Global law firm Pinsent Masons has chosen 2030 as the target for cutting its absolute carbon emissions by a minimum of 50%.
In addition, the firm also plans to source 100% renewable electricity across its global assets by 2030.
The targets are backed by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), which is a collaboration between Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).
The non-profit collaboration defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting and independently assesses companies’ carbon emissions reduction targets.
Pinsent Masons managing partner John Cleland said setting targets to reduce its own emissions was a “natural next step” for a firm that regularly advises clients on low carbon projects.
“We recognize that operating 26 offices in a global network has significant environmental implications and want to implement real, tangible changes that have a positive impact. This helps us focus our efforts to achieve this,” Cleland said.
To calculate its global carbon footprint, the firm undertook a 12-month audit of its entire greenhouse gas inventory.
In the last five years, the firm has reduced its energy consumption by 30%, shrunk its office space by over 100,000 square feet and cut air travel by 10% – even creating “no-travel weeks” for all staff.
Pinsent Masons senior partner Richard Foley said the firm has adapted to become a “purpose-led organization” and has set four key metrics to assess its performance.
“These metrics represent what is truly meaningful to our stakeholders and that help us to focus on bettering ourselves as a purpose-led organization. During a particularly challenging year we’ve continued to focus on and measure ourselves against these metrics and we will continue to do so as we strive to improve them,” Foley said.
In 2020, Pinsent Masons launched its Climate Change Mitigation & Sustainability platform to coordinate internal and market-facing climate change initiatives and reduce the firm’s environmental impacts, but to also support clients and working with third parties to influence positive change.
The firm is also a member of the Net Zero Alliance. The 22 global law firms that are members of the alliance are committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050, while also setting interim targets to reduce their operational emissions by at least 50% by 2030 against 2019 levels.
Pinsent, which employs nearly 3600 people globally, including around 1500 lawyers and 400 partners, said it turned over £503.3 million (US$693.83 million) in the year to April – up 1.5% from £495.9m in the previous 12 months. Profits per partner across office locations also rose by 16% to £636,000.