LawFuel – The Law Firm News Service – International law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has today launched the first international, externally assured corporate social responsibility (CSR) report produced by a major international law firm. The report covers each of Freshfields’ 26 offices around the world and follows the release of the firm’s London-focused CSR report in 2006.
An independent assurance statement and commentary* on the CSR report said: ‘Freshfields’ second CSR report demonstrates continued progress in the firm’s commitment to retain its leading position in CSR reporting in its sector. Producing a substantive CSR report, reporting against material GRI indicators and having external, independent assurance marks it out from current practice among other firms.’
The report, ‘Corporate Social Responsibility: Making a difference around the world’, is in line with Freshfields’ pledge in 2006 to expand the scope of the report to include the firm’s international activities.
Guy Morton, joint senior partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, said: ‘We are proud to have produced our first firm-wide report as part of our ongoing CSR journey. It has been a challenging and thought-provoking exercise, which will lead to further improvements in the way we conduct our business.
‘The report is an opportunity to assess, on an international scale, how we are progressing in our commitment to being a socially and environmentally responsible business. It is also intended to improve our understanding of the local and international markets and communities we work in,’ he said.
The firm’s community and pro bono data is also assured by the London Benchmarking Group and its carbon footprint has been independently reviewed by the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Management.
Using these recognised benchmarks, ‘Making a difference around the world’ covers a wide variety of activities and commitments that make up and influence Freshfields’ approach to CSR. It is organised under the general areas of law and ethics; people and diversity; climate change and environment; and community and pro bono legal advice, and explores how the firm has largely addressed the targets set out in its first CSR report, along with its aims for the future.
John Blain, Freshfields’ London partner responsible for CSR, said: ‘We aim to be responsible as well as profitable. Key to this is having a positive impact on our local communities, reducing our contribution to climate change, being a good employer, investing in the future by helping to improve the skills of young people, and, as a law firm, promoting human rights and enhancing access to justice for people in need. This report reflects our progress in these areas.’
* The report was assessed and assured by The Corporate Citizenship Company