Social engagement and corporate responsibility are inextricably bound up with NautaDutilh's day-to-day legal practice. We help companies in a wide range of sectors to resolve the issues they are or will be facing in an equitable and practical manner.
Sharing knowledge and working in concert are paramount. We feel that corporate social responsibility entails so much more and have taken 'Empowering the next generation' as our main motto. We are committed to strengthening the position of the next generation by giving them opportunities in a sustainable world.
Room for personal initiative
This is something that our employees can rely on from the outset. They can, for instance, opt to take a month's paid leave for a CSR project at home or abroad: a CSR sabbatical. In 2020, one of our employees worked in South Africa with Captain Fanplastic to help in the fight against plastic pollution. NautaDutilh, acting in the capacity of employer, matched all donations collected by colleagues at charity sporting events. We are absolutely convinced that even smaller-scale, personal contributions can make a big difference.
Opportunities for students
Our practice works in concert with organisations such as JINC and the IMC Weekend School. Through JINC, we play host on an annual basis to the 'Boss of Tomorrow': students from socially and or economically disadvantaged areas get to spend a day with us in the role of managing partner. Our law course at the IMC Weekend School gives primary school pupils an introduction to court proceedings and shows them how a large law firm works.
Access to justice
Our social commitment is best expressed by our pro bono policy. Access to justice is a fundamental right, and the United Nations has identified the improvement thereof as one of its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We do our part by providing pro bono legal assistance to civil society organisations that lack the means or resources to litigate on their own. One recent high-profile example is the climate case lodged against the Netherlands by the Urgenda Foundation. As part of the Urgenda legal team, NautaDutilh has argued before the Dutch Supreme Court that protection against climate change is a fundamental human right.
NautaDutilh has been involved with Pro Bono Connect since its inception - a platform that serves as an intermediary between civil society organisations in need of legal advice, and fifteen Dutch law firms prepared to assist them. The mission is to make justice more accessible to those organisations. Based on the conviction that access to justice is a fundamental right, we also take an active part in Lawyers for Lawyers. That foundation works worldwide in support of lawyers who find themselves targeted due to their profession.
Mobilising against climate change
We are always prepared to share our legal knowledge and experience in the fields of climate change and energy transition. NautaDutilh is, for example, one of the partners in the Transition Coalition. Dutch companies have been working in concert on this project since 2017 to help speed up the transition to more sustainable forms of energy.
It also goes without saying that we take a hard look at what we ourselves can do to reduce our ecological footprint. Starting in 2020, we will be tracking our energy footprint from year to year in order to reduce our environmental impact, where possible, by means of targeted measures, e.g. by promoting the use of refillable bottles for tap water and by recycling office supplies. We are aiming to reduce food waste in our firm restaurants, for example with the 'Too good to go' app. We also contribute to recycling and the circular economy, albeit on a modest scale: coffee grounds from vending machines are used by RotterZwam for the cultivation of oyster mushrooms, which then make their way into lunch dishes served at our restaurants. In Brussels, we organise an annual NautaDutilh Mobility Day to encourage our office colleagues to use bicycles or public transport to commute between home and work. In 2016, we took up accommodation in the Netherlands at the Amsterdam and Rotterdam locations of BREEAM Excellent offices, each of whose buildings meets the highest environmental performance standards. Our Luxembourg office has been awarded the government label 'SuperDrecksKëscht fit Betriber' for environmentally conscious waste management. Our Brussels office has been awarded a three-star Ecodynamic Organistion Label (Label Ecodynamische Onderneming/Label Entreprise Ecodynamique) by Brussels Environment in 2020 for its environmental performance.
A diverse and safe working environment
Diversity and inclusion are no less important as far as NautaDutilh is concerned. We aim to promote a safe working environment in which employees feel free to be themselves. Gender diversity, LGBT diversity, and cultural diversity are of primary concern. We believe that diversity makes a team stronger.
The current male to female ratio in our partner population is approximately 30/70. Although this makes NautaDutilh one of the top 5 Dutch law firms in terms of diversity, our goal is 50/50, which we hope to achieve by actively recruiting and retaining talented women with, among other things, effective career coaching and by preventing subconscious prejudice from rearing its head in performance reviews. In terms of up-and-coming talent, we are already at 50/50.
In 2014, NautaDutilh became the first independent law firm in the Benelux to have its own LGBT+ network. We are one of the co-founders of Stichting Forward, which aims to promote the acceptance, recognition, and visibility of LGBT+ in the Dutch legal profession.
NautaDutilh also strives for a greater influx of culturally diverse talent. To implement this in practice, we, for example, work with Diversity Dinner. We have partnered this initiative since it's launch in 2016.
We regularly review and evaluate our CSR policy in order to increase our social impact and heighten our sense of responsibility.
By publishing an annual CSR report, we aim to increase transparency and accountability with respect to our CSR and sustainability policies, goals and actions.
Our CSR & sustainability report 2022 'Raising the Bar' covers the progress we have made in the field of corporate social responsibility and our objectives and ambitions in this area.
Questions, suggestions or remarks about our CSR policy? We would be pleased to hear from you.