Environmental Policy Statement

This policy applies to Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP and Womble Bond Dickinson Wealth Limited (referred to as "firm", "we", "us" or "our"). Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP wants to be a socially aware and ethical business and this includes minimising the negative impact of our firm on the environment. Our responsible business agenda recognises the importance of having an effective sustainability and environmental policy and we are committed to finding sustainable ways to improve our environmental management.

We are aware that systemic change takes time, but we fully recognise our role in a sustainable future for all. Developing and stretching our environmental targets is core to our business and we have agreed a target of net zero by 2030, which continues to be a key priority for the firm.

Our firm's responsible business activity is led from the "top down", with our Ethical Thinking Group chaired by our Chair Nick Barwood. The group meets on a quarterly basis to discuss performance and areas where we can continue to improve. We also have a dedicated Net Zero working group chaired by partner Jon Bower from our Planning & Infrastructure team, consisting of key personnel within the business including our responsible business and sustainability managers. This group meets regularly to help ensure progression towards our key environmental objective of Net Zero.

We have Environmental Representatives in each office and are actively involved in a range of national and regional initiatives that bolster our green credentials.

We work collaboratively with clients, suppliers and other organisations to take positive action on climate change by measuring, reducing and reporting on carbon emissions and take every opportunity to align our environmental strategies. We have a Procurement Policy and supplier code of conduct in place which we encourage all our suppliers to observe so that third parties can adopt similar environmentally sustainable practices.

Below we outline some of our recent successes:

  • Last year, we achieved certification to The Planet Mark for the sixth year running and reported significant reductions in our carbon footprint since the pre-covid baseline year. We recorded an impressive decrease in carbon emissions of 37.5% since 2019/20.
  • We were awarded the milestone award at the recent Planet Mark awards, recognising our achievement of more than 5 years certification with the Planet Mark. We were also successful in the Data Quality category, recognising an impressive 95% data quality score.
  • We have retained our ISO14001 accreditation since 2017. The accreditation recognises the implementation of an effective environmental management system allowing us to benchmark our current performance for such things as recycling and energy use, as well as allowing us to plan ways to improve.
  • We were awarded the EcoVadisGold Medal for our sustainability programme, ranking the firm in the top five percent of global companies and in the top two percent in the legal and accounting industry.
  • We were named ESG Firm of the Year at the Legal 500 Northern Powerhouse Awards.
  • We were recognised in the Legal 500 green guide which highlights the top UK law firms leading the way on climate change, governance, and sustainability. Womble Bond Dickinson is amongst the 27 UK firms spearheading the 'green change' and ESG agendas whether this is through firmwide commitments and initiatives or in the work we do for clients advising on clean and renewable energy projects and energy transition.
  • We are founding and executive members of the Legal Sustainability Alliance (LSA), a group of law firms committed to working collaboratively to take action on climate change by reducing carbon footprint and adopting environmentally sustainable practices.
  • We are signatories of the Sustainable Recruitment Alliance (SRA), a movement aimed at getting organisations to take a more eco-friendly approach to early talent recruitment.
  • We have mapped our extended scope 3 footprint for the baseline year (2019/20), helping us identify the key areas of focus for emissions reductions as we work towards our Net Zero objective.
  • We invested significantly in our office space across the country, most notably in Leeds and Newcastle where we have been able to consolidate our space, switch to LED lighting and invest in new technology that is contributing significantly towards our carbon emissions reduction targets.
  • We are an ambassador for the right Waste, right Place campaign, a national initiative aimed at raising awareness of the Duty of Care for waste amongst UK businesses.

Womble Bond Dickinson's environmental policy objectives and commitments are to:

  • Protect the environment, through the prevention of pollution from our activities and aligning ourselves closely with our clients’ sustainability requirements;
  • Integrate environmental considerations within our day-to-day business practices and setting challenging targets in order to fulfil our environmental compliance obligations;
  • Help educate our people and share our experiences with clients and suppliers to help them with their own environmental initiatives;
  • Monitor and measure our environmental performance and activities, particularly in the areas of energy, travel, resource consumption and waste;
  • Reduce consumption of materials, to promote re-use and recycling of materials and their re-use;
  • Consider the environmental impacts of the materials we purchase at all stages of their life cycle and operate a sustainable procurement policy;
  • Reduce the environmental impacts of our transport use through regular assessment of staff modes of transport and the avoidance of unnecessary travel by use of video conferencing and telephone conferencing with colleagues and clients;
  • Reduce our carbon footprint by working closely with the Legal Sustainability Alliance in establishing protocols for the measurement and reduction of CO2 emissions and adopting environmentally sustainable practices;
  • Implement our environmental policy through the development of an internationally recognised environmental management system; and
  • Enhance the extent of our annual reporting, ensuring key scope 3 emissions categories are measured, monitored and procedures are implemented to reduce these emissions impacts.

Nick Barwood, Chairman

May 2023