Transatlantic law firm Womble Bond Dickinson, achieves The Planet Mark Sustainability Certification
5 November 2019, News release from The Planet Mark
Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) has completed its first year of carbon footprint reporting with The Planet Mark. The transatlantic law firm calculated the emissions of its 8 UK offices for the year ending December 2017 and set a target to reduce emissions by 5% annually.
Formed in 2017 the firm has 26 locations across the United States and United Kingdom offering services in 11 sectors. The firm provides core legal services including: intellectual property, technology and data, banking and finance, corporate, employment, litigation and dispute resolution, real estate and regulatory law.
WBD has been working with The Legal Sustainability Alliance (LSA), an inclusive movement of law firms, to manage its environmental impacts since 2008. In its 2018 report with the LSA, WBD reported a reduction of 16% in carbon emissions and 14% per employee, representing the fourth consecutive reduction in carbon emissions.
Simon Richardson, UK Chairman at WBD commented: "We're delighted to have been awarded The Planet Mark certification on the back of our firm wide efforts to reduce carbon emissions. We take our Responsible Business responsibilities very seriously and care deeply about the impact of our actions on our people, our local community and the environment."
"We are committed to enhancing our environmental performance and finding sustainable ways to improve our environmental management. We're involved in a range of initiatives to build on our progress year on year and find sustainable ways to improve our green credentials. We are also working collaboratively with other organisations as well as our suppliers to take positive action on climate change by measuring, reducing and reporting on carbon footprint and take every opportunity to align our environmental strategies, encouraging third parties to adopt environmentally sustainable practices."
This is The Planet Mark's first year of verifying WBD’s carbon footprint. First year of certification to The Planet Mark is based on the commitment to continuous improvement in sustainability in business operations by measuring and reducing carbon emissions and engaging stakeholders year-on-year.
WBD has been measuring and reporting its carbon footprint for 10 years with the LSA. 2018 is the first time it has had its calculations verified, reflecting the firm’s seriousness about sustainability and the need to report carbon figures that are both accurate and robust.
By achieving The Planet Mark, WBD is able to directly and measurably contribute to seven of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
To assist WBD in optimising its sustainability performance, The Planet Mark team has made several recommendations, such as carrying out regular energy audits and the collation of supplier evidence to support green tariff purchases. Robust processes for data collection will also be crucial, as WBD requires accurate information to help identify where wastage occurs within the business, and where efficiencies can be made.
In addition to achieving The Planet Mark Certification, WBD was recently awarded the ISO14001 accreditation, an international standard for environmental management. The firm is also 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.
Steve Malkin, founder of The Planet Mark commented: “We are delighted that Womble Bond Dickinson has achieved its first certification to The Planet Mark and in doing so, committed to many new practices that will reduce their carbon emissions. They've made outstanding progress and are clearly excited about the future and what they can do next. Womble Bond Dickinson epitomises how you can make positive contributions to society and the environment and enjoy the process. We’re delighted to have them onboard.”
A Top 100 law firm globally and Top 20 law firm in the UK, Womble Bond Dickinson has more than 400 partners and 1,000 lawyers based across 18 US cities and eight UK cities - Aberdeen, Bristol, Edinburgh, Leeds, London, Newcastle, Plymouth and Southampton. The firm's reach also extends to Europe where it has strategic partnerships with other law firms in Germany and France. In the UK, Womble Bond Dickinson advises in excess of 40 FTSE 350 companies, many of the largest businesses in the country, government organisations and wealthy individuals.
The Planet Mark
The Planet Mark is an internationally recognised and trusted sustainability certification programme, recognising commitment to continuous improvement in sustainability. It is awarded to businesses, properties, new developments and projects that are committed to reducing their carbon emissions. Partnered with The Eden Project, The Planet Mark contributes 5% of all certification fees to the award-winning visitor attraction. Each certification also comes with 12 free tickets to The Eden Project, encouraging organisations to learn more about climate change and the importance of biodiversity.
The Planet Mark is also partnered with Cool Earth, the award-winning charity that works alongside indigenous villages to halt rainforest destruction. By achieving The Planet Mark, organisations are storing 260 tonnes of CO2 by protecting one acre of endangered rainforest. This ‘Acre of Rainforest’ pledge goes directly towards supporting the Asháninka community in Central Peru, whose livelihoods depend on the Amazon rainforest remaining standing.
The first year of a business’ certification to The Planet Mark is based on the commitment to continuous improvement in sustainability in business operations by measuring and reducing its carbon footprint and engaging its stakeholders. In subsequent years, holders of The Planet Mark have a minimum requirement to reduce their carbon emissions by 2.5% per year. The average absolute carbon reduction achieved by holders is 4% per annum and 12% per employee per annum.