Law firm Lander & Rogers has committed to ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets to achieve net-zero emission by 2030.
According to Chief Executive Partner Genevieve Collins, the board-endorsed target "seeks to reduce both direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions in our business operations and supply chains, enabling us to become the first law firm in Australia to achieve net-zero emissions using the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) Net-Zero Standard".
Net zero is considered a comprehensive commitment to decarbonisation and climate change. To satisfy the Net-Zero Standard, organisations must reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) endorsed pathways that limit global temperature increases to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels, and must eliminate 90% of baseline emissions before accessing carbon offsets to mitigate residual emissions.
Formalising its ambition, Lander & Rogers has sought to validate its target through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) - a global body that aims to limit global temperature rise by helping organisations to halve emissions before 2030 and achieve net-zero before 2050.
The firm is one of around 90 organisations in Australia, and almost 6,000 globally that have registered a commitment or target with SBTi.
Ms Collins noted the importance of initiatives like SBTi in driving meaningful change. "SBTi provides an evidence-based approach to achieving sustainable and tangible results," remarked Ms Collins.
As of 30 June 2023, two years on from its FY21 emissions baseline, the firm's emissions reductions were ahead of the Australian national commitment of 2050, with Ms Collins stating Lander & Rogers "has already reduced its carbon emissions by 35%".
According to Pro Bono, Community & Environment partner Joanna Renkin, the firm takes a net contribution approach to "designing and implementing responsible business practices that minimise harm and maximise benefit to communities and the environment".
"We recognise that climate change poses a very real threat and will increasingly impact law firms, our clients, and the communities in which we work. We all need to play a part in reducing our collective environmental impact," said Ms Renkin.
Financial markets and governments globally are increasingly calling for improved transparency and greater regulation to minimise and manage businesses' operational impact on the environment. Ms Renkin said, "this is resulting in a rapidly decarbonising economy and is already impacting our clients and our firm as organisations adapt to the new business environment".
Ms Collins added, "we are proud to announce our commitment to the SBTi. This aligns with our values as an organisation and a law firm, and enables us to show leadership in driving these standards within our profession and community".
The net-zero target announcement is the latest commitment in Lander & Rogers' 2025 environmental strategy, and follows announcements in 2022 that the firm became a signatory to the UN Global Compact and was certified carbon neutral by government-backed environmental initiative Climate Active.
"We have also been using 100% renewable energy since 2021, became carbon neutral in 2022, and are on track to becoming zero-waste to landfill by 2025", remarked Ms Collins.
About the Science Based Targets initiative
The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is a global body enabling businesses to set ambitious emissions reductions targets in line with the latest climate science. It is focused on accelerating companies across the world to halve emissions before 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions before 2050.
The initiative is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The SBTi defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting, offers resources and guidance to reduce barriers to adoption, and independently assesses and improves companies' targets. Visit www.sciencebasedtargets.org