Herbert Smith Freehills has become a founding signatory of the Greener Litigation Pledge, an important industry-led initiative to reduce the environmental impact of dispute resolution processes.
All organisations involved in dispute resolution in England and Wales are invited to sign the Pledge. Signatories agree to take active steps to work toward minimising the carbon footprint of disputes in which they are involved, including the two principal sources of emissions incurred by litigants: printed documents and (especially international) travel. To see the full list of the Pledge commitments, click here.
The Pledge is the first act of the Greener Litigation Project, a collaboration between like-minded leading disputes practices. Beyond the immediate aim of changing the way dispute resolution practitioners conduct litigation, the Project also aims to act as a catalyst for change in litigation rules and practice, to reach the position where the most environmentally sustainable options in litigation become the default.
Jan O’Neill, a lawyer in Herbert Smith Freehills’ London Disputes team, is a member of the Greener Litigation Project’s Steering Committee and commented: “At a time when the pandemic has accelerated proposals for court system reforms, and also opened up new possibilities, it is crucial that sustainability be front and centre of discussions about what dispute resolution should look like in the post-pandemic world. The Pledge is an important step in ensuring that happens.”
At the same time, the firm has also signed the Green Pledge of the Campaign for Greener Arbitrations (the CGA), a global initiative aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of arbitral proceedings (see our Arbitration team’s report here).