As you may have seen, Stevens & Bolton signed up to the Green Pledge last year, an initiative led by the Campaign for Greener Arbitrations, which aims to minimise the impact of arbitration on the environment. Following this, we have also taken the significant step of signing up to the Greener Litigation Pledge.
We are committed to minimising the carbon footprint of our dispute resolution practice and the Greener Litigation Pledge widens the scope of our commitments.
The Greener Litigation Pledge was set up in response to the UK’s Climate Change Act 2008, as amended in 2019 (the Climate Change Act). The Climate Change Act commits the UK to net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. All organisations engaged in the conduct of litigation can sign up to the Pledge (for example, solicitor’s firms, barrister’s chambers and e-disclosure providers).
The active steps that Stevens & Bolton, along with the other signatories, have pledged to take include:
While always maintaining and promoting the highest standards of justice and client service and complying with the procedural rules of the courts:
- Corresponding electronically, unless hard copy is expressly required;
- Limiting the printing of hard copy bundles and other documents wherever possible;
- Promoting the use of electronic bundles for court hearings where possible, and liaising with our counterparts at opposing firms and the Court to seek agreement where necessary;
- Walking, cycling or using public transport for journeys to court wherever feasible and appropriate;
- Considering the appropriateness of witnesses giving evidence by video-link;
- Actively considering for each hearing whether it is appropriate to be heard remotely, in whole or in part, including by telephone or by video-link, and, where it is, making that suggestion to the Court and other parties to the litigation;
- Avoiding unnecessary travel in relation to a dispute in which we are acting;
- Committing to the use of renewable energy sources wherever possible; and
- Using suppliers and service providers who are committed to reducing their carbon footprint wherever possible and appropriate.