Green Hub: Green Guide Mission Statement

The guide puts a spotlight on key firms around the globe which have been able to showcase a contribution to a green transition. It aims to provide a holistic view on firms’ engagement with sustainability, including both work for clients as well as firms’ own best practices and initiatives. 

As the biggest driver of change, we treat client work as the most significant aspect of a firm’s contribution in the move towards a greener economy. Reflecting the breadth of mandates in this space, we seek to draw attention to a diverse range of matters across multiple practice areas which fall broadly into the category of sustainability work. 

The guide strives to emphasise that firms increasingly must demonstrate they not only talk the talk but also walk the walk. Setting out internal goals and measures to reduce carbon footprints; formal commitments to implement sustainability policies; joining external partnerships and alliances; contributing to thought leadership; and providing pro bono advice to non-profit and other organisations in this field are all becoming part and parcel of firms’ sustainability business. 

We believe ESG, sustainability, and climate change-related work is a rapidly growing part of law firms’ service offering as well as business strategy, and firms’ sustainability credentials will continue to gain in importance. Our guide aims to be not only an observer but a driver of this development by recognising actions that have been taken and achievements that have been made in this space. 

While other directories and ratings focus on law firms’ impact on climate change, we set out to complement this reporting by shining a light on firms’ positive contributions towards a greener planet – all the way from implementing small internal changes and driving conversations about ESG to assisting clients with game-changing sustainability matters. 

Assessment and inclusion 

Firms are assessed and selected according to information provided about their recent work highlights in the broad space of sustainability-related mandates, internal sustainability-related initiatives, and information about the team and individual lawyers’ engagement with sustainability. 

Considered work highlights can range across multiple practice areas providing there is a clear focus on sustainability, climate change mitigation and a green transition. Firms may show strength in one particular area or demonstrate broad capabilities. We are looking for the most innovative and complex work in the transition to decarbonisation but will also give consideration to a consistent and longstanding track record in relevant routine work. 

Advice to the fossil fuel sector will be considered where it relates to advancing a green transition. Firms handling other fossil fuel work will have their portfolio assessed against their sustainability-related work and engagement. 

On top of work highlights, firms are asked to give tangible examples of any internal measures to reduce their own carbon footprint and promote sustainability among the team, the business and with clients. 

In line with our other Legal 500 products, the focus lies on commercial law firms. We welcome submissions from boutiques, larger and smaller domestic firms and international firms alike, and assess firms according to the context of any given market. 

Within the firm, consideration goes to particular lawyers, teams and offices as we recognise the engagement and contribution of specific departments and individuals. 

Taking into account that particularly larger full-service and international firms will have broader work portfolios not reflective of their sustainability efforts elsewhere, firms will have this information weighed against the specific steps that have been taken towards helping their clients make progress as well as making progress internally (i.e. the focus of the guide). This assessment occurs within the parameters of the given region, jurisdiction or office rather than the firm as a whole. 

A submission does not result in automatic inclusion. Featured firms will be able to demonstrate a relevant work portfolio, concrete internal actions, and particular team members’ engagement that goes beyond the handling of mandates. 

Featured firms will be reviewed on a yearly basis according to provided information and market context, and inclusion in one year does not guarantee inclusion the next year. 

As the Green Guide editor, I welcome any feedback or ideas about how we can further develop the guide to ensure it appropriately reflects law firms’ activities in this space. Please do get in touch. 

If you’d like to submit for any upcoming Green Guides, please visit our submission information page. 

Anna Bauböck, Editor