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DLA Piper

We supported DLA Piper’s internal business transformation towards low-carbon operations

DLA Piper’s global committee set to drive climate impact action plans across 40 countries

2030
Science Based Targets established for 50% emission reductions by 2030 across Scopes 1, 2 and 3
26%
energy reduction as a result of proactive remote building management during low occupancy in 2021 and 2021

The Company

DLA Piper is a leading global law firm with employees in more than 40 countries, it represents more clients in a broader range of geographies and practice disciplines than virtually any other law firm in the world.

In line with its Global Environmental Policy, DLA Piper is committed to helping organisations excel in their sustainability performance by helping both clients and communities transition towards a low carbon and sustainable economy. Keeping sustainability and accountability at the core of its corporate values, DLA Piper believes in revolutionising legal, financial, and operational frameworks by providing multidisciplinary guidance and services across sectors.

DLA Piper's vision

As a proud signatory of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), DLA Piper is also devoted to maximising its own organisational performance by delivering corporate governance, transparency, disclosure, innovation and an enhanced ESG strategy.

By integrating Science Based Targets (SBTs) into its core business strategy its aim is to decarbonise its global portfolio, empower its employees to do the same and become a market leader in driving innovation and conducting responsive business.

 

DLA Piper’s partnership with Carbon Intelligence

Since 2018, Carbon Intelligence has been an integral part of DLA Piper’s sustainability journey. Initially DLA Piper worked with the team on improving the energy efficiency and performance of its office buildings, the partnership has subsequently expanded into a long-term multi-service relationship. This has included working with Carbon Intelligence’s senior consulting team to engage in a series of sustainability workshops to craft a strategy roadmap of decarbonisation activities, set credible emission reduction targets and maximise supplier engagement performance through Carbon Intelligence’s landmark six-dimensional (6D) framework.

The 6D Framework

The 6D framework provides a distinctive, innovative, and collaborative platform for diverse business streams and stakeholders to interconnect, maximises organisational performance and drives robust sustainability agendas for impact and purpose. It upskills employees from all backgrounds with up-to-date climate literacy, helping them navigate towards excellence and best practice corporate governance.

To support DLA Piper with its sustainability commitment, Carbon Intelligence helped establish an internal body, the International Energy and Climate Change Committee (IECC), dedicated to help drive through internal change programs and new mechanisms. The team worked with the IECC to implement the strategy by driving its strategic operations, creating new working streams across all business areas, optimising efficient energy usage, and reinventing its offices using sustainable design and travel.

 

Objectives of the 6D framework

Using the six dimensions of carbon intelligence framework (6D), DLA Piper has established a decarbonisation plan aligned with the UN’s goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C. The key milestones of the plan are to mitigate its Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions 50% by 2030 from a 2019/20 baseline. This target is verified by the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi).

Implementation and outcomes of the 6D framework

To manifest the outcomes of each principal, the Carbon Intelligence team and IECC meet on a quarterly basis to monitor progress of the framework. The team also supported each workstream individually, providing distinct technical support as per DLA Piper’s needs.

Each 6D principle adds its own unique value to optimise workstream performance by creating a cross functional and collective partnership model:

  • Direction: Enabled DLA Piper to build a global science-based target while engaging with the Executive and Board teams beyond DLA Piper International, covering the Americas.
  • Governance: Supported DLA Piper to set up and monitor work streams under the IECC, engage with the sustainability, environmental, social and governance (SESG) teams, and businesses and departments across the globe including senior leaderships, executive teams, and board members. Taskforce for Carbon Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) recommendations and consultation work were introduced in parallel, to reinforce governance, strategy, risk management and disclosure of metrics and targets. This led to establishing a collaborative and collective global leadership forum to address science-based targets in alignment with net zero strategies.
  • Data: Advanced DLA Piper’s data collection approach by collecting a data baseline aligned to the International Scope 3 emissions. Third party data collection and software technology was used to maximise ESG performance and reduce operational risks. Therefore, demonstrating strong credibility, quality, and assurance of data collection.
  • Performance: The supplier engagement programme transformed the business-as-usual outlook by embedding sustainability goals into procurement processes. Hence driving significant cost savings and improving ESG performance.
  • Reporting: Reinforced external reporting and disclosure to ensure accurate reflection of DLA Piper’s activities in line with best practice through CDP.
  • Engagement: Rolled out two successful newsletters under its eMission campaign and established an eChampions group to improve networking and facilitate transparent engagements between employees. This group received an overwhelming response with a significant number of international offices gaining prominent membership.

Achievements

As a result of implementing the above principles and consistently monitoring and evaluating the developments of the framework, DLA Piper has achieved the following results:

 

  • Achieved a 26% energy reduction through a combination of energy efficiency measures implemented as part of the Smart buildings programme and effective energy management processes put in place during the multiple lockdowns in 2020 and 2021
  • Year to date electricity reduction of 38% compared to 2019 at DLA Piper’s head office in London.
  • 844 tCO2 saved across all UK and French offices since July 2020 through effective shutdown processes during various lockdowns and the ongoing energy management programme

 

 

Next phase of the programme driven by the 6D framework

Looking ahead, Carbon Intelligence is channelling accelerated emission reductions for DLA Piper through a ‘Thoughtful Travel’ framework, internal carbon pricing and budgeting initiatives and development of a renewable energy strategy including purchase power agreement advice. All these programmes are operated using a smart data collection and management platform to ensure real-world monitoring, analysis, and reporting.

Services used in this case study