Putting Principles into practice

The Legal Sustainability Alliance Principles are intended to provide a framework for action however it will be up to individual members to decide how best to put them into practice.

Below are some examples of action members might take in support of each principle and are intended to be neither prescriptive nor exhaustive.

1. Measure, manage and reduce the impact of our operations

Some examples of how this might be applied:

– measure and monitor performance to help identify problem areas
– measure our carbon footprint (use the LSA Carbon Footprint Protocol)
– set a target against which reductions will be measured
– seek to reduce the environmental impact of the internal operations and physical assets under our control
– reduce resource use, improve reuse and recycling of waste
– modify operations and services to minimise impacts
– adapt the workplace to cope with the climatic and other changes likely as a result of past and future CO₂ emissions (eg flood defences)
– undertake a review of printing and working practices
– develop and implement a sustainable transport policy for business travel

2. Work with external stakeholders to reduce our indirect impact

Some examples of how this might be applied:

– engage with our clients about working in a way that reduces our carbon footprints
– work collaboratively with suppliers to minimise the end-to-end carbon footprint along the supply chain
– include environmental considerations in procurement decisions
– encourage/challenge our suppliers to deliver more environmentally sustainable products
– engage with our local community on climate change issues

3. Integrate awareness of climate change across our business

Some examples of how this might be applied:

– Develop and implement a climate change policy
– ensure accountability/responsibility for environmental issues at the most senior level
– review progress against the principles once a year at the most senior level
– embed climate change issues into risk evaluation and strategic decision making
– begin to communicate our commitment to the principles across any international offices
– raise awareness among employees and empower them to take action

4. Advise clients on the opportunities and obligations arising from and under climate change law

Some examples of how this might be applied:

– reflect our knowledge of the science and impacts of climate change in the advice we give
– raise awareness of the possibilities of new and emerging markets developing across many sectors
– anticipate and plan for compliance and regulation and help clients to do so
– communicate our approach to climate change to our clients

5. Work collaboratively to engage in the public debate on climate change and to develop, apply and promote best practice across the sector

Some examples of how this might be applied:

– share best practice through case studies and peer networking
– contribute to research and policy formulation in the field of climate change
– highlight opportunities for more sustainable ways of practising law to the LSA
– provide pro bono advice to environmental organisations working to combat climate change
– actively engage in public debate on climate change and the regulatory response
– identify opportunities to work in partnership with NGOs and government

6. Report on our progress and be accountable

Some examples of how this might be applied:

– report annually to the LSA on progress against the principles
– disclose our greenhouse gas emissions using the LSA Protocol or a globally recognised standard
– use our annual report, website or intranet to report on our progress