Shoosmiths sets ambitious SBTi approved science-based emission reduction targets

November, 2021 - Milton Keynes, England

Leading UK law firm Shoosmiths has reached a significant milestone in advancing its net zero aspirations, with its science-based emissions reduction targets being validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

Shoosmiths commits to reductions across its entire value chain to reduce absolute scope 1, 2 and 3 Greenhouse Gas Emissions 50% by FY2030 from an FY2020 base year; and to increase annual sourcing of renewable electricity from 74% in FY2020 to 100% by FY2025.

Setting a science-based target allows companies see the rate and scale of GHG reduction required across their organisation, in order to align to the global aim of limiting the average temperate increase to 1.5 oC. The SBTi is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

The firm joins more than a thousand corporations worldwide preparing for the transition by setting emissions reduction targets grounded in climate science.

Recent actions have included:

  • Expanding the scope of our scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions measurement including reporting both scope 2 market-based and location-based electricity related emissions and emissions associated with our purchased goods and services
  • Reducing energy consumption within our buildings and switching to renewable electricity at five locations
  • introducing a new online booking travel platform which will deliver a number of benefits including environmental information such as carbon emissions associated with travel options
  • Launching our ambitious sustainable travel policy including the provision of guidelines on how to travel in a safe, cost effective and sustainable way, challenging the need for travel, encouraging a one day a week no travel approach and plans for internal carbon pricing associated with business flight bookings
  • Partnering with the Woodland Trust to support its Young People’s Forest tree planting project at Mead, near Heanor in the East Midlands. The tree planting commitment commemorated Shoosmiths’ 175th anniversary and will also be registered under the Woodland Carbon Code, the UK’s voluntary carbon standard for woodland projects. The Code is aligned with the core requirements of other voluntary forest carbon standards and the Kyoto Protocol. It provides reassurance about the carbon savings that woodland projects may realistically achieve. With our planted 2,275 trees, it is estimated that approximately 570 tonnes of carbon will be absorbed over 100 years
  • Business case proposals to define associated carbon emissions implications.

Our priorities to progress our SBTi validated targets include:

  • Engaging with our supply chain to encourage suppliers to measure their carbon emissions and to set science-based targets
  • Liaising with landlords to encourage switching to certified renewable electricity at all our locations
  • Raising awareness amongst colleagues about the important part they play in their professional roles as we transition towards a net zero future
  • Undertaking a strategic review to determine our long-term net zero strategy. This includes an assessment of Shoosmiths’ physical and transitional climate-related risks and opportunities aligned to the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)
  • Continuing to progress towards our target of achieving net zero emissions for our own operations by 2025 against
  • Developing a full value chain, long-term net zero target, which aligns with SBTi’s recently released Net-Zero Standard

Peter Duff, Shoosmiths chairperson, said: “The next few years for our planet are critical and organisations, including Shoosmiths, have a vital role to play in helping achieve transformation at the pace and scale that is needed. Environmental, Social and Governance considerations lie at the heart of our business strategy, with our ESG vision to be the leading national law firm famous for its positive contribution to society. With the COP26 summit nearing to a close and highlighting the challenges yet to come, this important validation for Shoosmiths marks a significant next step in the right direction.”

Shoosmiths’ Impact Report and ESG goals can be found here.