This policy applies to Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP (WBD) and Womble Bond Dickinson Wealth Limited (WBDW) (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 Environmental Management 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 Responsible Business Manager reporting to our General Legal Counsel.
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 footprint and take every opportunity to align our environmental strategies. We have a Procurement Policy in place which we try to encourage all our suppliers to observe so that third parties can adopt similar environmentally sustainable practices
Below we outline some of our recent successes:
- In March last year, we achieved certification to The Planet Mark for the third year running and reported significant reductions in our carbon footprint. We recorded an impressive decrease in carbon emissions of 14.9% and a decrease per employee of 17.4% from the previous year
- The Planet Mark estimated that these reductions saved the carbon equivalent of 226 return flights from London to New York, setting a stellar example for an industry that is perfectly placed to influence the wider world
- WBD was also awarded the ISO14001 accreditation, an international standard for environmental management. The accreditation creates 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 are founder 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 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
- We won the award for sustainability at the LexisNexis Legal Awards 2020.
WBD'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.
Nick Barwood, Chairman