LSA Champions Sustainable Practice: The Role of Law Firms in Net Zero

LSA Champions Sustainable Practice: The Role of Law Firms in Net Zero

As members of the Legal Sustainability Alliance (LSA), law firms across the UK are pioneering efforts to integrate sustainability into their operations. This commitment not only advances environmental goals but also sets a standard for the industry. Partnering with Net Zero Now, these firms are taking significant strides towards a sustainable future.

What is the Legal Sustainability Alliance?

The Legal Sustainability Alliance (LSA) has been at the forefront of sustainability for UK law firms since 2007, guiding them to committing to Net Zero. The organisation aims to inform, equip, and empower lawyers to take action on climate and nature crises both at work and in practice. Its executive board, chaired by Caroline May and Matt Sparkes, includes representatives from 15 leading law firms and The Law Society.

LSA’s Contribution to Legal Sector Sustainability

The Legal Sustainability Alliance (LSA) has been instrumental in driving the integration of sustainable practices within the legal sector. Through a range of initiatives such as hosting impactful sustainability events, producing informative podcasts, and providing essential resources, the LSA empowers law firms to develop and implement effective sustainability strategies. These actions highlight the LSA's dedication to transitioning the legal industry towards a low-carbon business model, fostering a shared mission with organisations such as Net Zero Now, which independently collaborates with law firms to enhance their environmental strategies.

Collaborative Efforts with LSA Member Firms

While Net Zero Now operates independently, we share a commitment to sustainability with the LSA and partner with several of its esteemed member law firms, including Fenwick Elliott, Hill Dickinson, Hickman & Rose, Mills & Reeve, and Mishcon de Reya. These collaborations are focused on advancing each firm’s sustainability agenda through specialised carbon accounting solutions and Net Zero consulting services. By working alongside these sustainable law firms, Net Zero Now supports their robust carbon reduction plans, complementing the LSA’s efforts to promote sustainability across the legal sector.

The Significant Impact of Legal Sector Sustainability Initiatives

"Collaboration has consistently played a crucial role in advancing our sustainability initiatives at Mills & Reeve. Our partnership with Net Zero Now has been incredibly helpful for setting our SBTi targets. They’ve connected us with several key stakeholders and partnership organisations allowing us to foster and exchange ideas, expertise, and best practices, and helping us to foster a more effective and impactful drive towards net zero. Overall this collaboration has helped to strengthen our wider sustainability messaging across the firm, involving our people more closely in our journey to net zero."
Jessica Wilkes-Ball, Senior Sustainability Manager at Mills & Reeve

The commitment to sustainability within the legal sector has the potential to create monumental impacts on the environment. If all UK law firms embraced the Net Zero Initiative, it's projected that the industry could reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 400,000 tons over five years. To put that into perspective, this reduction is equivalent to the annual carbon footprint of over 87,000 cars on UK roads or the energy usage of nearly 49,000 homes for a year. This substantial decrease not only contributes to global climate goals but also positions law firms as leaders in corporate responsibility and environmental stewardship.

Developing the Net Zero Law Protocol: A Rigorous Methodology

The Net Zero Law Protocol, developed in collaboration with Greener Litigation and various pilot law firms, demonstrates a bespoke approach meticulously tailored for the legal industry. This protocol strictly adheres to the most rigorous and globally recognised standards to ensure the highest level of accuracy and reliability in sustainability reporting:

  • The GHG Protocol Corporate Standard: This includes detailed guidance on Scope 2 and 3 accounting, providing the framework for nearly all corporate-level greenhouse gas reporting. It is the most widely utilised standard for quantifying and managing GHG emissions.
  • UK Environmental Reporting Guidelines: These guidelines are the latest directives from the UK government, ensuring compliance with national standards for environmental reporting.
  • PAS 2050: This specification helps organisations assess the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of goods and services, enhancing the transparency and comparability of emissions data across different sectors.
  • PAS 2060: Recognised internationally as the definitive standard for verifying carbon neutrality, this standard provides a structured framework for achieving and claiming a state of carbon neutrality.
  • ISO 14064 – 1: This part of the ISO standard offers specifications with guidance at the organisational level for the quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and removals.

By integrating these standards into our protocol, Net Zero Now ensures that law firms not only follow a clear and credible path to achieving their sustainability objectives but also align their actions with global best practices. This rigorous methodology underlines our commitment to providing industry-leading support, enabling law firms to meet their environmental targets with precision and confidence.

Comprehensive Services and Certification for Law Firms

At Net Zero Now, we assist law firms in developing tailored carbon reduction plans as part of their comprehensive ESG strategies. Our services extend to setting and submitting Science Based Targets (SBTi) and ensuring compliance with SECR regulations, which are crucial for maintaining environmental accountability.

Our Net Zero certification mark underscores a firm's commitment to sustainability, enhancing their credibility with clients and stakeholders. Additionally, to prepare for the 2024 UK environmental regulations, we provide a detailed guide to help firms navigate these upcoming changes effectively.

Net Zero Now as the Premier Carbon Accounting Solution

As the demand for accurate environmental reporting grows, Net Zero Now positions itself as the premier provider of carbon accounting solutions tailored for the legal sector. Our carbon accounting platform offers more than just carbon tracking; it provides a comprehensive suite of carbon accounting tools designed to meet the unique needs of law firms. This includes detailed analytics and customised reporting that help firms not only to comply with regulations but to also make informed decisions about their sustainability strategies.

Advance Your Firm's Climate Action with Net Zero Now

We invite all law firms to consider the path to Net Zero by adopting our climate action support pathway and climate action plan, specifically designed to meet the unique needs of the legal industry. For those ready to take the next step, Net Zero Now is here to guide you through every phase of your sustainability journey.

You can schedule a free consultation with the Net Zero Now team from here or send an email to