Sustainability

We are setting ambitious targets and thinking creatively about how we achieve them.

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Climate change is among the most pressing concerns of the twenty-first century and one which is having an increasingly broad range of impacts. Unchecked it will fundamentally disrupt the world’s ecosystems, with far-reaching consequences for both human beings and the natural environment. Action is needed on a global scale - from every country, government, business, and individual.

Carbon neutral

We believe that steps must be taken swiftly to tackle the climate crisis. This is why we have been offsetting all scope 1 and scope 2 emissions since 2019. We know that offsetting alone is not the solution; it does, however, mitigate our impact while we pursue longer-term systemic change.

Working towards net zero

To support us on our net zero journey, Penningtons Manches Cooper has signed a commitment with the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) to develop our net zero target. The SBTi is a partnership between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Together, they have developed a global, science-based methodology for setting corporate decarbonisation targets in line with the Paris Agreement goals of limiting global warming to 1.5°C.

Our operations

Within our business, we regularly undertake a thorough analysis of our operational carbon footprint and have held the Planet Mark accreditation since 2019. We use the Greenhouse Gas Protocol as a framework for measuring and reporting our emissions.

Having set our baseline in 2019, we continue to calculate the level of emissions required for our firm to operate in line with the global emissions ceiling, which is projected to limit climate change to 1.5 degrees of warming. This level of emissions reduction has been assessed using the methodology devised by the Science Based Targets initiative. We need to deliver a 46.2% reduction in our scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030 to meet the requisite levels, but are setting ourselves ambitious targets and hope to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions even further and faster.

Since 2019 we have seen positive reductions in our emissions year on year. The pandemic had a demonstrable impact on our emissions owing to travel restrictions and working from home. During this time new ways of working and engaging with our clients have become commonplace and we hope that these will play a role in post-pandemic years. Our 2021 and 2022 figures are considered anomalous as a result, and we will be expanding our measurements to incorporate home working metrics in future years.

Our operational emissions since 2019 are as follows:

Energy efficiency and emissions reduction schemes

Our position on carbon offsetting is clear - it is not a solution to the climate crisis by itself, but rather a short term tool to support carbon emissions reductions and to alleviate our immediate carbon footprint during the transitionary period. The goal remains to reduce our underlying emissions beyond the level consistent with 1.5 degrees of warming by 2030.

We plan to reach this through the following initiatives:

  • The Legal Renewables Initiative – we have committed to switching our electricity contracts to 100% renewable energy by 2025. This alone will reduce our emissions by 60% of our baseline footprint.
  • Sustainable travel policy – in 2018/19 business travel accounted for 30% of our overall carbon footprint. Therefore our travel, especially international travel, needs to decrease. Our new sustainable travel policy, in conjunction with video conferencing tools, will help balance the commercial requirement for travel with the urgent need to lower our carbon emissions.
  • Sustainability champions – first set up in 2019, these groups are supporting change within our offices to help educate and influence colleagues. We now have over 40 members of staff acting as environment champions across our seven UK locations.
  • Firmwide energy and resource efficiency initiatives – we have launched a comprehensive programme of work to address inefficiency and waste across the business. This covers everything from energy consumption and use of natural resources, to identifying the changes needed to the on-site physical infrastructure, which will allow us to adopt more sustainable practices around waste management and water consumption.
  • Supply chain emissions – we are taking a strategic approach to engaging with our suppliers, with the aim of reducing the emissions linked to the provision of goods and services to the firm. Sustainability has become a key factor in our procurement decision-making in order to drive down emissions.
  • Data quality and coverage - in addition to decarbonising our business model, we are also working hard to extend the boundaries covered in our carbon foot-printing and reporting. Year on year, we expand the data set within our reporting, to ensure we present as comprehensive a picture of the environmental impact of the firm’s full value chain as we can, and not just of our operational footprint.

Our strategic focus

We understand that our response to climate change over the next decade will define our future and are pursuing a varied programme designed to achieve best environmental practice. In addition, we are already working with and supporting our clients as they navigate the risks and opportunities posed by climate change. More about our work with clients can be found here.

Greenhouse Gas Protocol
The Planet Mark
Legal Sustainability Initiative
Legal Renewables Initiative

Key facts and figures

878 people
Sustainability
11 Offices
Client Satisfaction

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP