and success."

Caroline Stillman, Projects and Social Impacts Officer added: "The Plan Vivo team is delighted to have won the Clifford Chance SDG award in recognition of our holistic approach to achieving impact for climate, nature and rural communities. We believe that empowering rural communities to sustainably manage their lands is crucial to mitigating climate change and enabling communities to build resilience, both urgent issues. This award provides us with a truly exciting opportunity to work with Clifford Chance, and enable our projects to reach greater impact."

The decision committee received a very strong field of entries with 42 applications from around the world. This was painstakingly narrowed down to a final 7 applicants who were able to present to the firm, after which a decision was made.

Read more about Clifford Chance's approach to approach to responsible business.