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Greener Litigation launches innovative toolkit to promote sustainable practices in the legal industry

Posted on 9 April 2024

Greener Litigation has launched a toolkit designed to assist the legal profession in England and Wales to reduce their carbon footprint and embrace more sustainable practices throughout the civil litigation lifecycle.

In response to a survey conducted among its members, Greener Litigation has identified a strong desire within the legal community for practical guidance on how to make a positive environmental impact. The toolkit is a direct answer to this call, providing actionable steps that legal professionals can take to support the courts and court users in their journey towards carbon neutrality and ultimately, carbon negativity.

The toolkit follows the stages of litigation, offering insights into how members of the legal profession can implement the behaviours encouraged by the Greener Litigation Pledge. From document management and travel to procurement and communication, the guide aims to inspire and enable change, ensuring that environmental considerations are woven into the fabric of litigation practice.

The toolkit also includes references to the Civil Procedure Rules and relevant Court Guides, serving as a useful resource for legal practitioners to align their sustainability efforts with existing procedural frameworks.

Greener Litigation's commitment to driving cultural change within the legal profession is further highlighted by the inclusion of illustrative examples, calculated by sustainability certification organisation Planet Mark, demonstrating the significant carbon savings that can be achieved through the adoption of sustainable practices.

Olivia Wybraniec, Managing Associate Barrister at Mishcon de Reya and Greener Litigation Steering Committee Co-Chair, commented: "The new Greener Litigation Toolkit is a valuable and practical guide for litigators in England and Wales to enable sustainable practice at every stage of litigation.  The toolkit has been produced thanks to many members of the Greener Litigation community contributing their practical experience - led by steering committee members from Kennedys (Ann Dingemans), Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Rufus Stirling and Rachel Duffy) and Addleshaw Goddard (Rachel Stephens), with the real-world impact of these steps calculated by Planet Mark (Jo Little)."

Ben Aram, Global Head of Corporate and Commercial and Responsible Business Sponsor at Kennedys, added: “Kennedys is proud to be a founding member of this important toolkit. Our commitment to offering innovative solutions whilst reducing the global carbon footprint means we are not afraid to bring new ideas to the table beyond the traditional realm of legal services. The Greener Litigation toolkit is an excellent example of just that, helping the legal profession come together, lead the way and make a positive difference.”

Rufus Stirling, Associate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, said: “We hope that the toolkit will help litigators realise that litigation, however intangible the process may sometimes seem, can have a very tangible environmental impact. However, there are choices that litigators can make within the relevant procedural rules to substantially reduce that impact. The toolkit is designed to assist with those choices and show that even relatively small changes can have a positive effect.”  

The toolkit is available to all signatories of the Greener Litigation Pledge and the wider legal community, reflecting the project's inclusive approach to fostering environmental responsibility across the sector.

Further information

For more information on the toolkit and to join the Greener Litigation Pledge, please visit www.greenerlitigation.org.

About Planet Mark

Planet Mark is a sustainability certification organisation that supports businesses to understand and measure their carbon emissions and social impact. Supporting members to reduce their carbon emissions towards Net Zero. To find out more, please visit www.planetmark.com or contact jo.little@planetmark.com.

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Solicitors Journal
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