We continually evaluate how and what we consume and how we can make our business more sustainable, not just for our lawyers and allied professionals, but for the world.
With more than 45 offices across five continents, it is important that as a firm we are intentional about understanding and mitigating our impact to the climate. To this end, we continuously consider our use of resources across our global platform, and determine and execute on actions we can take to make our business more sustainable. Watch this space for updates on how we operate our firm, support our personnel, and nurture our global community in line with our values of innovation, inclusion, and fiscal foresight.
We are committed to being part of the solution and are mindful of the potential impact our global operations could have on the environment. It is our responsibility and priority to proactively address these issues head on.
As we continue to expand our global platform, we understand the importance of being diligent in optimizing our real estate footprint as we work toward a goal of greater sustainability in how we work for our clients.
Globally, we have taken steps throughout our firm to use daylight harvesting to optimize natural lighting in recent office renovations; participate in recycling and composting programs when available; integrate carbon tracking mechanisms in our travel booking; and as a standard, to use energy efficient computers and lighting. By example, for more than a decade, our Australia offices have been identifying, measuring, and reporting on their carbon footprint—and most importantly, they have implemented measures to reduce it. We are striving to understand the issues and take concrete actions.
We share our clients’ values and goals. Globally, we support our clients in achieving their sustainability goals and take great pride in doing so. We work with many clients to develop policies that drive innovation and thought leadership in sustainability, such as the Algae Biomass Association, Ceres, and the Consumer Technology Association. We help clients navigate the legal requirements and possibilities of developing new technology, for example, the groundbreaking ultra-low emissions liquefied natural gas processing technology developed by NextDecade and its carbon capture investment in NEXT Carbon Solutions.
The following are a few examples of how our lawyers have worked and continue to work with our clients to achieve a sustainable economy:
- We supported Microsoft’s sustainability-related work, including carbon removals contracts and a recent community-focused solar transaction with Sol Systems.
- We supported the creation of Leading Harvest, which is working with land managers in geographies across the United States to create a more sustainable agricultural industry. Further, we are helping them take their leading standard around the world.
- We acted for Swancor Ind. Co., Ltd in relation to the sale of the equity interests in Taiwan’s first offshore wind farm, Formosa 1 to Ørsted (f/k/a Dong Energy) and Macquarie Capital and the sale of a majority of shares of Formosa II International Investment, which operates the Formosa II 378 MW offshore wind project and has joint developments with the Macquarie Group.
- We advised two leading Asian airlines on carbon neutrality and the implementation of the first carbon offset program for airline passengers in Asia.
- We developed and drafted rules and associated documents for an electronic trading platform for carbon credits in Asia. The platform facilitated the trade of carbon credits over the Internet by matching buyers and sellers in the international carbon market.
- We advised a leading Asian stock exchange on establishing environmental and social governance (ESG) requirements for listed companies and on the introduction of emissions trading products.
- We are advising clients such as Aberdeen Investment, Workspace, Nuveen Real Estate, and London Borough of Hounslow on sustainability in the context of development schemes, particularly Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) and carbon reduction planning policy requirements.
In 2021, our lawyers and allied professionals devoted more than 47,000 hours to hundreds of pro bono cases. Our firmwide pro bono initiatives allow lawyers across our global platform to work together to address common legal problems and contribute to community organizations focused on various aspects of sustainability including social, environmental, and energy justice.
Our lawyers and allied professionals proudly participate in a number of initiatives including the Global Day of Service in which our offices partner with a variety of community organizations to promote well-being for the environment, our communities, and a number of wide-scale targeted pro bono initiatives. The following are just a few of the community organizations we have served in an effort to make all our communities sustainable for all people and the planet:
- Murray Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations
- NAILSMA / North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance
- Environmental Science Center
- Sustainable Remediation Forum
- Center for Sustainable Energy
- Climate Steps
- Snowflake School for Children with Autism
- The Sick Children’s Trust