Climate Change Strategy

Net zero carbon, this year and every year.
Working to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C.  

Mishcon de Reya LLP is committed to having a net positive impact on society and the environment. A central plank of that commitment is to be a net zero carbon business, actively working to achieve the most ambitious aim of the Paris Agreement, to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels.

We achieve this through a three-step approach:

Reduce

We are a signatory to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). We have set science-based emissions reduction targets to reduce our emissions by 4.2% annually for the next 10 years to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels.

Capture

We are further committed to remove 100% of our unavoided emissions, through nature-based carbon capture.

Catalyse

The Firm works to enable its clients and people to drive transformation to mitigate and adapt to climate change, including with our suppliers.

From June – October 2020, we undertook a detailed exercise measuring our carbon footprint and setting science based reduction targets, with the expert support of specialist consultancy Green Element and Compare Your Footprint. This analysis has given us granular detail, putting us ahead of the growing number of carbon-related standards and regulations, and enabling us to plan how to reduce our emissions in line with the Firm’s business strategy.

In parallel with addressing the emissions of our business, we are taking action to support:

Our People: By making a personal sustainability app available to all staff in Q1 2021;

Our Clients: By advising on the implications of climate change, and how to act to address them; and by working with entrepreneurs in the development of innovative new technologies for nature-based carbon capture and markets;

Debate around a definition of "Climate Refugee": Migration is one of the major consequences of climate change, where people are forced to move due to sudden or gradual alterations in the natural environment related to at least one of three impacts of climate change: sea-level rise, extreme weather events, and drought and water scarcity;

Decarbonisation of litigation: By pursuing a strategy to catalyse the decarbonisation of litigation in the English courts, including:

  • A study of the impact of remote hearings and other procedural rules on carbon emissions, particularly in relation to large international commercial disputes where parties are currently required to travel internationally to attend in-person hearings, as identified in May 2020 as an urgent priority for evaluation by the Civil Justice Council. We are working with UCL and others on this analysis.
  • A Green Litigation Pledge, which we have drafted and are in talks with other law firms and bodies such as the Law Society to adopt.

Our emissions

We have measured our emissions footprint for FY 2019/20 in line with the Science Based Target initiative. This includes our direct emissions (scope 1), the emissions from our electricity (scope 2), and the emissions from our value chain (scope 3). 

Our total greenhouse gas emissions for 2019-20 were:

  • 5,139 tonnes CO2e (tCO2e)
  • 5.5 tCO2e per person
  • 27.3 tCo2e per £million revenue

Our Streamlined Energy & Carbon Reporting (SECR) is reported for FY 2019/20, in accordance with The Companies (Directors’ Report) and Limited Liability Partnerships (Energy and Carbon Report) Regulations 2018.

Our approach

Our climate strategy integrates how we run our business, our advisory work and the shaping initiatives we are pursuing to address climate change, into a single programme behind our Purpose.

Reducing our emissions

We are one of only five law firms to have signed up to the Science Based Targets initiative.

We are in the process of having our targets validated. 

We will report company-wide emissions and track target progress annually.

What this means:

To meet our science-based target, we need to reduce our emissions by 4.2% every year for the next 10 years. We are carefully reviewing our business to determine how we can achieve these efficiencies from a pre-Covid base.

 

We are integrating our reduction targets into our business plans including in relation to:

  • energy and office space;
  • IT;
  • air travel; and
  • commuting.

Capturing the balance

We are committed to being net zero carbon, this year and every year.

To achieve this, while reducing our emissions in line with the SBTi, we are working with partners to ensure that carbon equivalent to our unavoided emissions is captured over defined periods.

In our view, there are significant challenges with many of the existing voluntary offsetting schemes. We propose to avoid these and, instead pay for carbon equivalent to our emissions being sequestered through known innovative UK nature-based projects, which measure the carbon captured and also deliver positive social and environmental impact.

 

What this means:

  • We pay every year to secure the capture of carbon equivalent to our unavoided emmissions (which will be decreasing by 4.2% annually) through afforestation, peatland regeneration and regenerative agriculture over identified landscapes in the UK. 
  • These projects will have other environmental (increased biodiversity) and social (e.g. amenity and flooding abatement) impacts, which will be measured and reported to us.

Climate Change Strategy

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