1 BACK TO NAVIGATION Welcome to the 2018 AusLSA Annual Sustainability Snapshot FROM THE AusLSA CHAIRS Brendan Bateman Kelvin O’Connor Co-Chair, AusLSA Co-Chair AusLSA Partner, Clayton Utz Consultant On behalf of the Australian Legal Sector Alliance (AusLSA) Board and our member firms - Welcome to the 2018 Legal Sustainability Insight AusLSA’s members are drawn together from Australia’s most successful and progressive law firms, by an agreed set of principles and clear sustainability framework. This year’s Insight is the Australian Legal Sector Alliance’s ninth annual report and the third to measure our member’s commitments and performance against an expanded range of sustainability issues. The framework outlines those important considerations of 1. safe and inclusive workplaces, 2. community service, 3. environmental conservation and 4. sound governance. Here’s some of the highlights you’ll find in this year’s report Those seeking better work life balance, including working families, are being well supported by AusLSA members. All our members have flexible working programs in place, compared with only fifty-four percent across Australian business. Ninety percent of members are implementing gender equality policies and programs with encouraging results, improving the proportion of female partners from twenty-six percent in 2016 to thirty-three percent in the 2018 report. This increase translates to the promotion of an additional 250 female partners across our member firms. Practicing law can be a high-pressure activity and like all professions where this is not managed carefully it can cause unsustainable stress and affect people’s mental wellbeing. Ninety percent of AusLSA members acknowledge and address these risks through formal policies and commitments and deliver an average of five different mental health initiatives each. Environmental conservation has been AusLSA’s focus for nine years. A consistent effort by members is really starting to pay off. Net greenhouse gas emissions have reduced by 7.3% this year. This reduction is driven by energy efficiency programs saving enough electricity over the last twelve months to power 410 Australian homes. The purchase of carbon offsets is also growing, increasing by 191% since 2014. Offsets purchased in 2018 support the equivalent of 100,000 new trees and 1.8 square kilometres of revegetation Perhaps our greatest success story has been the significant and consistent reduction of paper use by firms. Commitment to innovation and electronic systems has driven a nine percent reduction this year and a eighteen percent reduction since 2014. That equates to a 260 tonne reduction over the 12 months which would require seventeen semi-trailer trucks to carry. Unfortunately, while many members have made solid reductions in their travel emissions, overall we have failed to achieve significant inroads with only a small decrease of two percent overall this year and an overall growth in emissions of nineteen percent since 2014. Our travel greenhouse gas emissions in 2018 are equivalent to the total greenhouse gas emissions of around 8,900 people. Many Law firms can also use more sustainable purchasing choices to address a wide range of human rights and social issues while protecting biodiversity and conserving energy and water. This year our report includes a spotlight on Modern Slavery and the pending legislation and disclosure regulations that will involve most of AusLSA’s members. AusLSA will monitor the implementation of the regulations and investigate the support and tools required to assist members and build capacity to improve the sustainability of their broader supply chain. Acknowledgments AusLSA is appreciative of the ongoing relationships we have with our thought leader allies who provide their insights across a wide range of sustainability issues included in AusLSA’s Sustainability Framework and annual report. We would specifically like to acknowledge our new relationships with Workplace Giving Australia and Tarwirri, the Indigenous Law Students and Lawyers Association of Victoria. We also like to express our gratitude to Informed 365 for their ongoing support in developing and maintaining for our reporting tools. As well as welcoming back our existing members the board welcomes our new members for 2018 including Barry.Nilsson, Davies Collison Cave and Lawcover. For all law firms who are not yet members of AusLSA we encourage you to get in contact with us to learn more about the benefits joining with your industry peers to share in and help guide your sustainability journey. There has never been a better time.