Bates Wells formally recognises Climate Emergency

Bates Wells has formally recognised the Climate Emergency. In doing so, we have committed to decrease our carbon emissions significantly and to reach net zero carbon* in 2019. 

Our recognition of the climate emergency aims to do two things:

To reflect the urgency of the situation and the need for all of us to take significant steps to reduce our environmental impact; and

To commit to specific actions that we believe will make a difference.

Consistent with our status as a B Corporation, and with the full support of every part of the firm, we want to use our resources to contribute to the global effort to address perhaps the greatest challenge of our times, a challenge that raises issues of social as well as environmental justice and will require new ways of working, thinking and being.

In addition to achieving net zero carbon*, our commitments include using the law as a tool to protect and improve the environment and reporting on how well we deliver on our commitments.

We recognise that delivering on our commitments will present practical challenges and we expect the necessary adjustments to our business to be significant. We don’t yet know precisely how we will achieve all our commitments and, as implementation will affect all our people, we will publish further details once we have completed an internal consultation. We will regularly review our approach to ensure we make a meaningful contribution to a zero carbon future.

We also recognise we cannot alone deliver the radical change that is necessary and so we will collaborate with others. The legal sector can produce, and support, significant positive change and we hope that other law firms will soon join businesses around the world in taking this step.

Martin Bunch, Managing Partner, Bates Wells said:

“The enormous damage inflicted by biodiversity loss and climate change are issues that affect us all. This announcement is a small but significant step towards doing our bit to address the problem.  

Over the coming years we will be making a substantial effort to remain net zero carbon, to address our Scope 3 emissions, and to deliver on our other declared commitments.

We encourage other firms across the sector to come forward and join us in recognising the climate emergency and identifying the steps they will take to address the crisis confronting us.

We are already using the law as a strategic environmental tool, supporting a coalition of leading charities to seek a landmark ruling in which we hope to see clarification of the law applying to investment by charities in a way that recognises the severity and importance of the climate crisis.” 

*Net zero carbon covers our Scope 1 and 2 emissions and some of our Scope 3 emissions. We continue to address our Scope 3 emissions.

If you would like to set up an interview with Martin or would like additional commentary please contact Bates Wells’ Senior Press Officer, Sam Hunter on +44 (0)20 7551 7906 or [email protected]


All content on this page is correct as of September 9, 2019.