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.

AusLSA - 2020 Legal Sector Sustainability Update Launched

Thirty two AusLSA members have published their commitments and performance against the nineteen sustainability elements of the AusLSA sustainability framework.

The report provides a window into the initial impacts of COVID and identifies factors that will influence the sustainability of law firms for years to come. 

Read the report HERE

Read the LinkedIn article HERE

MODERN SLAVERY - Ashurst launches Modern Slavery Plan

As it approaches its bicentenary, AusLSA Member firm Ashurst, has launched a Modern Slavery Action Plan to support the eradication of all forms of slavery that exist today. This plan considers the role that Ashurst, its clients, colleagues and stakeholders can play.

See more about this in an article from Lawyers Weekly HERE and more detail about this Plan from the Ashurst Website HERE.

MODERN SLAVERY - Still unsure about the Modern Slavery Act?

The Law Council of Australia, in collaboration with the Association of Corporate Council, have released a new fact sheet to help businesses understand their reporting requirements under the Modern Slavery Act.

It is estimated that more than half of modern slavery victims live in the Asia-pacific region, where many supply chains of Australian business are located.

For more information, see the LCA media release HERE, the fact sheet HERE and an article from Lawyers Weekly HERE

MODERN SLAVERY - three ways COVID makes things worse

There are very few of us that aren't impacted by COVID or the current and future economic and social disruption required to fight it. But spare a thought for those who experience modern slavery, forced labour, human trafficking and child labour. Delta 8.7 has identified three COVID risk areas that will impact on the fight to end modern slavery.   READ HERE 

GENDER EQUALITY - COVID and gender equality

According to Deloitte, for every month of the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia has lost one year on progress towards economic gender equality. Women seem to shouldering a bigger burden of home care and are more likely to be affected by job cuts, a view which is shared by WGEA. They both agree that gender equality needs to be at the heart of our economic recovery. Read some of Deloitte's responses and strategies HERE.

GENDER EQUALITY - Protecting progress while building back

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.


FLEXIBILE WORKING - Working from home in Australia

AusLSA Member firm DLA Piper has published an overview of a newly released report from the Fair Work Commission entitled 'Draft Award Flexibilty Schedule'. This document considers the impacts of the accelerated needs emerging from working from home and it intended to assist employers facilitate workplace flexibility in this area.

See the DLA Piper Publication HERE, or the Fair Work Commission document HERE.

PRO BONO - Record pro bono results in spite of record national challenges

The National Pro Bono Centre recently released its thirteen national target report, and despite the national challenges faced in the past two years, demonstrated that the dedication to pro bono work has not faltered. They state that Australian lawyers have reported a record 16.5% rise in pro bono hours compared to the year before. Target signatories reported undertaking an average of 36.4 hours of pro bono legal services per lawyer in FY2020, exceeding the Target of 35 hours which is the highest average number of pro bono hours per lawyer reported since 2011 and is higher than the 35.8 hour average reported in FY2019.

See their press release (with a link to the report) HERE

NON-LEGAL VOLUNTEERING – A snapshot of Volunteering in Australia - Challenges and opportunities

Volunteering Australia CEO Mark Pearce considers the structural issues facing volunteering in light of the challenges we’ve seen this year and longer-term trends, in this article adapted from a presentation given in a recent Pro Bono Australia webinar. Read the article HERE

CHARITABLE GIVING - Congratulations to the 2020 Award Winners!

Workplace Giving Australia has announced this year’s winners the winners of the 2020 Workplace Giving Excellence Awards.

AusLSA member King & Wood Mallesons received Highly Commended award under the Best Employer Response to a Crisiscategory The award details provide a wealth of information and ideas for your own approach to workplace giving.

More about the awards HERE

ENVIRONMENT - climate change and COVID

Immediately before our current Australian COVID crisis we were rightly reeling from Australia's latest climate change disaster in the form of widespread droughts and massive bush fires that caused environmental, social and economic destruction. But while we have been distracted, the issue of climate change and its urgency has not gone away. It seems that disruption is a key catalyst for change and COVID has disrupted the global economy and society in away the climate change never could. Jane Courtnell discusses the early signs that indicate the post COVID future could also provide some desperately needed solutions to climate change. READ MORE

ENVIRONMENT - US climate scorecard for law firms

More law firms moving to formally articulate a position on climate change through their values and commitments. The differentiation can bring some behaviors into contrast. 

The 2020 Law Firm Climate Change Scorecard is the first to detail the scale of top law firms’ role in the climate crisis. Using the best data available, the 2020 Law Firm Climate Change Scorecard analyzes litigation, transactional, and lobbying work conducted by the 2020 Vault Law 100 law firms. Read the report HERE

RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY & OFFSETS -   When do carbon credits make sense?

 Addressing your company’s carbon footprint takes a comprehensive approach. Carbon offsets are a viable component of a larger strategy; and when procured smartly, can also help companies meet their other sustainability needs and goals. Read more HERE

RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY & OFFSETS - Science based targets vs net zero

Will your firm meet the increased demand for climate ambition? How can you ensure that your target is keeping pace as the climate agenda moves at an ever-quickening pace.

Corporate Citizenship recently completed a webinar covering

  • How carbon targets have changed over the last 5 years
  • What “Net-Zero” means for businesses setting targets
  • The options available that will ensure your target is ambitious enough, and how to avoid accusations of “greenwash”
  • How to assess what is required to meet your target
  • The impact of Covid-19 on targets, baselines and reporting

Watch the Webinar HERE 

ESG  - The intersection between COVID and responsible Business

As the crisis continues to unfold, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) topics will continue to grow in importance. Companies will be judged by their ability to withstand financial shocks, but also by how they’ve treated their employees, clients and communities. A well researched article that will show you that responsible business is more important than ever - READ HERE 

ESG - Evolving sustainability priorities for ASX 250

Climate Change is the highest priority for surveyed ASX 250 companies with modern slavery and indigenous reconciliation moving quickly up the ranks. The 2020 Sustainable Future Survey conducted by Perennial Value Management also showed recent focus areas including equality, inclusion and charitable giving have slipped down the list for action. Read more about the survey and its finding HERE

ONLINE EVENT – A Year in Purpose: The Top 10 Trends of 2020

Purpose and stakeholder-centred business remains the critical, go-forward strategy and 2020 has only accelerated this notion.

Porter Novelli evaluated the past 365 days’ worth of Purpose-driven campaigns, initiatives and announcements to bring you the Top 10 Trends of 2020, and what’s on the horizon for 2021.

Register HERE

Richard Jennings
General Manager
0407 676 575

Kelvin O'Connor
0409 515 505