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Environment

We recognise that, as a global business, we need to rise to the challenges and opportunities of environmental sustainability by continually improving our environmental performance.

Our vision

"To contribute to improving the environmental sustainability of the legal sector by empowering our people to make a positive impact".

Our management framework, ambition, enthusiasm and data are shared across our international network. We work closely with our people, service partners, clients and external stakeholders to make a difference to the world around them. We are executive members of the Legal Sustainability Alliance (LSA); a collective effort by law firms in the UK to take action to improve the environmental sustainability of their operations and activities. We support the UK Legal Renewables Initiative, and are committed to procuring 100% renewable electricity for our UK offices by 2025.

Our integrated energy and environmental management system

Our approach is underpinned by our UK ISO14001 and ISO 50001 certified environmental and energy management systems in the UK and the Netherlands. The scope of our management systems are:

  • UK - “Provision of buildings engineering, facilities management and front of house services at Allen & Overy in London and Belfast”

  • Netherlands - “The provision of business services in the areas of catering, cleaning, security, reception, document management and reproduction and building management at Allen & Overy in Amsterdam”

Our environmental performance

During 2018 the firm continued to demonstrate its commitment to environmental sustainability by addressing its most material sources of CO2 emissions and supporting UN Sustainable Development Goal 13 – Climate Action. We purchased Gold Standard Voluntary Emissions Reductions (VER) credits to offset the CO2 emissions from our global air travel for 2018. We plan to continue investing in Gold Standard VER’s for our 2019 and future global aviation emissions. Over 70% of our global electricity consumption was supplied from renewable sources in 2018.

Just over 55% of our carbon footprint is within the scope of our ISO 14001 and 50001 Environmental and Energy Management Systems at our London, Belfast and Amsterdam offices.

Our reported global carbon footprint has decreased from 32,320 tCO2 equivalent (using national emissions factors for grid electricity) in calendar year 2017, to 30,714 tCO2 equivalent in calendar year 2018. This decrease of 5% is within the context of an increase in employee numbers of 2% and a small reduction in occupied office floor space of 1 % globally.

Our carbon footprint has therefore reduced on an absolute, per capita and per unit area basis.

The most significant reasons for our reduced carbon footprint are: reduced electricity consumption and reduced grid emissions factors more than offsetting an increase in fuel consumption and emissions from air travel.