A Milan law firm joins the Global Reporting Initiative as part of a broader sustainability effort
In its first year, De Berti Jacchia Franchini Forlani has become an official member of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), an organization that promotes sustainability reporting.
A 25-partner firm with offices in Milan, Rome, Brussels and Moscow has released a sustainability report and established a team of lawyers and chartered accountants. It helps to enhance the firm's sustainability credentials and coordinate its advisory work in the increasingly influential ESG field.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and multinationals use the GRI framework widely. Through a system of modular standards, it measures an organization's performance across a range of ESG-focused areas, from human rights to climate change, in a transparent and comparable manner.
There are more than 500 GRI community members worldwide, including a number of law firms, who use the GRI's standards to report on ESG. De Berti Jacchia and Baker McKenzie are the only law firms among the 500 listed.
According to Roberto Jacchia, the firm's participation in the GRI would allow it to "deepen its knowledge of sustainable practices, as well as give us a place within the organization that exists to establish and maintain the world's most widely accepted and authoritative reporting standards".
"We pay continuous attention to sustainability topics," he said. Our team has built up and it regularly updates a collection of legislative and regulatory tools for Europe and the United States. We are prepared to assist our clients with these new challenges."
"By joining GRI, De Berti Jacchia demonstrates that they are committed to become a responsible business," said Julia Hayhoe, managing partner at Hayhoe Consulting and ex-chief strategy officer at Baker McKenzie.
Sustainability and ESG reporting frameworks and metrics are abundant, hence, are often considered as an alphabet soup that is difficult to navigate. The key for companies is to incorporate sustainability into their strategies so that it can inform mind sets, decision making and impact, rather than being viewed as a side project.
Several law firms from across the world supported a United Nations statement on collaboration in maintaining sustainable development goals in September 2021.
Over twenty law firms have enrolled in the Net Zero Lawyers Alliance to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a firm-wide basis. These firms include Baker McKenzie, Herbert Smith Freehills, Hogan Lovells, Shearman & Sterling, and Slaughter & May.
BonelliErede established a dedicated team for ESG issues in December 2021 and Debevoise & Plimpton hired sustainability lawyer and former Linklaters lawyer Ulysses Smith as its senior ESG adviser are among the firms positioning themselves to advise their clients on ESG issues.
More than half of law firms in a study by Landmark Information published in November 2021 said that they needed to ramp up their ESG services to meet customer demands. The survey also found that 36percent of firms were currently unable to meet the increased customer demand.