Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) Paris is delighted to announce it has entered into a three-year pro bono partnership with Watt for Change, whose mission is to tackle energy poverty in France and increase access to renewable energy in developing countries. This partnership is a flagship initiative for our global sustainability strategy, which aims to benefit our communities, colleagues and sectors through a firm-wide focus on People, Planet and Practices.
WFW Paris is joining over 250 other volunteers to work on a pro bono basis with Watt for Change on a long-term project focussed on improving access to energy to ensure better living conditions. The firm’s lawyers and employees will provide legal, technical, administrative and communication support to help Watt for Change put in place innovative and sustainable solutions in France and abroad.
Some of the first projects WFW will be working on with Watt for Change include assistance on creating a fund to help people in fuel poverty situation, financing energy renovation projects for low-income households through the installation of roof-mounted photovoltaic solar panels, and developing biodigesters to give access to biogas to farmers in Madagascar.
Non-profit Watt for Change was founded by the VALOREM group. Its aim is to promote access to renewable energy for local development, improved living conditions and the protection of the environment. Watt for Change includes an endowment fund and the Fondation VALOREM, launched in 2016 and 2020 respectively.
Founded in 1994, VALOREM is a French green energy operator offering a range of renewable energy solutions and supporting local authorities and partners throughout the lifecycles of their projects. The group has over 400 employees and has strong presence in Europe and the Caribbean.
WFW Paris Head Romain Girtanner commented: “We are thrilled to be supporting Watt for Change on their fantastic initiatives, especially given that they were founded by a key client of WFW Paris. Combining pro bono action with sustainable development through this partnership demonstrates our commitment and social responsibility”.
Audrey Dagiste, Senior Business Development Manager, added: “Sustainability is now a strategic priority for businesses and how seriously they take their social and environmental responsibilities is carefully reviewed by clients and potential new joiners alike. We are delighted to give our Paris team the opportunity to contribute to innovating energy projects to positively impact both people and planet”.
Global Sustainability Lead Ben Churchill said: “Colleagues across WFW’s international network have been delivering on a broad range of pro bono matters for many years. We are pleased that our new sustainability strategy focussed on our three pillars of people, planet and practices is enabling colleagues to identify impactful pro bono projects aligned to our core sectors of expertise. This long-term partnership with Watt for Change is a great example of the difference we can make through commitment and collaboration”.