b'ENVIRONMENT| LEGAL SECTOR| 2021SUSTAINABILITY INSIGHTENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCEAusLSA commenced reporting on members environmental commitment and performance in 2009. Since that time the collection of data has evolved, and the depth of analysis increased. Also during this time the level of awareness and accountability for action among members has increased significantly which is reflected in the number of law firms participating and the nature of the commitments and level of performance they are reporting. This year Australia has experienced high levels of lockdowns and border closures, which has resulted in dramatic reductions in most environmental reporting data. In last years report, which included onlya few months of the effects of COVID, we commented that the environmental report showed a year like no other with reductions in energy, travel and paper use. This year, we have experienced a full year of those disruptions and the results have continued the downward trend from last year.This year AusLSA has also observed a continued increase in AusLSA member efforts to embed their environmental commitments more formally, using systems such as AusLSAs Environmental Management System (AEMS). EMSs help to guide firms measurement, planning, monitoring and continued improvement. Such systems more clearly demonstrate to clients and employees and management that firms are proactively and effectively managing their environmental impacts in a time of increasing global focus.This years report continues to measure all the parameters counted in previous years including consumption related to the following environmental impacts:greenhouse gas emissions from 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 and land degradation and resource wastage through the management of waste and recycling. 2021 AusLSA Member PerformanceDespite the significant disruptions from the COVID shutdowns, there has been no reluctance from AusLSAs Member firms to participate in this years report. In fact thirty-eight firms provided their data this year which is up from the highest previous participation of 33 firms last year. This represents a total of 22,672 law firm employees, an increase of seven percent over last year. Increases in staff numbers covered by this years AusLSA reporting can be attributed to the addition of increased numbers of reporting firms, and the return of firms who were unable to report last year.Twenty firms experienced a growth in staff numbers during 2021 and nine firms recorded a decrease. Greenhouse gas emissions followed the continuing downward trend sincelast year with COVID impacting on business operations causing dramatic reductions in resource use. The various state government lockdowns and firm-based safety measures reduced the consumption of electricity in members offices. Air travel effectively ceased reducing emissions from total business travel. Paper consumption also decreased markedly which follows increased uptake of digital systems and processes by firms, clients and courts as well as an increase in remote working. Member firms reduced their gross total greenhouse gas emissions by fifty-eight percent per employee from last year and their total paper use by thirty-nine percent per employee.The COVID emergency has shown us the legal sector can change behavior to continue to conduct business, remain profitable and, for most AusLSA members, to grow. The challenge for the future is to build on the progress that has been forced on us and as lockdowns and travel restrictions relax to reassess the full costs and benefits of different ways or operating.GROSS VS NET GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS Tonnes C0 -e per employee24.264.01 3.922.803.392.96 2.922.01 1.200.792017 2018 2019 2020 2021Gross Net66'