Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie has released its 2021 Communication on Progress, which looks back at the Firm’s various initiatives in the previous year in support of the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact (UNGC) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
A member of the UNGC since 2015, Baker McKenzie continues to integrate the SDGs into its strategy, with the objective of shaping its business into one that has a lasting positive impact on society.
This year's report highlights how the Firm leverages its expertise, reach and relationships to support the SDGs, in line with its commitments to its people, clients and communities on issues such as climate action, inclusion and diversity, wellbeing, ethics and trust.
In 2019, the Firm publicly announced a plan to significantly reduce its global carbon emissions over the next decade. The following year, the Firm was the first of any global law firm to enact global targets of 40% women, 40% men and 20% flexible (women, men or non-binary persons) by July 2025.
Baker McKenzie has placed sustainability at the core of its strategy for the coming decade, and remains committed to facilitating active engagement with like-minded businesses, governments, international organizations and civil society, in order to achieve shared goals for a more sustainable world.
To reflect the importance the Firm is placing on sustainability as a key strategic and commercial priority, Baker McKenzie named Alyssa Auberger as its first Chief Sustainability Officer in October 2020. Alyssa’s extensive experience advising clients as a partner with Baker McKenzie for over 20 years and comprehensive knowledge of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals will help steer the Firm towards its objectives, which include helping its clients with their own sustainability efforts.
"Our clients are at differing stages of their sustainability journeys and we want to do all we can to help them achieve their ESG goals, given our own depth of experience," says Alyssa. "We will continue to provide advice that includes navigating sustainability risks and identifying opportunities that can help clients become more responsible businesses. For our own people, it means a focus on nurturing a business that aligns with and respects our own unique values, cares about communities and gives us all a sense of purpose that goes beyond the billable hour."
Baker McKenzie Global Chair Milton Cheng comments: "The past year has proven that businesses can and must play an active role in advancing global efforts on some of the biggest issues facing humanity; it has also proven that resilience is possible if we all work together. As a large business ourselves, and as advisors to many of the largest companies in the world, we recognize the responsibilities that fall to us, and we take them seriously. With nearly 13,000 people in offices across almost 50 countries, we have both the global reach and local understanding to make impactful change, and to influence and elevate the issues facing people and planet.
"I am proud to submit this Communication on Progress and reconfirm our commitments to the Ten Principles. Our Firm recently celebrated its 70th anniversary. Our hope is that over the next 70 years, we will continue to lead responsibly and grow sustainably - and support our clients to do the same."