Sustainability at the heart of what we do
OUR SUSTAINABILITY VISION
In the context of environmental challenges, social inequality and economic disruption, sustainability in business is a moral and commercial imperative.
At WFW we have always had a focus on supporting our communities and the environment. Our sustainability strategy pulls together existing activity and sets an ambitious roadmap for further positive change.
Our sustainability vision is rooted in what enables us to be successful as a firm – the sustainable prosperity of our clients and our people, a healthy natural environment and resilience in the communities we operate in.
Our Sustainability Vision: To create shared value through a firm-wide focus on People, Planet and Practices, using our skills and expertise to support sustainable and inclusive prosperity in our sectors and communities.
Across three pillars – People, Planet and Practices – we aim to create shared value on multiple levels by:
- Maintaining responsible practices and behaviours that enable us to run our business sustainably and manage our environmental footprint.
- Empowering our people to deliver pro bono and skilled volunteering projects supporting environmental and social themes relevant to our sectors.
- Working alongside our clients to support them in the net zero transition and developing thought leadership to help enable positive change in our sectors.
‘At WFW we know that sustainability and ESG considerations are hugely important for our people, our clients and the communities and environment in which we operate. We are committed to embedding a firm-wide approach to sustainable practice, supporting our sectors in the net zero transition and harnessing the skills and expertise of our workforce to help drive positive societal change.’
George Paleokrassas, Senior Partner
Our People pillar reflects our commitment to using our skills and expertise to address key social issues relevant to our firm and our sectors.
- Over recent years our lawyers have delivered pro bono support across a range of key social issues. Examples include:
- A long-term partnership with the Valorem Foundation which will see WFW Paris deliver pro bono for the foundation to help address energy poverty in France and increase access to renewable energy in developing countries.
- Provision of free legal assistance to the Legal Advice Centre in East London, helping claimants access disability benefits and appeal decisions made against them.
- Support for The Global Maritime Forum to develop the Neptune Declaration Crew Change Indicator, providing up-to-date information on the impact of the crew change crisis and monitor developments over time.
- Our employees are empowered to volunteer and fundraise for charitable initiatives globally, with c. 350 voluntary hours recorded per year in addition to pro bono matters.
- Our London office works with young people in East London to help develop skills and increase access to our profession – this includes running a numeracy programme for local students and volunteering with charities such as the Social Mobility Foundation and Skills Builder.
Our Planet pillar reflects our commitment to using our skills and expertise to address key environmental issues relevant to our firm and our sectors.
- Our lawyers have supported a number of environmental causes specific to our sectors in recent years, including:
- Supporting the development of the Poseidon Principles, a global framework to support the IMO’s goal to reduce shipping’s total annual greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2050, now widely used for assessing and disclosing the climate alignment of shipping portfolios.
- Advising the Aviation Working Group (AWG) on the implementation and build of the AWG carbon calculator, developed to provide accurate, reliable and consistent aircraft carbon dioxide emissions data to aviation industry participants.
- Helping create the Vessel Technology Assessment System (VTAS) Project, which helps inform the maritime industry on the comparative benefits of different fuel efficiency technology.
- Our ground-breaking thought leadership report ‘The Sustainability Imperative’ drew on a series of in-depth interviews and a survey of over 500 senior industry leaders to examine the shipping world’s views on sustainability and governance and what actions it is taking as result.
- Our award-winning renewable energy practice has seen the firm ranked #1 legal adviser for renewables deal count by both inspiratia and Inframation for a number of years.
- We are a member of Legal Sustainability Alliance and signatory of the Greener Litigation Pledge.
Our Practices pillar reflects our commitment to running our firm sustainably.
- In 2021 we received a Silver EcoVadis Medal for sustainable practice, placing WFW in the top 25% of 75,000 assessed companies.
- Our dedication to minimising our environmental impact is a commitment across our offices. For example:
- Our New York, Paris, Hong Kong, Singapore, Milan and Frankfurt offices are environmentally certified for sustainable design.
- London, our largest office, is powered through a renewable electricity contract.
- Our ‘Paper light’ policy has seen our London office reduce paper consumption by 75% in the last 5 years.
- We are implementing an ISO-accredited Environmental Management System complemented by a global Environmental Charter to minimise our environmental impact and have publically committed to the Science-Based Targets initiative.
- Our partnership with award-winning B Corp Giki allows all colleagues globally access to an app allowing them to track and manage their carbon footprint.
Our strategy is guided by four key principles:
Authenticity: Our strategy is rooted in the areas that are relevant to our firm and where we can make the biggest difference.
Collaboration: We work closely with our clients, suppliers and community stakeholders to drive positive change.
Agility: We conduct dynamic materiality assessments in a rapidly changing external landscape to ensure our strategy remains relevant.
Diversity: We pursue shared Sustainability goals as a firm while acknowledging cultural differences globally and tailoring our approach accordingly.
Read our latest insights
- Press 28 Nov
- Article 28 Nov
- Awards 25 Nov