At Hengeler Mueller, we take the matter of sustainability very seriously. That is why our firm is working towards sustainable, environmentally conscious operations and business activities. As an economic player, Hengeler Mueller accepts the responsibility to reduce our carbon footprint.
As a service provider, our efforts to operate in awareness of the environment focus on our business travel, conserving resources at our offices and our purchasing decisions.
Since we are organised as a partnership of independent legal professionals, all of us are responsible to take environmentally-friendly decisions. This applies not only to decisions on budgets and investments, on the selection of suppliers, and more, but also to how we plan and structure the work we do for our clients, for example deciding on whether and how to travel.
Committee and working groups for sustainability
We have consolidated our environmental management in a committee for sustainability made up of partners, associates and employees from across the offices of our firm. The partner members of this committee are Dr Sven H. Schneider, Prof. Dr Wolfgang Spoerr, Prof. Dr Christoph Stadler and Prof. Dr Jochen Vetter. Further members include, among others, Benjamin Lobedank (Business Development), Astrid Peine (Operations & HR Business Services) and Maren Streil (Controlling).
The sustainability committee assists the partnership in matters relating to sustainability and decarbonisation, for instance by regularly assessing where the firm causes the most CO2 emissions and by compiling and preparing options for compensating for CO2 emissions that cannot be reasonably avoided throughout the firm. Additionally, working groups have been established at the German offices in order to integrate our efforts more broadly within the firm and to ensure an exchange of information and knowledge.
In Germany, there are many environmental aspects that have now long been translated into legal requirements, such as measures to avoid and recycle waste, control air pollution and conserve energy, all of which we adhere to with conviction.
In addition, we are constantly working on achieving our own goals, which include:
- assessing our CO2 emissions,
- identifying and preventing avoidable CO2 emissions and
- compensating for the CO2 emissions that we cause and that are unavoidable for the time being due to our business model.
To continually assess our CO2 emissions, we are collaborating with the law firms of our Best Friends network to produce a peer group comparison and exchange ideas. In other words, we are not only comparing the footprints of our own offices to one another, but also to those of other firms.
Over the last few years, the measures we have taken and the activities we engage in to prevent and compensate our CO2 emissions have included the following:
- We have been working for some time to reduce the energy consumption at our offices on the basis of energy audits.
- Our German offices are supplied with ‘green electricity’.
- We have integrated into our air travel with Lufthansa AG a compensation for CO2 emissions based on our bookings and strive to use carbon-friendly modes of transportation when we travel.
- We provide bicycles and scooters for greater mobility within the city while on business.
- We use eco-friendly paper at our German offices and are working to reduce our paper consumption.
- We are integrating sustainable solutions as we renovate our offices.
- We are upgrading our digital infrastructure for videoconferences and digital meetings in order to avoid travel.