b'Bronwyn Winley count. This includes firms providing legal servicesglobal counterparts especially those operating as part of a clients supply chain. In addition, likein more populous locations.employees, clients will increasingly seek service providers to work with who align with their ownThe good news is that with the right approach organisational values. these issues arent insurmountable, as many global organisations have shown by making strong Government targets. progress on their targets. Global standards will In 2022 the Australian Commonwealth Governmentassist and are typically being pre-vetted by our legislated its ambition to reach net zero by 2050.international colleagues, while a crash course in This sent a strong market signal to all in theglobal business governance will also support efforts business community of the need to pursue net zeroto effectively manage change on a global scale. as a long term goal.The increased GovernmentOf course, the most crucial element is leadership target of forty-three percent by 2030 also sent asupport. If global and local leaders can agree on a shorter term signal, indicating decarbonisationdestination it makes the role of teams working on action was required by many Australian businessesthe journey to get there a much smoother one. immediately.NAVIGATING THE ALPHABETSubsequently net zero targets have also beenSOUPWILL REGULATION HELPset by State Governments. For law firms thisOR HINDER?translates to having to provide carbon emissions data annually, and as with other reporting its likelyOrganisations expertly manage operating this will become more targeted, for example byaccording to existing regulatory requirements. requiring actions and commitments towards carbonRegulation is understood and backed up by reduction.compliance frameworks, processes and systems THE COMPLEXITY OF A GLOBALembedded as part of business as usual.APPROACH FOR A LOCAL BUSINESS Challenges arise when taking action on climate change because the regulatory reporting While global organisations are well practised atrequirements are not consistent, either between managing complexity in all facets of their business,or within geographies, placing climate action at a it is an elaborate process developed over manydistinct disadvantage at the board table where it years. When it comes to the relative newcomer ofmust compete with other business priorities that climate action, while the intent is often good thehave a mandated regulatory path.details and considerations can be so complex as to seem overwhelming.However, as climate action targets move from a nice-to-do to a clear stakeholder expectation, the There are some specific challenges that can beneed for clear and defined reporting regulations acknowledged at the outset in order to smooth thehas become more pressing. At the time of writing way forward. the Australian Government was in the process The world is not (yet) aligned. While Europeanof consulting on mandatory climate disclosure people and organisations have integratedreporting in 2024. This would be a standardised, carbon reduction practices into both theirinternationally aligned framework for disclosing professional and personal lives for someclimate related financial risks and opportunities and time, other regions are still on the journey.drive a consistency in reporting in Australia. Acknowledging and taking into account theseFor law firms as well as many other organisations differing starting points and ambitions driveswho have good intent to take action on climate more meaningful conversation.change but limited capacity to deal with the Australia has a unique operating environmentalphabet soup of current reporting options, due to our remoteness, both from globalthis regulation would be welcome progress. It business centres and from each other. We needwill enable them to focus targeted resources on specific solutions to address carbon reductionmaterial matters, create a clear narrative internally in travel, supply chain and energy use, andand externally on their actions and clearly align these wont be immediately obvious to ourtheir actions with those of their key stakeholderstheir people, clients and communities.25'