36 ENVIRONMENT | LEGAL SECTOR SUSTAINABILITY INSIGHT 2016 Environmental management and performance has been the cornerstone of AusLSA’s reporting since our inception. While we have progressively expanded our social reporting to all member firms’ over the last three years, environmental management is still a key element of our program and reporting. Environmental reporting provides the majority quantitative information included in our report. Over the years AusLSA members firms have used this reporting to demonstrate their own progress as well as benchmark their results against other firms to identify areas where they can improve. The material impacts considered in our environment section are consistent with previous years reporting and include: • greenhouse gas emissions from the office based consumption of electricity and gas • greenhouse gas emissions from air and car travel • greenhouse gas emissions from the use of refrigerants • damage to forests and other ecosystems from the harvesting and production of paper used and • land degradation and resource wastage from the management of waste and recycling. This year we have collected additional information about sustainable paper certifications of the paper purchased by firms. 2017 AusLSA Member Performance This year, thirty-three firms (or eighty-three percent of AusLSA members representing 19,196 employees) completed the voluntary sustainability report. The number of employees included in this year’s reporting group reduced by 798. The strongest positive result this year is the reduction in paper use. Overall, paper consumption reduced by 184 tonnes, or 4.5% per employee. Greenhouse gas emissions from law firm offices also decreased this year, reducing by 2.6% per square metre. These improvements are the result of increased energy efficiency of office refits, new equipment and improved systems. These savings of greenhouse emissions from offices have been swamped this year by a 6.2% increase in business travel. This is the fourth year in a row of where increases have been measured in business travel which totals 8.2% over four years Both gross and net emissions have been relatively stable this year with small reductions in the total emissions but small increases in the per employee emissions (due to the 4.1% reduction in headcount from reporting firms. Net emissions were also affected by a small reduction in the amount of renewable energy purchased by reporting firms. GROSS VS NET GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS Tonnes C02 -e per employee ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE 2014 6.00 5.00 4.00 3.00 2.00 1.00 0.00 2015 2016 2017 3.38 4.19 4.08 4.76 3.55 4.54 3.29 4.19 Gross Net