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Bevan Brittan achieves carbon neutrality and launches environmental sustainability plan

Attainment of carbon neutrality and a plan to further reduce its environmental impact towards net zero carbon has been revealed by national law firm Bevan Brittan in the latest stage of its Responsible Business programme.

Calculations carried out by specialist environmental consultants for the UK-Top 100 firm revealed that it already has a low carbon footprint, at 327 tonnes per year, and the firm has now revealed plans to reduce its environmental impact even further.

Partner and Environmental Sustainability Lead Nathan Bradberry said understanding and then offsetting the firm’s carbon footprint is only the start of its journey. Bevan Brittan will be targeting a number of areas to reduce carbon emissions to the minimum possible and improve its environmental impact, including reviewing its facility management practices, procurement of sustainable resources and green energy, responsible recycling initiatives, maximising the use of virtual meetings and raising colleague awareness and engagement.

This will build on various policies that Bevan Brittan has already put in place, such as a Paperlite approach to client work, which saved 90,000 pieces of paper a month in 2020, and firm-wide recycling schemes. In 2020/21, the firm reduced water consumption and decreased overall energy usage by two thirds year-on-year through a combination of more colleagues working from home and initiatives including rolling out LED lighting in its Bristol office.

The firm achieved carbon neutrality status and the UN’s Climate Neutral Now accreditation through investment in two UN-accredited Gold Standard offsetting schemes.

The two schemes, run separately by Converging World and CO2 Balance, will offset by investing in community projects that reduce carbon emissions. The projects involve purchasing fuel efficient cook stoves in Kenya, repairing boreholes in Uganda to save the unnecessary boiling of water, and investing in wind turbines in India.

Bevan Brittan’s 35 volunteer Green Ambassadors from across the business voted for the offsetting schemes and will continue to support and drive Bevan Brittan’s Environmental Sustainability programme.

In 2020/21 it is estimated that more than half of the carbon generated by Bevan Brittan came from colleagues working from home during the pandemic, so the firm felt it was the responsible and right thing to go beyond industry-recognised calculations and include this within the businesses’ overall carbon footprint.

Nathan Bradberry said: “At Bevan Brittan, we strive to act responsibly now and for the future, and reducing our environmental impact is a core part of our approach. To us, this means not only committing to becoming carbon neutral, but taking steps to continue to reduce our carbon footprint and encouraging colleagues to make informed choices about their own carbon and ecological impact.

“We all have a role to play and our Green Ambassadors are playing a fundamental part by raising awareness, promoting environmental sustainability and identifying initiatives that help support our environmental objectives.

“What’s more, these activities will go hand in hand with the work of our Energy & Resource Management legal team in supporting our clients with their own low carbon and sustainability plans. A strong growth area for the firm, we are market leaders in energy efficiency and advise on all forms of low carbon and renewable generation. It is therefore only appropriate that as a firm we demonstrate that same level of commitment to protecting the environment for a more sustainable future.”