Shepherd & Wedderburn has made a commitment to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

The Scottish-headquartered UK law firm has become the first professional services firm to sign the Edinburgh Climate Compact, joining signatories including NatWest Group, NHS Lothian, Robertson Group, City of Edinburgh Council, the University of Edinburgh and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society.

Shepherd & Wedderburn has adopted an enhanced sustainability strategy, underpinned by a "route map" focused on reducing its emissions under the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Reporting Standard.

The protocol classifies an organisation's greenhouse gas emissions into three scopes: scope 1 (direct emissions from owned or controlled sources); scope 2 (indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy); and scope 3 (all indirect emissions from the value chain – from the goods an organisation purchases to the disposal of the products it sells or services it provides).

The firm will integrate sustainability considerations into all its business decisions, and report its greenhouse gas emissions and progress against its net zero target at least annually, using the protocol's corporate reporting standard methodology.

Managing partner Andrew Blain commented: "Having already made significant inroads during our journey to net zero, we are committed to further reducing our carbon footprint and to working with our colleagues, clients, suppliers, and other third parties to that end.

"Our firm has been at the forefront of innovation in the clean energy sector for almost 30 years. As a lead adviser in this sector, we understand the existential threat posed by climate change and, while we are working hard with clients to develop more clean energy projects in the transition to a net zero future, we believe it is also our responsibility to lead by example in protecting and nurturing the natural environment.

"We are committed to being the most sustainable business we can be because it is the right thing to do. We have all benefited from the natural environment and have an ethical obligation to make a tangible, positive contribution to tackling the climate emergency, for the sake of current and future generations."

Shepherd and Wedderburn’s market-leading Clean Energy Group, which comprises 90 lawyers, has advised on landmark clean energy projects across the UK and is ranked top tier in both the leading independent legal directories.

Clare Foster, the firm’s Head of Clean Energy and a commissioner on the Edinburgh Climate Commission, added: "As host nation for COP26, this is a hugely exciting time for Scotland and the UK. The green recovery is the anchor we hope will galvanise the whole country to lead the way. If we all work together, which will require effective collaboration among the public and private sectors and citizens of the UK, we will make an enormous difference."