Slaughter and May becomes the first law firm to set approved Science Based Climate Change Targets

Firm commits to reduce carbon emissions 50% by 2030 - Find out more

International law firm Slaughter and May today announces that it is the first law firm to have ambitious new targets to reduce the impact of climate change approved.

In 2019, Slaughter and May committed to set science-based targets aligned with the requirements of the Paris Agreement. The latest pledge sets to reduce the firm’s absolute Scope 1,2 and 3 GHG emissions by 50% by 2030 from a 2018 base year. The targets have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative.

The targets represent the most ambitious pathway under the Science Based Targets initiative, aiming to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees centigrade. Achieving these targets would place the firm on a trajectory which could see it reach ‘net zero’ – without the use of offsets - by 2042.

Jeff Twentyman, partner and co-chair of the UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development said, “I am proud that the firm has not only made this commitment, but that we are the first law firm to have our targets approved, our work now has a really clear focus and ambition. As signatories to the Paris Pledge for Action, we are committed to setting science-based targets in line with the reductions required to limit global temperature increase to 1.5ºC. As an organisation, we have already made large reductions in our carbon footprint over the last few years, and this is the next logical step.

“We are all facing a very challenging time at the moment; the COVID-19 crisis is fundamentally a human tragedy, but has also brought into sharp relief the extreme impact that humans have on the planet. A great deal of work has been put into getting to where we are now, and we are keen that this is continued. Achieving these targets will be challenging. Despite the other difficulties that we face, it is vital that we don’t lose momentum.’’

Helen Clark, Head of Environmental Sustainability added, "These targets reaffirm our commitment to operating as a responsible business. We believe that the role of the private sector in supporting the transition to a low carbon economy is an absolutely vital one. We are guided by government policy, but without businesses taking accountability for their actions and driving forward change, we will simply not be able to take the necessary steps quickly enough.”

Slaughter and May was also the first law firm to join RE100, a collaborative, global initiative led by the Climate Group in partnership with CDP, and has committed to sourcing 100% of its future global electricity requirements from renewables. During the last 10 years the firm has reduced the absolute carbon emissions associated with its energy use by 63%.

In addition, the firm was one of the founding members of the Legal Sustainability Alliance, an inclusive movement of law firms and those in the legal profession committed to working together to take action on climate change by reducing their carbon footprint and adopting environmentally sustainable practices.