LEGAL SECTOR SUSTAINABILITY INSIGHT: Report of AusLSA Members 2016


DOWNLOAD THE REPORT HERE

FROM THE AusLSA Co-CHAIRs


This year has been another important year of expansion for our members’ annual report. We are close to

achieving our four-year plan of expanding our reporting scope to more completely address the most

material sustainability issues for our sector.


We are also very excited this year to provide a report that incorporates the advice and contributions from

key thought leaders and organisations on the issues which are key to our industry and are grateful for

their contribution in areas including; pro bono legal services, gender equity, psychological well being,

LGBTI inclusion, workplace giving and volunteering and indigenous reconciliation. The new relationships

being built in these areas not only strengthen this year’s report, but provide an expert source of feedback

and experience for the ongoing development of our programs and reporting.


One benefit from this increasingly complete perspective to sustainability is that in addition to addressing

the most material sustainability risks for our sector, we can also report on the significant legacy and

positive contributions that legal firms provide to their stakeholders and the broader community.


Some of the areas we now include in our sustainability snapshot such as greenhouse reporting, pro bono

legal programs and codes of conduct are well understood and are subject to ongoing programs by

AusLSA members. In these areas the information presented in this report shows that commitments,

processes and actions are in place from our member firms which are driving ongoing improvements.


In addition to the more established areas of our reporting, there are newer emerging risks and

obligations to our people and communities such as psychological wellbeing, LGBTI inclusion and

Sustainable Supply chain management. Some of these areas have come into prominence more recently

because of changes in society and a greater industry awareness and acceptance of their importance. In

these newer areas law firms are generally at an earlier stage and programs are less mature and

developed. However, we are greatly heartened to see how AusLSA members are responding to these

issues by putting the required foundations of change in place.


Our report shows that in addition to another year of persistent reductions in the environmental impacts

of firms, there is a strong commitment and focus to address the issues and opportunities to improve the

lives of our people and communities. We hope that you will take some time to explore the broad range of

areas covered in this report to better understand both the encouraging progress made by the industry as

well as the challenges and priorities we need to address in our journey to a more sustainable industry.

At AusLSA the growth of our programs and support needs to keep ahead of the expectations of the

industry, its stakeholders and the community. It also needs to capitalise on the opportunities available to

demonstrate a more strategic and sustainable approach to corporate purpose and responsibility.


In May this year the AusLSA board endorsed a new three-year strategic plan to concentrate our efforts

on building capacity and relationships to provide the new programs, tools and information to underpin

the commitments of our members and stakeholders. We would like to extend your appreciation to the

AusLSA executive members and board to the additional work and thought they have contributed during

the year in establishing and delivering this plan.


Brendan Bateman and Kelvin O'Connor 
Co Chairs, AusLSA

      





Australian Legal Sector Alliance Limited 

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