Osborne Clarke announces commitment to science-based targets as part of net zero strategy

Lara Burch

Bristol-based law firm Osborne Clarke has announced its commitment to science-based targets in the UK ahead of World Environment Day on June 5.

In committing to both a near-term target and the long-term SBTi Net Zero Standard, Osborne Clarke is one of only a few UK firms that have made similar commitments.

The firm has submitted a near-term target to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to reduce its carbon emissions by 50 per cent across all scopes by 2030.

In addition, the firm commits to setting a long-term target within 24 months, to reach net zero carbon by 2050 at the latest in line with SBTi Net Zero Standard, which is a 90 per cent reduction across all scopes.

In doing so, the firm has also joined the Business Ambition for 1.5°C and UNFCCC Race to Zero campaign.

Lara Burch, head of Osborne Clarke’s Bristol office, said: “We’re a socially responsible firm that cares about the impact we make in the world.

“Building a sustainable business is something we’ve been passionate about for more than 20 years, and investing in our Net Zero strategy was the next step in progressing our efforts.

“We’re proud to be one of the first firms to make both near and long-term commitments to deep decarbonisation targets, meeting the needs of our clients, people and communities.”

Having spent the last year undertaking forensic analysis of its sustainability efforts, Osborne Clarke has produced a full carbon emissions baseline and assessed its preparedness for adopting and delivering the carbon reduction commitments. The firm has also strengthened its sustainability governance structure to support its efforts by:

  • Establishing a Sustainability Steering Group. Made up of Partners and senior leadership and reporting to the Executive Board, the group sets the firm’s strategic approach to sustainability and carbon reduction, monitoring and assuring progress and performance.
  • Launching #OCPlanet employee network. The network has a key role in shaping and delivering the firm’s sustainability and carbon reduction strategy and action plan, and represents the interests of employees as a key internal stakeholder group for sustainability matters.
  • Creating a new role and appointing a sustainability manager. Bristol-based Mary Lavin joined Osborne Clarke at the end of 2021 to strengthen the firm’s capability to develop and deliver on its sustainability agenda. Working as part of the Inclusion and CSR team, Mary supports both #OCPlanet and the Sustainability Steering Group.