Working with Suppliers

A legal services firm’s most significant environmental impact is indirect – both upstream (the impact of its suppliers and their products) and downstream (the impact of transactions conducted by clients with the firm’s advice).

The need to reduce carbon emissions in the procurement process has prompted the Legal Sustainability Alliance to develop a sustainable procurement guide for law firms (available to LSA members). A sustainable approach to procurement means looking at the impacts of the product or service on the environment over its entire lifecycle from creation to disposal.

Members have also prepared a discussion paper, which looks at some of the key issues faced by firms in identifying, measuring, verifying and reducing the environmental impact of their upstream suppliers, and a table showing the key areas of consumption in a typical firm and some of the questions you might ask to help evaluate supplier sustainability. Please let us know if you find this helpful and if you have additional questions to add.

Business in the Community’s Marketplace team has prepared a presentation for the LSA, which gives an overview of responsible supply chain management and how firms might start work on this area.