At Sidley, we are dedicated to doing our part to ensure a sustainable future, conducting business in a responsible and mindful way that creates long-term value for our people, clients, and communities. We aim to minimize our impact on the environment by setting ambitious climate commitments to reduce our carbon emissions, as well as by creating a more sustainable workplace and culture across our global firm. From routine but important acts — such as recycling paper and waste — to impactful legal and pro bono work that empowers businesses and social enterprises alike, sustainability is integral to our operations.
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“We are continuously evaluating our policies and processes to improve the way we operate as a business and to better serve our clients and engage with all our stakeholders.”
— Sidley’s Management Committee
Our Climate Commitments
In alignment with science-based targets, our ambition is to reach net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across our operations and services by 2050, with a short-term goal to reduce Scope 1, 2, and 3 GHG emissions by 55% or more by 2030. In 2022, we achieved carbon neutrality in our direct operations by using 100% renewable electricity to power our offices and data centers and by purchasing high-quality, REDD+ carbon credits equivalent to our Scope 1 emissions.
Our Approach to Sustainability
Over the years, we have made meaningful strides to address our impact on the environment. We adopted a Sustainability Position Statement, which outlines our approach to this important cause and reinforces our commitment to being part of the transition to a net zero economy. In addition, the position statement defines the most salient environmental issues impacting our firm, organized under a three-pillar framework: Legal Experience, Operations, and Stakeholder Engagement. This framework will allow us to focus on what matters most and be able to communicate our progress in a structured way.
At Sidley, we are passionate about making a meaningful impact and fostering positive change in many ways. Our lawyers recognize their responsibility to use their skills and experience to provide services to underserved communities, to individuals, and to organizations that could not otherwise afford legal representation. In our commercial work, we are regarded as a forerunner in a broad array of areas related to sustainability and the environment. We regularly provide advocacy and thought leadership for our clients in matters pertaining to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors and environmental justice.
For more information on these services, click the links below:
- Climate Change
- Environmental Justice
- Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Sequestration
- Renewable Energy
- Emerging Enterprises Pro Bono Program
Sidley seeks out leased spaces that prioritize lower natural resources consumption, energy and emission reductions, and sustainable waste management. Our firm has 21 offices across nine countries, 13 of which are located in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) certified green buildings, which have the added benefit of being less costly to operate. At each location, office managers coordinate environmental efforts, including engagement with landlords and property managers, as well as communicating with our lawyers and staff about “green office” practices.
- Energy and Climate: A major focus of Sidley’s sustainability strategy is understanding our carbon footprint, and identifying ways to reduce energy and carbon emissions. Some of the energy-saving practices already underway include EnergyStar and EPEAT certified computers, IT peripherals, and kitchen appliances; upgraded LED lighting and occupancy sensors; and EV charging stations at select office locations.
- Paper Reduction: Much of the work that was paper-based in the business world has gone digital. For the work that still requires paper, Sidley has taken significant measures to recycle and reduce the volume of paper we consume, and to procure printing goods and services responsibly.
- Green Supply Chain: Our offices employ a variety of sustainable sourcing strategies, from day-to-day procurement of healthy snacks to choosing building renovation materials with air quality and human health in mind.
Our approach to sustainability is deeply rooted in our culture and values. To further our commitment to environmental stewardship, we regularly engage and maintain strong relationships with a variety of internal and external stakeholders, including employees, clients, communities, charitable organizations, and corporate partners. Through effective and transparent communication, we are able to better understand stakeholder needs, improve our sustainable practices and performance, and build a brighter future together.
Sidley is a member of the Law Firm Sustainability Network, a nonprofit organization of law firms committed to promoting the benefits of environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility throughout the legal profession.
Through both our local efforts and those that touch people in regions all around the world, Sidley is dedicated to making a positive difference. We aim to do all we can to ensure that our business endeavors are environmentally conscious, and aligned with the best interests of our clients and the communities we serve.