Main page content begins


Our environmental strategy is founded on our desire to play an important role in contributing to a sustainable future. We have experienced the benefits of our investment in efficiency, reducing business risk, acting responsibly and reducing our resource use and costs.

Last year we reduced our carbon emissions resulting from electricity use by 8%, reduced our overall waste by 12% and managed to maintain our previous efforts to significantly reduce our paper use.

  • Advising our clients

    Our Environment and Climate Change practice is recognised as being a thought leader in the field. It advises our clients on a range of critical issues that affect their businesses, including climate change, ethical investment, product stewardship, corporate governance and the application of the soft law principles to commercial transactions.

    Our Environment and Climate Change practice participates actively in public discussions on climate change and sustainable finance. Members of the team are represented in senior positions on climate industry bodies such as: the Legal Sector Alliance on Climate Change; the International Emissions Trading Association, the Climate Markets & Investment Association; and the Carbon Capture and Storage Association.

  • Senior Leadership

    Our International Board subcommittee Corporate Responsibility endorses our environmental strategy and provides the leadership and support to the local operational teams, environmental co-ordinators and environmental champions and representatives. This has helped to reduce our environmental impacts.

    Following the establishment of our Global Environmental Policy in 2008, and the accreditation of our UK Environmental Management System to the international standard ISO 14001 in 2009, we have continued to implement a global structure to support local offices to monitor and manage our environmental impacts more effectively. Every office provides data to monitor and measure their progress and is involved in responsibly managing their environmental impacts.

    In 2011, we agreed and launched the UK Operations Sustainable Procurement Policy. This policy aims to  enhance our procurement decisions, taking into account the environmental, social and economic impacts of what we buy. We recognise the importance of responsible supply chain management and the impacts purchasing can have to affect positive change, as reflected in our Global Environmental Policy. We will continue to look for ways to improve our performance.

    Business Travel
    In both meeting the needs of conducting business across the globe and to reduce the carbon emissions resulting from business travel, our investments in Telepresence conferencing in our London, Frankfurt, New York and Hong Kong offices has resulted in tangible business benefit. In the last year, 54% of bookings to this facility have resulted in a business flight being avoided

  • Collective thinking

    While there is much which can be done to improve our building management by incorporating new technologies, we are encouraging our people to be more conscious of how they as individuals can minimise their environmental impacts.

    There are many enthusiastic and motivated individuals in the firm who manage to fit in environmental responsibilities which are, often, in addition to their main roles. It is the drive and enthusiasm of our environmental champions which ensures many of our environmental initiatives come to fruition.

    In the true spirit of supporting the development of our corporate Environmental Management System, almost all of our offices took part in the firm’s Cook up a Storm sustainable recipe competition to mark World Environment Day 2012 whilst many other activities also took place throughout the year. Our “Go Green Team” in Stockholm has focused on raising awareness on the benefits of renewable energy, recycling and sustainable consumerism and have also adopted a bee hive, with the honey produced made available to staff. The Belgium Green Committee worked with local charity group, Ferme Nos Pillifs to highlight organic products and put up green hands around the office offering environmental tips whilst their café chef put together a ‘Green Menu’. In Bangkok, the office held a People Home Garden competition to raise awareness of the benefits of growing vegetables at home. Our Dubai environment team determined how much it would cost to offset their business flights since 2006 and invested this money into the Goumbook tree planting project. The Paris team removed plastic cups and the Warsaw team announced a new and improved partnership with their waste and recycling contractor and designed stickers to remind people to turn off lights when leaving the building.

  • Inspirational relationships

    The relationships we have with member organisations and those that assist with benchmarking and providing external verification have become an essential part of how we strive to manage our impacts better.

    Memberships and accreditations
    We are active executive members of the Legal Sector Alliance (LSA), an inclusive movement of law firms and organisations committed to working collaboratively to take action on climate change by reducing their carbon footprint and adopting environmentally sustainable practices. We are represented on the Leaders Group and the Taskforce and also sit on the Policy, Carbon Protocol and Employee Engagement working groups.

    We have continued to have our UK Environmental Management System certified to ISO 14001 and in 2011 underwent re-certification to the Carbon Trust Standard to ensure our greenhouse gas reporting is externally audited and verified. We reported our UK energy use and subsequent greenhouse gas emissions  to the Environment Agency under the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme, the UK’s mandatory climate change and energy saving scheme.

