Environmental Impact

Michelmores has a strong legacy of trying to reduce the impact that our business has on our environment. Our work is now led through our partnership with Planet Mark, supported by wider community partnerships and initiatives.

Planet Mark Certification

In 2022 we achieved our first year of certification with Planet Mark, and are proud to announce that we have now achieved certification for a second year running, with an overall reductions in our location based emissions of 12.9%. The Planet Mark Business Certification is an internationally recognised sustainability accreditation for all organisations acknowledging continuous progress, encouraging action and building an empowered community of like-minded individuals. As part of our Planet Mark Certification, we record and report on a wealth of data each year including our carbon emissions, energy and water consumption, travel, and waste.

We also submit data on our work with our communities as well as our wellbeing and inclusion initiatives. Our goal is to have a much better understanding of and clearer data around these factors so that we can work towards formulating strategies and long-term objectives to improve our ESG outputs. Achieving Planet Mark Business Certification recognises our commitment to continuous progress and follows a robust three-step process: measuring our impact and reducing our carbon footprint by at least 2.5% annually; engaging everyone in the business; and communicating our progress.

Planet Mark measures our Social Value across five categories: our people – including measures such as health and wellbeing initiatives; community and volunteering; donations; procurement; and environmental impact. It is our aspiration to achieve net zero for Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030.Before we signed up to Planet Mark, our Firm-wide committee, ThinkGreen focused on reducing our carbon footprint by targeting procurement practices, energy-usage, and refuse reduction and recycling. In addition to material improvements to our buildings, ThinkGreen worked to encourage our people to change their behaviours and reduce their environmental impact, both in the workplace and at home.

Responsible business in the community

Being a responsible business is a real priority where environmental (and social) considerations sit at the core of our community engagement. As a modern law firm, we have access to in-house expertise that can identify opportunities to operate more efficiently from an environmental perspective.  We have partnered with our B-Corp impact investor client Oxygen House Group and the Devon & Somerset Law Society to share with other law firms our experience of the steps we have taken to reduce the carbon footprint of our buildings.

Our partnership with Oxygen House is part of a broader collaboration to guarantee a minimum spend on improving our sustainability credentials and promote sustainability amongst the professional community and networks.  As a result, we were shortlisted by The Lawyer magazine for the Best Collaboration initiative in 2018.Examples of other efforts to engage positively with our communities include:

  • Mentoring start-up car sharing and recycling businesses in an accelerator programme for businesses whose purpose is to reduce city congestion and our dependence on energy
  • Hosting General Counsel Forum events on climate risk and Property Developer Club events on EV charging, sustainable development and flexible precedent leases to support the adoption of energy efficient technology and collation of energy data in low carbon buildings
  • Working with the Chancery Lane Project on a pro-bono basis in relation to precedent wording for the licensing of intellectual property rights for climate and environmental purposes
  • Membership of the “Liveable Exeter” board, who in collaboration with the city council, has created the vision to make Exeter city carbon neutral by 2030
  • Working with Devon Wildlife Trust to introduce plants and habitats that encourage wildlife to thrive in the grounds of our Exeter office