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Legal Sustainability CONNECT 
ideas + people = opportunity  

AusLSA Bulletin
March - April 2018


Welcome to the Australian Legal Sector's Bulletin
The Australian Legal Sector Bulletin keeps you up to date with a collection of the most interesting articles, tools and events from AusLSA, fellow members, legal industry leaders and sustainability leaders.

Spread the word - Please recommend this Bulletin  to your friends and colleagues with an interest in the sustainability of your firm.

Farewell to Kathy Merrick from the AusLSA Board

Following the merger of Henry Davis York and Norton Rose Fulbright last year, Kathy Merrick has resigned an AusLSA Director and HDY has ceased to be an Executive Member.

The board of AusLSA would like to formally express our gratitude for the contribution that Kathy made during her tenure as an AusLSA Director and acknowledge her input to the development of AusLSA during a transformative time. 

HDY was one of AusLSA's founding Executive Members and a leader in law firm sustainability. Kathy has since moved to Gadens, where we are sure will will hear from her again.

Farewell to Felicity Rourke from the AusLSA Board

The Board of AusLSA is also sorry to have lost Felicity Rourke as an AusLSA Director following her resignation from AusLSA's Executive Member Norton Rose Fulbright. Felicity has moved to from NRF to Allens, who are also an AusLSA member. 

We are very grateful for Felicity's input during her time as an AusLSA Director. Felicity provided strong leadership in promoting business responsibility and sustainability and has earned the Board’s strong respect. We wish Felicity well.

LSA (UK) reports on why CSR is of interest for law firm clients

The Legal Sector Alliance, AusLSA's equivalent body in the UK,  recently commissioned a study about why CSR commitments of law firms are of interest to their clients. The outcomes are similar to our experiences with law firm clients in Australia who not only seek legal expertise, but also prefer to work with law firms that share their own CSR commitments and values.

The succinct report demonstrates a demand for CSR frameworks and reporting similar to the direction that  AusLSA has taken recently. Click on the image to download the report.                 

AusLSA on the right track with increased Social and Governance Reporting

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) have published a report which shows that, environmental issues have been the most widely reported sustainability topics over the past 25 years, while social and governance issues have been the least.

In recent years, however, the combined number of mandatory and voluntary reporting requirements have significantly increased social and governance reporting, underscoring  the importance of these issues to the wider community and business. 

Download the report HERE

AusLSA member firm helps build Australia's first Pride Centre

AusLSA Member firm Hall & Wilcox has acted as the primary legal advisor to the newly created Victorian Pride Centre. The Centre is a unique initiative that celebrates, bolsters and protects equality, diversity and inclusion.

Following the launch of their diversity and inclusion policy last year, Hall & Wilcox saw the opportunity to build their commitment in this space through pro bono support for the centre. While the centre is being developed, Hall and Wilcox will also become its temporary home, hosting board meetings for the project. 

Click HERE to read more about this from Australasian Lawyer, or click the other images to go to the website for the Centre or to the Hall & Wilcox site below.

AusLSA member firm named Australia's Healthiest Workplace

It's great to see one of our member firms being recognised for putting their sustainability policies and programs into action. 

In recognition for the firm's programs and policies to improve the health and wellbeing of employees, Ashurst has been named as Australia's healthiest workplace for 2017 in the AIA Vitality's Australia's Healthiest Workplace Survey.

As our member firms know, Health and Wellbeing are key material issues in our sustainability reporting, and congratulations to Ashurst for recognition of their efforts. Be sure to see Ashurst's Sustainability Profile in our 2017 annual report. 

Gender balanced shifts for Victorian Lawyers

Lawyer statistics, published by the Victorian Legal Services Board as at 28 February, shows that the gender balance of lawyers in Victoria (for the first time in history),  favours women.  

Lawyers weekly reports  that this gradual shift of demographics has occurred over the past decade or so, with the gender 'balancing' of women growing by 3% annually, double the rates of males. The trend is being observed nationally, however the NSW Law Society still notes that firms need to increase their efforts to ensure that women are more prominent in leadership positions.

Diversity is an important issue for NSW Bar

The president of the NSW Bar Association, 
Arthur Moses SC has said that "equality
and diversity is important for the sustainability of the NSW Bar", however there was more work to do. 

