Our CSR mission is to ‘Empower the Next Generation’. We believe that by taking responsibility for our actions now, we will leave a better legacy for the future. We use the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a starting point for our actions, focussing on four areas where we believe we can have the most impact: Quality Education (SDG 4), Gender Equality (SDG 5), Climate Action (SDG 13), and Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (SDG 16). In 2022, we strengthened and expanded our partnerships with respect to the above goals (SDG 17), since we believe that through cooperation we can have greater impact.
We have integrated the SDGs into the four pillars of our Sustainability & CSR policy:
Our clients: Climate change and sustainability are high on the agenda for many of our clients, and it is through our client work that we can make the biggest impact. Our Sustainable Business & Climate Change team identifies ESG risks and opportunities and works with clients to develop future-proof solutions to the complex and interconnected challenges inherent in responsible business conduct.
Our people: We educate our talent to become excellent lawyers and professionals. This includes embracing inclusion and diversity in our workforce. The development of soft skills is a key pillar of our talent training programme.
Our operations: We strive to reduce our carbon footprint and integrate sustainability into our business operations firm-wide. In 2022, we set carbon reduction targets: 55% reduction by 2030 compared to 2019 and net zero by 2050. We initiated a roadmap for reducing CO2 and, as of 2021 we offset our remaining emissions. We also formulated a sustainable travel policy and integrated sustainability into our commuting policy.
Our society: In our Impact Programme, everyone within the firm is entitled to four Impact Days per year to contribute to society through pro bono legal work or community engagement projects that help advance our four focus SDGs.
The Steering Committee, SDG working groups and Pro Bono Committee of the Impact Programme, a dedicated CSR specialist, I&D specialist and the Young Professionals Board (co)develop policies, instigate new initiatives, and coordinate projects and activities. They advise the Board and the Executive Committee. The Brussels and Luxembourg offices have a (Think) Green Committee. In addition, the Brussels office has a Think Inclusion & Diversity Committee and a Think Healthy Committee which advise the managing partners in these offices. All committees are composed of both lawyers and business support professionals, and they collaborate on firm-wide CSR projects.
Since 2021, we have annually reported on our achievements in the field of sustainability. This is our third report; it discusses our sustainability and CSR work in 2022. We describe the progress we made – as well as where we fell short. The report provides an overview of our main firm-wide sustainability and CSR activities and accomplishments and takes into account the issues that are material to our firm. For this report, we did not yet apply an international reporting standard, other than the SDG table. We are preparing for the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), which came into effect in January 2023. We will be subjected to the CSRD in 2025 (reporting year 2026).
By publishing this report, we aim to ensure transparency and accountability with respect to our policies, actions, and goals in the field of sustainability and CSR. We welcome your feedback and invite you to enter into a dialogue with us about the role we have in society.