How It Began
Law firms and other professional services providers play a significant role in structuring and executing transactions on behalf of their clients. We are all facilitators of impact, both positive and negative, and as such we are in a position to pro-actively help accelerate the sustainability transformation through the work we choose to do.
We applaud the net zero carbon commitments of private sector players and policy makers in the knowledge that making these commitments requires leadership and courage and meeting net zero targets will be deeply challenging for most. We wanted to do more to help net zero initiatives, and at the same time, the sustainability transformation requires a lot more than reducing greenhouse gas emissions. For us, being pro-active means integrating sustainability into our own business and the work that we do by reference to the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which is a universally understood metric and the most recognized blueprint at this time to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.
We developed our SDG Tracker out of the belief that we could and should do more, and that we needed to find a way to keep track of the net impact of our work on an objective and continual basis. The SDG Tracker is also a self-accountability tool as we felt it would not be enough unless we were able to prove the impact of our work too.
How It Works
We are a law firm and so the net impact of our work derives from the impact of our mandate, that is, the underlying projects and transactions that we are engaged to advise on.
Every time we receive a prospective new instruction, we will assess the net impact of the mandate by scoring its outcomes and externalities against the SDGs for the directionality of its alignment. We will take into consideration whether the mandate contributes positively or negatively to the SDGs and how it does so. The component scores for each of the SDGs will then be aggregated to give an overall score for the mandate – the Net Impact Score.
The SDG Tracker tracks the aggregate net impact of all new mandates over the course of a calendar year. At the beginning of each new year, the score will be reset and we will start anew.
Through this process we can regularly reflect on the work that we do to leverage our roles as lawyers to take part in driving the sustainability transformation.
Join us in driving real impact
The asymmetry of available data and absence of analytics means that there are limitations in our assessment methodology at this time. For example, it is not yet possible for us to measure the ongoing impact of our work versus the intended impact of that work at the beginning of a new mandate. Our SDG Tracker is a work in progress, and we will continue to update and improve it.
Our goal is to make the SDG Tracker an accountability tool that communicates meaningful information based on a science-based assessment methodology that can track how an organization contributes to the achievement of the SDGs.
To this end, we are making our SDG Tracker methodology open source so that other law firms, professional services providers or NGOs may use it and collaborate with us on improving it.
Request a copy of version 1.0 of our scoring methodology and join us in driving real impact.
Stay tuned for our Impact Reports
We will also publish our Impact Report after the end of each year with details about the impact of our work and a breakdown of our net impact against each SDG. Feel free to check them out.