In an article published by Lawyers Weekly, Mr Moses stated that there were "no drawbacks to promoting role models for women" and called for the bar to be "more representative of the community it served".

CLICK HERE to see the article.

Aussies prefer ethical organisations

A recent YouGov study has found that 87% of Australians think businesses have a responsibility to do social good, suggesting that CSR remains an important consideration. Interestingly, 58% thought that businesses should also ensure that their supply chain does not harm the environment, highlighting the need for rigour in our procurement practices. 

A high number of respondents would be more likely to use or recommend businesses that gave to charity, or undertook volunteer or pro bono work. At AusLSA, we think that this reinforces the value of reporting a wider range of sustainability issues in addition to environmental impacts.  

Click HERE to see the report.

80/20 Rule still applies to Sustainability Reporting!
In 2011 just under 20% of US S&P 500 Companies undertook Sustainability Reporting. In 2017, these numbers reversed and now less than 20% do not undertake reporting.

Analysts observe that this enhanced and expanded corporate disclosure and structured reporting underscores the importance of considering ESG issues when planning growth strategies and communicating results to stakeholders. AusLSA reporting members should consider themselves leading edge, and in good corporate company!.

Click on the image for the report.

Brain - Body - BIN!

We all love our early morning coffee heart-starter, a stimulant that goes from our brain to our body and has us bouncing off the walls to do our best. 

The ultimate consequence however is a massive pile of discarded coffee cups that take years to break down.

CitySwitch, as part of their Green Office program have developed a 'Coffee Cup Toolkit' which consists of a number of tools designed to change behaviour towards the way we consume coffee which you can easily implement in your office. To have a look at this program from CitySwitch, click HERE.


Because it is only 8.30am and I haven't started work yet... AND WHY ARE YOU SHOUTING AT ME!. 

New York may soon make it unlawful for employers to expect workers to answer emails after hours - see the article in the NY TIMES HERE.  

While this is seen by many as a move which may assist to re-balance work-life balance, France did it a year ago on the basis that is "it is actually beneficial for people not to work all the time".

 Is being tied to our phones and emails all in our heads?. Interesting....

PWC works towards closing gender pay gap

PWC have become the first Australian professional services firm to disclose their partnership gender pay gap - the results show a like-for-like role gap of 0.3 percent and an overall gap of 16percent. 

Providing transparency around diversity is one of the ways PWC have chosen to address their gender pay gap coupled with additional key targets in their Diversity and Inclusivity Program. Their Diversity and Inclusivity Program aims to create a workforce where everyone can reach their full potential. 

Click on the PWC image to see their press release.

Spotlight on Bridgestone 
Sustainable Procurement Practices 

AusLSA will provide 'Spotlight' news blogs on companies who are excelling in driving their sustainable procurement practices 

Bridgestone Corporation (Bridgestone), the world’s largest tire and rubber company, have announced a new Global Sustainable Procurement Policy. The Policy aims to help identify and evaluate qualified suppliers, promote best practices, and serve as a communication and improvement tool for the industry. 

There is a wealth of related information on their website that AusLSA members could use as a roadmap (pun intended!). Click on the logo above.

Spotlight on Carlsberg 
Probably the Best Beer for the World

The Carlsberg Group have announced their 'Together Towards Zero' program, which aims for zero carbon footprint, zero water waste, zero irresponsible drinking and zero accidents culture by 2030. 

The program is in response to increasing consumer demands for sustainable products in a time of global challenges such as climate change, water scarcity and public health issues. 

Together Towards Zero  is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and suggests reductions which go beyond the base level agreement set in the Paris Accord. Click on the image on the left for a good description of the program and how they have aligned the UN SDGs. At AusLSA, we can't tell you to switch beers, but hey...

Inside the Apple Forest (maybe something you didn't know?)

We all hate packaging. No matter what you buy, the product is always surrounded by much more cardboard and polystyrene than is probably needed. While most tech companies are trying to address cradle to grave solutions, including packaging,

Apple seems to have taken one step further with an innovative solution that seems to be flying under the radar. They have just announced the latest expansion to their Sustainable Forestry Strategy, with 320,000 acres of working forest in China, enough to offset the footprint of all their packaging. This is part of their five year partnership with WWF to transition up to one million acres in provinces of southern China. 

More about this in a great article from Greenbiz can be found HERE.

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