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Environmental results 2022/23

Progress against our science-based targets

In January 2023, Freshfields announced its near-term science-based targets on carbon reduction, verified by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), helping align the firm to a net zero future.

Measuring and reporting our carbon footprint is essential in assessing progress and directing future effort. Client requests for our environmental performance are increasing year on year with pitches, relationship reports and scorecards on sustainability rating platforms expecting full disclosure of our environmental performance.

This is the first year that Freshfields is sharing progress towards its near-term science-based targets.

Members of our Global Green Group, predominantly office managers and facilities coordinators, are instrumental in gathering the data necessary to calculate our carbon footprint. Our data is analysed and the associated emissions are calculated using the Ecometrica Sustainability platform, before being externally assured by Carbon Footprint Ltd. The assurance report can be found here.

Our progress is summarised below (targets are all dated 2027 against a baseline of 2018/19 unless stated otherwise):

Target Progress to date (2022/23) Drivers of our progress
55% reduction in scope 1 and 2 emissions 71% reduction achieved
  • Offices moving to 100% renewable electricity
  • Energy efficiency measures (including moves to more energy efficient premises)
100% renewable electricity supply (by 2030 – midway target of 80% by 2025) 82% - global electricity supply from 100% renewable sources
  • 14 offices now supplied with 100% renewable electricity (including Tokyo from April 2023)
30% reduction in fuel and energy related activities 0% reduction achieved
  • company vehicles, electricity and heating consumption

  • Further energy efficiencies, transition to renewable energy and dropping gas/diesel company vehicles will support progress

35% reduction in business travel-related emissions 41% reduction achieved
  • Adherence to global travel policy
62% (by emissions) of suppliers committed to the SBTi 29% of suppliers by emissions committed to the SBTi
  • Engagement with existing suppliers and selection of new suppliers based on SBTi commitment

For the purposes of our carbon reporting, the following categories of emissions from our business activities are included:

  • All scope 1 (onsite heating/power generation)
  • All scope 2 (purchased electricity and district heating)
  • Scope 3 categories including business travel, waste, employee commuting, paper purchases, and other fuel-related emissions not covered by the other categories.

The chart below shows the split of emissions.


The firm has been carbon neutral since 2007, and this year is no exception: all of our emissions as assured by Carbon Footprint Ltd were offset using verified projects including Gyapa efficient cookstoves in Ghana and wind power in West India. The firm continues to invest in our flagship offsetting project, REAP, which will deliver carbon credits to us in the coming years.

Freshfields’ Environment team is led by Jake Reynolds, Head of Client Sustainability and Environment.