Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD), a Top 20 UK law firm, has achieved certification to The Planet Mark for the third year running and reported significant reductions in its carbon footprint.

This is WBD's third year of business carbon footprint reporting and certification to The Planet Mark. WBD’s total carbon footprint in the year ending December 2019 was 1,586.6 tCO2e, an impressive decrease of 14.9% from the year ending 2018. The relative carbon footprint was 1.25 tCO2e per employee, a decrease of 17.4% compared to the year ending 2018.

Electricity emissions decreased by 23% and travel emissions decreased by 7%. This year’s carbon footprint includes emissions from energy use in the building (natural gas and purchased electricity), emissions from fuel used by the vehicle fleet, from business travel, refrigerant, and from water and paper used in its eight UK offices.

Steve Malkin, CEO of Planet First and co-founder of The Planet Mark, commented:

“It’s a great pleasure to see WBD's success in reducing carbon this year. With more than 1200 staff and offices across the country, the firm’s efforts to reduce emissions have real impact. Their incredible efforts this year have 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."

Simon Richardson, UK Chairman at WBD commented:

"We want to be a socially aware and ethical business and this includes minimising the negative impact of our firm on the environment. We're firmly committed to enhancing our environmental performance and are involved in a range of initiatives to find sustainable ways to bolster our green credentials.

We're delighted to have received the Planet Mark certification for the third year running; cutting our carbon emissions down by 15% is a great achievement and a tribute to the efforts put in by all our people across our eight UK offices. We've seen an impressive 17% drop in the carbon footprint by employee which just goes to show how important the green agenda has become to us all. Whether this is at work or at home, we all want to adopt more environmentally sustainable behaviour."

As well as working with The Planet Mark, WBD is a member of the Legal Sustainability Alliance, and takes every opportunity to align environmental strategies with its clients and suppliers. The firm has set up five obtainable environmental targets to complete by the end of 2020, ranging from eradicating plastics from the working environment and making efficiency measures in the firm’s offices. WBD also recently won the Award for Sustainability at the LexisNexis Legal Awards 2020.

Certification to The Planet Mark is based on the commitment to continuous improvement in sustainability in its business operations by measuring and reducing its carbon footprint by 5% annually and engaging its stakeholders.

Sustainability within law firms has an array of benefits. Beyond the global need to reduce emissions, sustainable practice in the legal industry can help cut operational costs, meet the demands of forward-thinking clients and help with the retention and attraction of the best quality staff. As society embarks on a decade of climate action, law must be at the forefront of any progress made.

The Planet Mark’s three-step process to certification:

  1. Measure - The Planet Mark certification team conducts a robust measurement of carbon across scopes 1, 2 and 3, compiling a report that complies with global protocols.
  2. Engage - Secondly, The Planet Mark helps engage staff to unlock their knowledge and drive passion for change.
  3. Communicate - The programme provides tools to communicate progress, influence others and build a positive brand.


The Planet Mark

The Planet Mark