1 BACK TO NAVIGATION Welcome to the 2017 AusLSA Annual Sustainability Snapshot FROM THE AusLSA CHAIRS Brendan Bateman Kelvin O’Connor Co-Chair, AusLSA Co-Chair AusLSA Partner, Clayton Utz Consultant On behalf of the AusLSA Board we welcome you to the latest Annual Legal Sector Sustainability Insight. 2017 has been another exciting year for AusLSA and our members and stakeholders with completion of our staged reporting expansion allowing our members to tell their complete sustainability story. This year all reporting members have applied their reporting information against the same sustainability framework, which provides a clear outline of performance as well as options to increase their commitments. We would again like to sincerely thank our thought leader allies who continue to provide their insights into the design and analysis of AusLSA’s Sustainability Framework and annual report across a wide range of sustainability issues. This year AusLSA has also invested in the second development stage of the members’ Sustainability Reporting and Analysis tool (SRAT). This three-stage development will make the tool a one-stop-shop for CSR reporting and planning in law firms. This year members can see real time benchmarking as well as previous year’s results and entries. The tool also provides a progressive validation and checking function that highlights significant variations in real time and the opportunity to identify reasons for variations in performance. We will continue to invest in the SRAT, as a useful reference for our members to track and plan their sustainability programs. The report highlights many areas of good performance, which AusLSA members should take pride in, and while we have only been measuring workplace sustainability for a short time, we have already observed a general increase in commitment and activities in supporting employees in work and life. Many of our firms are also increasing both the level and sophistication of their community support programs, not only increasing their commitments to legal pro bono but also to broader community partnerships that deliver increasing outcomes through strategic resources and volunteering. On the environmental front both the energy and paper used in our offices continues to decrease. Electricity consumption this year yields a further 2.7 percent reduction to reach a 21 percent reduction since 2014 and paper usage decreased by another 4.5 percent to or 13 percent since 2014. But it’s not all good news. This year’s report also does its job by highlighting areas where the adverse impacts of our industry and sustainability issues are not being addressed adequately. The greenhouse gas emissions from our travel choices, while driven by the way we do business, have increased by 6.2 percent, continuing a trend of increases since 2014. Commitments to renewables and offsets have plateaued with only a handful of firms investing in the mitigation of their greenhouse footprints. The purchase of recycled paper and other sustainable product choices is another area where firms can easily do more to protect biodiversity and conserve energy and water while addressing the wide range of social issues influenced by their procurement choices. We are also taking extra steps this year to enhance the report with the provision of additional assistance for firms to promote their individual report to their stakeholders. We will also be talking more about the AusLSA report in the media including industry news and our growing LinkedIn community. As well as welcoming back our existing members the board welcomes new members for 2017 including Long Lawyers, Jim Parke Lawyers, Colin Biggers Paisley, Hunt and Hunt (Vic), Dentons and Gadens Lawyers. Our members are now enjoying the best industry lead sustainability program in Australia and are using their membership to increase their commitments to sustainability and engagement with their stakeholders. For non- members there has never been a better time to join with your industry peers to share in and help guide your sustainability journey.