Shoosmiths makes strides towards environmental goals with validated targets and carbon reduction

Law firm Shoosmiths has made strides towards its ambitious environmental goals, with the announcement that the firm’s near and long-term science-based emissions reduction targets have been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

The SBTi is a global body enabling businesses to set ambitious emissions reduction targets in line with the latest climate science.

The SBTi validated targets are

Overall net-zero target

  • Shoosmiths commits to reach net-zero GHG emissions across the value chain by FY2040.

Near-term targets

  • Shoosmiths commits to reduce absolute scope 1 GHG emissions 55.7% by FY2030 from a FY2020 base year.
  • Shoosmiths also commits to increase annual active sourcing of renewable electricity from 74% in FY2020 to 100% by FY2025 through FY2030. 
  • Shoosmiths further commits to reduce absolute scope 3 GHG emissions 50% by FY2030 from a FY2020 base year.

Long-term target

  • Shoosmiths commits to reduce absolute scope 1, 2, and 3 GHG emissions 90% by FY2040 from a FY2020 base year.

The SBTi validated targets are in addition to a target that has not been approved by the SBTi that Shoosmiths announced in 2020, which is to achieve net zero for its operations (i.e., scope 1 and 2 emissions) by 2025.

Shoosmiths has also published its 2022/2023 carbon footprint with 16% reductions achieved 2022/2023 versus 2021/2022 for both total scope 1, scope 2 (location-based), scope 3 emissions and total scope 1, scope 2 (market-based), scope 3 emissions.

The reductions are significantly attributed to reduced capital goods expenditure and the adjustment for inflation within spend based calculations (not undertaken previously). 93% of electricity usage came from renewable energy contracts, with emission savings procured from renewable electricity equalling 463 tCO2e. In addition, both of the Shoosmiths’ locations using gas had 100% of gas usage covered by a 100% biomethane gas contract from its selected energy provider.

Key environmental milestones in the last financial year include

  • Installing 126 photo-voltaic panels in Shoosmiths’ Northampton office using only Microgeneration Certified Scheme (MCS) certified products 
  • Achieving a 50% reduced travel budget versus 2019/2020
  • Introducing a collegiate bonus scheme which included a business travel metric
  • Migrating some systems to cloud storage
  • Introducing an electric and low emission car salary sacrifice scheme for employees
  • Increased communications to colleagues highlighting the role everyone plays in reducing the firm’s emissions

Peter Duff, chairperson at Shoosmiths, commented:

“Shoosmiths is committed to protecting the environment by demonstrating high standards of environmental responsibility in all our operations and minimising the environmental impacts associated with our activities, products and services.  

“The firm’s’ net zero targets are ambitious but are imperative given the scale of the challenge. It is incumbent on businesses such as ours to play our part in achieving systemic change. 

“There is much to do, and we look forward to continued collaboration with our internal and external stakeholders so that together we can deliver the reductions required.”

Priorities for 2023/2024 include

  • Targeting reductions in emissions from purchased goods and services and capital goods, which combined, represented 86% of 2022/2023 scope 1, scope 2 market--based), scope 3 total emissions
  • Continuing the firm’s commitment to improvements to the measurement, monitoring, analysis and reporting of carbon emissions with the development of an in-house carbon data management tool 
  • Improving the accuracy of waste and water data
  • A continued focus on business travel related emissions
  • Trialling of energy efficiency measures to reduce energy consumption
  • Continued engagement with external initiatives to share and learn best practice. These include the United Nations Global Compact, the Legal Sustainability Alliance, the Legal Renewables Initiative, Business in the Community’s Challenge 2030 campaign, the West Midlands Net Zero Business Pledge, Greener Arbitration Pledge, The Sustainable Recruitment Alliance, British Property Federation Net Zero Pledge and the Green Pensions Charter

Progress against Shoosmiths’ net zero commitments and targets is overseen by the firm’s Carbon Net Zero Steering Group, which regularly reports to the board. The Group is chaired by Eleanor Tanner, Director of People, with representation by corporate responsibility, quality and risk, estates management, procurement, IS, projects and innovation, internal communications and performance and talent development.

Further details about Shoosmiths’ environmental policies including carbon net zero and sustainable travel policies can be found here along with Shoosmiths’ carbon footprint data for 2022/2023.


This information is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. Please contact us for specific advice on your circumstances. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024.



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