As a member of AusLSA, you are part of a highly informed and progressive group 

Take a few minutes every few months to update yourself on the latest thoughts, resources and opportunities to lead your practice toward sustainability. 

 Welcome to the Australian Legal Sector's Bulletin    

The Australian Legal Sector Bulletin keeps you up to date with a collection of the most interesting articles, tools and events from AusLSA, fellow members, legal industry leaders and sustainability leaders.

Spread the word - please recommend this bulletin to your friends and colleagues with an interest in the sustainability of your firm.

It's what we do next that matters most

Like all of you, at AusLSA we have been bombarded with communications from members, service providers and associates about their response to our COVID crisis. The messages that we are most drawn to are the ones from people who are figuring out how to move through and emerge from this in a positive way.

Each positive message clarifies AusLSA's views about the path forward for those businesses that value social and environmental responsibility, and how we can best to support our members and their stakeholders during this time. For those of us who seek to do good through our businesses and professions this work is as important as ever.

While it’s still too early to tell how significantly COVID will alter the way we live, work, and do business, solidifying your firm’s place within this new order is critical. The true test is going to be whether we can sustain this dramatic positive force even when not spurred by a global pandemic. It might be tempting to de-prioritise the importance of sustainability programs and reporting, but we must resist the temptation to focus only on short term commercial survival and loose sight of our values.

Something new will undoubtedly emerge from this crisis. We all have a role to play in making sure that the progress we are making together on sustainability is not lost continues and our shared experiences foster an even more positive approach to our global sustainability problems.

COVID won't weaken AusLSA member's values, purpose or corporate citizenship

It has never been more important for Australian law firms to demonstrate their corporate citizenship and to communicate their commitments and performance to their staff and customers.

AusLSA’s sustainability framework contains many critical elements practised by law firm’s to support their workforce, customers and the community following Australia’s 2019-20 bushfire tragedy and now during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is crucial that AusLSA members continue to develop, deliver, monitor and report on these sustainability programs.

AusLSA will continue to deliver its support and programs to AusLSA members. We are carefully monitoring the needs and capacity of our members to ensure our programs are fine-tuned and delivered in a suitable way to allow all members to benefit.

If you wish to discuss AusLSA and its programs further please contact us HERE

If you believe you can't then you can't... but if you believe you can you can!

You need to be progressive and you need to keep progressing. If you are planning to stay still in the modern world then will probably be left behind.

The insecurity caused by COVID and the levels of disruption may cause some to cut and freeze their progressive agenda but those organisations that are most likely to recover most quickly and win the future wont loose their focus.

The future is closer than we think and if we hibernate too deeply we will be left napping by those who are quicker off the blocks. What should you be prepared for?

Read more

MODERN SLAVERY - Mandatory reporting deadlines extended

The Government has extended the legislated deadline for mandatory Modern Slavery reporting by three months for entities whose reporting periods end on or before 30 June 2020.

For firms with 30 June financial year this extends the reporting deadline from 31 December 2020 to 31 March 2021.

This extension recognises that COVID-19 is significantly impacting many reporting entities and aims to support these entities to submit their modern slavery statements.

Read More HERE

CORPORATE GIVING - Philanthropy is evolving in 11 ways

Who has the responsibility — or the right — to tackle complex problems like poverty and climate change. How are nonprofits and funders evolving in response to changing community needs. What is just, and what is kind? These questions are shaped by and interpreted through the lens' of larger world forces like justice, equality, civic trust, and compassion.

Experts and thought leaders from the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy explore 11 trends in philanthropy for 2020.

Read their findings HERE

DIVERSITY - Equality for people with a disability

It's time to apply what we have learned from addressing cultural and gender inequality and the diversity and inclusion frameworks to address inequality experienced by people with a disability. A study from Cardiff University found the exclusion of disabled people places unspoken boundaries on disabled workers. 

Read the full STORY

PAPER - Not all environmental certifications are equal 

For a long time environmental certification has been pursued as a panacea to allow us to distil complex information and to make ethical consumer choices that align with our values.

But not all certifications are equal.

Consumer research has found that company sustainability claims are much more credible when they are coupled with independent verification. Put simply, consumers trust when you verify. This is especially true when it comes to forests.

Read the full STORY 

CLIMATE CHANGE - The rise of renewable energy?

A recent report showed that Australia's GHG emissions have dropped for the first time since 2015.

Of course, you might say, because no-one is travelling due to COVID-19. It's quite the opposite really, the decline is largely due to the increase of renewable energy being supplied to the national grid and the decrease of reliance on brown-coal energy.

The better news is that the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) says that, by 2025, we have the technical ability to safely operate a system where 75% of our energy use comes from wind and solar.

See an article about this HERE

CLIMATE CHANGE - Australia is badly exposed to economic loss from climate change 

Parts of the Government and industry argue that the economic cost and human sacrifice of transitioning from Australia's successful past are too high to justify meaningful action on climate change. 

But sobering economic forecasts are being released almost weekly including the latest report that estimates the global cost of climate change at $15 trillion by 2050 with $29 billion being lost annually to the Australian economy. 

Read the full STORY 

CLIMATE CHANGE - Is climate change litigation a risk for companies and their advisers? 

Class actions in industries like agricultural chemicals, pharmaceuticals, asbestos to tobacco are becoming more mainstream.

History and the courts pursuing companies who knew (or should have known) about the risks of their products and decisions and didn't manage or disclose the risk effectively.

Is climate change next? Former Chief Justice of the High Court Robert French thinks so.


Read the full STORY 

ESG - 2020 Trends are all pointing toward... more 

US corporate governance experts Diligent Corporation has produced its 2020 trends for governance.

The whitepaper features ESG, Transparency, Culture and Purpose as key areas for growth, opportunity and risk.

Read the report HERE or if you have 15 minutes to put your headphones on... listen to their engaging video HERE 

CARBON NEUTRALITY - EY announces Carbon Neutral by 2020 

AusLSA's major supporter, EY  announced today that it will achieve carbon neutrality by the end of 2020. EY will focus on areas including reducing travel emissions, sustainable procurement practices and purchasing more renewable electricity to power EY offices.

It will also purchase carbon credits to offset the EY carbon footprint and invest in projects that reduce carbon emissions or remove carbon from the atmosphere including reforestation projects.

Read more HERE  

CARBON OFFSETTING - Climate Positive and the shift towards regenerative business 

The opportunities to be carbon neutral and the appetite for of businesses to address the negative impacts of its operations have increased both. 

This provides a forward facing approach that deals with the future and current emissions without really addressing social economic and environmental impacts that we have already caused. 

Companies are now making climate positive commitments that recognise the need to reverse the higher levels of atmospheric GHGs and reverse the damage already caused.


Read about the Carbon Positive trend HERE 

Reasons to be cheerful - 2020 State of Green Business

Who isn't looking for some reason for optimism to start 2020 and to see some signs of positive change in our society and economy?... I know I am.

Each year the 2020 State of Green Business surveys the S&P 1200 and S&P 500.

The results might surprise you. Read the full Report Here

PURPOSE - Business Roundtable’s new memo on the “Purpose of a Corporation” 

Last summer, 181 CEOs signed the Business Roundtable’s new memo on the “Purpose of a Corporation,” which emphasised their commitment to customers, employees, suppliers, and communities more broadly.

When it comes to addressing difficult economic, environmental and societal challenges, these companies are starting in their own backyards – partnering with communities to provide the investment and innovative solutions needed to revitalise local economies and improve lives.

Read More Here 

Richard Jennings
General Manager
0407 676 575

Kelvin O'Connor
0409 515 505