Linklaters understands the importance of the changing climate and strong environmental management. Across our business, we have reduced many of our negative impacts and associated greenhouse gas emissions since 2007. We look for opportunities to reduce our impacts and associated emissions further, including through energy and resource efficiency, waste prevention, sustainable travel and supply chain engagement.
Already leaders in our sector – both in operations and client advice – we know there is more to do and we are fully committed to playing our part.
Leadership and commitment
In June 2021 we adopted firmwide carbon reduction targets to April 2030 - approved by the Science-based Targets Initiative (SBTi) - from a FY19 (2018/19) market based baseline, which are to:
- reduce Scopes 1 & 2 emissions by 70% and
- reduce Scope 3 emissions by 50%
Our verified progress against these targets to April 2021 can be seen below. Please note the savings were strongly influenced by pandemic restrictions and different ways of working. Our focus post-Covid will be on ‘building back better’ and transitioning to a lower carbon way of working:
Our leadership is longstanding. In addition to being one of only two global law firms to hold firmwide environmental management system (EMS) certification to ISO 14001:2015, we remain the only global law firm to have reported GHG emissions through the CDP Climate Change questionnaire since 2012, scoring an A- in 2021 for the fifth year in a row.
Governance for the programme is provided by the Corporate Responsibility Committee which has delegated authority from the Partnership Board to endorse the firmwide environment programme, including the Environmental Policy.
Externally, we are active members of the Legal Sustainability Alliance, a network of law firms in which members share best practice and work together to ensure law firms play a full part in tackling the climate crisis.
Science-Based Target progress: Between 2019/20 and 2020/21, we reduced greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) equivalent, reported in tCO2e, as follows:
- Scope 1 & 2 by 14.9%, and
- Scope 3 by 37.2%.
These overall reductions included a 10.8% increase in natural gas emissions, a 26.4% decrease in electricity emissions, and a 96.8% decrease in business travel emissions.
In 2021, 74% of electricity was sourced from a 100% renewable supply and we aim to increase renewable energy purchasing where possible in our offices.
Long-term progress: Between 2009/10 and 2019/20, we reduced greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) equivalent, reported in tCO2e, by 46% across scopes 1, 2 & 3. This includes reductions arising from electricity (39%), water use (27%), business travel (23%), paper use (48.5%) and waste generation (36%).
More specific environment performance and GHG data is available below.
In 2017 we offset our scope 1, 2 and selected scope 3 GHG emissions1 including business travel through the Gyapa cook stove project and between 2018 and April 2022 through the Gola Rainforest Conservation Project in Sierra Leone.
The Gola Project protects over 140,000 hectares of rare rainforest with numerous endangered wildlife species, by creating a National Park to protect the habitat for 327 bird species, 650 endemic plant species, and 49 species of larger mammals. This, in turn, supports local communities through education and sustainable agriculture within a buffer zone surrounding the Park.
1 Emissions are offset from all scope 1 (e.g. gas use, refrigerant losses), scope 2 (i.e. purchased electricity which is not 100% renewable sourced) and the following scope 3 emission sources; water, waste, paper, hotel stays and business travel including plane, train and taxi journeys.
Sustainable by design
The sustainability of our buildings matters to us. We have leading environmental certifications across our offices and are working to enhance the health and wellbeing credentials of our sites too. Examples include:
- a LEED platinum (and DGNB gold) in Frankfurt, Dubai and Jakarta (from October 2022); LEED silver in New York and Stockholm
- a ‘Class A’ building in Milan, an A-label building in Amsterdam and a BCA Green Mark Scheme building in Singapore
- from 2026 our new headquarters will be in 20 Ropemaker, London which is designed to be a minimum BREEAM (Shell and Core) ‘Outstanding’ rated and WELL certified building. We have instructed our fit-out design team to achieve the highest BREEAM and WELL certificates for the fit-out design and are on target to achieve these.
Linklaters Greenhouse Gas Emissions Statement and Performance Data
The following firmwide GHG emissions, performance data and verification statement are true to the end of FY21 (April 2021).
From our refreshed FY19 market-based baseline, calculated in line with the SBTi methodology, our carbon emission performance over the past three years is as follows. Please note that many of the changes are influenced by Covid-19 restrictions and different ways of working. Only scope 3 emission categories relevant to Linklaters are shown.
Linklaters Greenhouse Gas Emissions Statement
|Scope 1 sub-total||Scope 1 subtotal||tCO2e||1,549||1,471||1,610|
|Direct Heating & Cooling||tCO2e||412||358||454|
|Scope 2 sub-total||Scope 2 subtotal||tCO2e||4,108||3,109||2,289|
|Purchased Goods & Services||tCO2e||47,897||38,231||27,687|
|Fuel and energy related activities||tCO2e||2,060||1,760||1,328|
|Upstream transportation and distribution||tCO2e||760||220||150|
|Waste generated in operations||tCO2e||61||127||28|
|Employee commuting & working from home||tCO2e||1,576||1,919||2,958|
|Downstream leased assets||tCO2e||15||11||2|
|Scope 3 sub-total||Scope 3 subtotal||tCO2e||83,993||68,556||42,869|
|Total emissions (market based) Scope 1, 2 and 3||Total emissions (market based) Scope 1,2, and 3||tCO2e||89,650||73,136||46,768|
Total emissions (location based) Scope 1, 2 and 3
|Total emissions (location based) Scope 1, 2 and 3||tCO2e||93,537||77,111||49,799|
|Total emissions intensity (FTE headcount market based)||Total emissions intensity (FTE headcount market based)||tCO2e||13.6||11.1||7.2|
|Total emissions intensity (FTE headcount location based)||Total emissions intensity (FTE headcount location based)||tCO2e||14.2||11.7||7.7|
1FY2019 scope 1, 2 & 3 data limited verification in accordance with the requirements of ISO 14064 – part 3 standard.
2FY2020 scope 1, 2 & 3 data limited verification in accordance with the requirements of ISO 14064 – part 3 standard.
3FY2021 scope 1, 2 & 3 data limited verification in accordance with the requirements of ISO 14064 – part 3 standard.
In addition, all scope 1 & 2 UK data has been verified to reasonable assurance in accordance with the requirements of ISO 14064 - part 3 standard for SECR requirements purposes.
The 2021 Greenhouse Gas Assurance Statement is here.
|Procurement||Purchased Goods & Services||£ spent (millions)||169.1||136.9||110.5|
|Capital Goods||£ spent (millions)||22.6||30.8||25.2|
|Waste Disposal||All waste2||Tonnes||1,633||1,573||548|
|Business Travel||Air||Million Km||71.5||51.9||1.6|
|Employee Commuting & Working from Home||Employee Commuting||Million Km||6.8||22.4||0.04|
|Working from Home||Million kWh||-||-||13.2|
|Upstream Leased Assets||Electricity||Million kWh||0.01||0.01||0.009|
|Downstream Leased Assets||Electricity||Million kWh||2.8||2.7||1.9|
|Investments||Investments||£ invested (millions)||0.7||0.7||0.7|
1Includes gas, district heating and cooling.
2This includes over 10 different types of waste streams, based on a combination of weighed and estimated waste data.