We all know that the deadline for turning the tide on the climate crisis is fast approaching, but you may be wondering “what impact is my business alone going to be able to make?”. Well, if we stand any chance of reaching the Paris Agreement target of 1.5° global temperature rise above pre-industrial levels, then we need to be looking at a whole economy approach.
What does that mean in reality?
Of course, the largest contributors to carbon emissions have got to take action to reduce their own emissions, however unless everyone takes some action, temperatures will continue to rise at potentially catastrophic levels. A whole economy approach means looking at a broad range of industries and at business of every size and at all levels of the supply chain.
Why am I talking to you about this anyway? What has a law firm got to do with climate change?
There are three key areas for carbon reduction:
- Direct emissions including direct emissions produced by your business such as factory emissions (in the case of manufacturing businesses) and emissions from company vehicles;
- Indirect emissions from purchased energy i.e. emissions produced by the gas and electricity that you buy;
- Indirect value chain emissions including emissions that are produced in other parts of your supply chain, such as by your suppliers, as well as emissions further down the chain. For example, transportation and distribution, use of products and end-of-life treatment of products sold.
One method of ensuring that you and your business are putting in place appropriate measures to tackle your carbon footprint is through the contracts that you enter.
Through examining your internal processes and policies alongside the agreements that you have in place with suppliers, distributors or even end users, you can start to make changes to reduce your carbon footprint.
What if I don’t have the time or resources to take on such an immense task?
Here at Tend Legal, we are pleased to be supporting the Chancery Lane Project – an organisation made up of more than 2,500 professionals in 113 countries around the world with a vision of producing effective, impactful contract clauses to enable solutions to climate change, in a way that is just and fair for everyone.
Whether you are a small business with limited resources wanting to take your first small steps towards change, or a larger organisation looking to implement a strict emissions reduction plan, there are plenty of ways in which your contracts and in turn, the way that you do business, can be adapted to make a difference.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you take the first steps towards climate-friendly contracting, feel free to get in touch.
Written by Jade Field
Tend Legal, London