    Our Paris office completed the Bilan Carbone® Method, a carbon emissions reporting tool which provides an office carbon footprint and made us the first law firm in France to achieve this.

    Our New York office continues to participate in the American Bar Association - Environmental Protection Agency (ABA-EPA) Law Office Climate Challenge. The office has adopted best practices for office paper management. It has also received recognition as an Energy Star leader for implementing an energy management strategy and as a WasteWise partner for demonstrating commitment to waste reduction.

    Our Hong Kong office is a WWF Gold member. It has joined WWF’s Low-carbon Office Operations Programme (LOOP), which commits businesses to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions from their office operations.

    In February 2012, the London office won the City of London Clean City 2011 Chairman’s Cup  and were awarded Premier status. In October 2011, we won the Law Society Excellence award for Environmental Responsibility. In May 2012 we successfully renewed our BREEAM In-Use accreditation “Excellent” rating which verifies how sustainably our One Silk Street building is operated and managed. In May 2012 we were shortlisted in the Business Green 'Green IT Project of the Year' award category and were also shortlisted in the CSR Initiative category of the Legal Week 2012 awards for our sustainable IT programme of improvements.

    Our environmental champions in the UK have been instrumental in promoting a number of green initiatives, including promoting the re-use of office equipment and stationery and being pivotal in enabling engagement in the firm’s World Environment Day and Earth Hour activities.

    Sharing best practice
    The challenge for the virtual environment team, which consists of representatives from all our offices, is to ensure that our global operations are aligned, as country-specific issues, perceptions and importance of environmental issues and responsibility vary considerably. One way that we have addressed this challenge is via regular calls and meetings for those with environmental responsibilities and interests. The calls encourage the develop of the location specific environmental management system and the sharing of best practice.

  • Active Management 

    The implementation of our corporate environmental management system has meant we’ve been able to report our global environmental performance data with greater rigor than ever before.

    The implementation of our corporate environmental management system has meant we now have global environmental objectives:

    • To reduce carbon emissions associated with our energy use and business travel

    • To reduce our waste generation and increase recycling

    • To reduce our dependence on resources, specifically paper and stationery and encourage our staff (contractors and suppliers) to procure and use resources more efficiently (stationery, paper and office refurbishment)

    • To achieve water reductions and use water efficiently in our operations

    Our key achievements over the last year: 

    • achieved a 6.3% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions resulting from energy use and business travel

    • achieved a 12% reduction in overall waste produced

    • increased our recycling percentage to 56% 

    • maintained our paper use reductions, which sees us using 51% less paper now than we were in 2007

    • 54% of bookings to our Telepresence and video conferencing facility have avoided a business flight

    • changed the way we collate and analyse our environmental performance data to enable us to more readily report back on individual office performance

    Our carbon footprint last year was 26,780 tonnes of CO2 equivalent, a 6.3% reduction on the year before. This decrease is due significantly to our investments in technologies which have resulted in the improved energy efficiency of our operations and also in us managing our premises better. As the quality and scope of our data on greenhouse gases improves and as we update our data to current emissions factors in accordance with The Greenhouse Gas Protocol, our current reported total annual footprints are likely to change slightly and be re-stated every year. 

Click here to read our Global Environmental Policy

Click here to view our FY16 Independent Greenhouse Gas Verification Statement

Click here to read our Supplier Code of Conduct

Click here to read our Sustainable Procurement Policy


Linklaters Corporate Carbon Footprint

GHG emissions for period 1 May 2010 to 30 April 2012*


 Global Tonnes of CO2e

 2006/07 baseline





Scope 1


1,238 2005




Scope 2


22,305 19,357




Scope 3**


13,647 9,270




Total gross emissions


37,190 30,632




Carbon offsets


84 192




Green tariff


12,272 11,563




Total annual net emissions


24,834 18,878




Intensity measurement ‘tonnes of CO2e per person’


6.45 5.16




*based on data collected from 23 of our global office locations. Data from remaining offices has been estimated based on office headcounts of permanent, contract and non-permanent staff.
**resulting from business travel and business transport related activities

Corporate Environmental Performance Statement*







10/11 11/12

CO2 emissions

tonnes of CO2e





28,577 26,780

Paper use






201,013 199,602

Waste generated






2,264 1,994

Recycling rate






55% 56%

Water use






104,431 96,335

*based on data collected from 23 of our global office locations

This page has been assured by Two Tomorrows. Click here to read the Two Tomorrows assurance statement.