Building the Sustainable Law Firm
Developing and Implementing an ESG Strategy
Robert van Beemen, Sophie Boyer Chammard
With continued pressure from human rights organisations and socially conscious shareholders, investors, clients and employees, there is little doubt that every law firm must have environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues at the core of its business strategy. However, the implementation of an ESG strategy should not be a box-ticking exercise; rather, it requires firm-wide commitment and involves the full integration of ESG criteria into the strategy, operations and ethos of the firm, in relation to both the firm itself and its dealing with clients. Increased regulation, stronger business ethics and attitudes to climate change, environmental protection, employment standards, sustainable finance, risk and governance, community engagement, corruption and human rights are evolving at an unprecedented rate. As a result, the development of robust, long-term ESG initiatives in these areas can provide law firms with manifold benefits, including the opportunity to: gain competitive advantage; retain their license to operate; make cost savings due to operational improvements; attract, engage and retain clients and employees; increase value and service offerings to clients through advising them on their own sustainability transformation; and enter new markets. This Special Report looks at the business drivers for sustainability in law firms and offers a practical toolkit to guide law firms on their ESG journey. It will make essential reading for all lawyers, law firm leaders and management teams who are involved in implementing sustainability strategies at both a firm and practice group level.