Global firm commits to net-zero carbon emissions by 2030

By Jerome Doraisamy|02 December 2020
Global firm commits to net-zero carbon emissions by 2030

A global law firm with six Australian offices has pledged to reduce its carbon emissions to net zero in 10 years’ time.

On Wednesday, 2 December, Herbert Smith Freehills announced the commitment, which will see the global firm first reducing the emissions that it produces and then balancing that lower figure with emissions removed from the earth’s atmosphere to reach a net sum of zero.

In a statement, the firm said it will reduce its carbon emissions in a number of ways, such as using clean energy, working with suppliers that are also committed to emissions reductions, and supporting initiatives that purport to remove carbon dioxide produced by the firm from the atmosphere.

HSF chief executive Justin D’Agostino (pictured) said that this commitment “is the right thing to do”.

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“I’m proud that we’ll be among the leaders in the legal sector meeting this challenge,” he proclaimed.

“We’ve made excellent progress in sustainability over the last five years, but we need to go further – and we need to do it now. Our commitment to net-zero carbon by 2030 dramatically ramps up our own environmental efforts, while we continue to support our clients’ efforts to reduce their end-to-end carbon footprint too.”

The commitment forms part of the firm’s longstanding efforts, it said, to operate as a more sustainable business.

Three years ago, HSF moved to reduce carbon emissions by 15 per cent, together with cuts to energy consumption by 10 per cent and paper consumption by 30 per cent by this year.

At the end of last year, the firm announced it had beaten all of these goals.

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The 2030 target is “backed by science-based targets aligned with the requirements of the Paris Agreement”, HSF continued, and sees the global firm pursuing changes to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, in contrast to the international accord which seeks to limit warming to 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

The firm is also seeking independent verification for its commitment from the Science Based Targets Initiative. 

Global firm commits to net-zero carbon emissions by 2030
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