Osborne Clarke is pleased to announce that its long-term UK GHG emissions-reduction target, to reach net-zero emissions by 2040, has been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
In line with the SBTi Net Zero Standard, this commitment means reaching at least a 90% reduction against the 2019-20 baseline year by 2040, and only then purchasing removal credits for any residual emissions arising from the firm's activities.
Osborne Clarke is in the first group of companies to receive approval for net-zero targets following the SBTi's Net Zero Standard, with both near and long-term emissions reduction targets validated by the body.
This announcement comes after the firm's near-term target, to reduce its UK GHG emissions by 50% across all scopes by 2030, was validated by the SBTi in October 2022. The firm pledged to submit a long-term target in line with the SBTi standard within 24 months of this verification, and delivered this within 12 months, setting a long-term target of 2040, 10 years ahead of the original 2050 plan.
"We're very proud to have approved near- and long-term science-based emissions reduction targets with the SBTi. To be one of the first organisations to have a verified net-zero target of 2040 in line with the SBTi Net Zero Standard is a huge motivator for everyone in the business, and aligns with all of the work we are doing to reduce our impact on the environment and work more sustainably," said Conrad Davies, UK Managing Partner.
Osborne Clarke recently began rolling out carbon literacy training to its UK business, an upskilling programme designed to provide employees with a deeper individual and collective understanding of how to tackle the climate crisis. The day-long training covers science and impacts; policy; and action, and informs attendees about what the firm is doing to measure, report and reduce its emissions. The UK Executive Board are the first cohort to have received the training.
The firm is now working to set international science-based targets, with International CEO Omar Al-Nuaimi leading that project. It hopes to submit to the SBTi in the early part of 2024 and has already delivered various decarbonisation-themed initiatives and programmes across the international business.
The firm is due to host its second annual Decarbonisation Week programme ahead of the COP28 climate summit.
Osborne Clarke also recently signed the 'Fossil to Clean' letter, backed by the We Mean Business Coalition, alongside 130 other companies urging national governments to address the primary cause of climate change: burning fossil fuels.
The letter calls on financial institutions, fossil fuel producers and governments to work together in creating viable opportunities to enable the move away from fossil fuels and towards clean energy solutions.
Osborne Clarke's sustainability commitments are managed through the Osborne Clarke for Good framework, which structures the firm's approach to responsible business. It published its first impact report in 2022.