Wake Smith Solicitors in Sheffield has come top in two categories for low carbon emissions in a national environmental survey.

The 100-strong firm reported the lowest total carbon emissions and the lowest emissions per employee of the 59 nationwide firms that provided information to the Legal Sustainability Alliance (LSA) 2018 annual report.

Wake Smith looked at its carbon footprint including the energy used to light, heat and run the offices, business travel, water and paper usage and the waste it generates.

The firm recorded 40 tCO2e for total carbon emissions and 0.44 tCO2e for carbon emissions per employee for 2017 thanks to hard work with environmental initiatives including waste and paper recycling, reduced vehicle use and travel costs and electricity savings.

John Liversidge, office manager at Wake Smith Solicitors, said: “This is a great result.

“We actively work to improve our carbon footprint and encourage employees to be more efficient in their daily roles.

“I hope to continue to promote a cultural shift within their working practices, towards greater environmental sustainability, not only in the interests of the planet but it also makes good business sense, helping to reduce costs and retain clients.

“My colleagues have shown a real commitment to tackling climate change in this way. We have more to do and I hope we will continue our great progress and report further reductions next year.”

A record number of law firms reported their carbon footprint for the past year to the LSA, with 28 regular contributors revealing a near 60% reduction in their combined footprint. Nine new firms reported for the first time.

The average reduction in the carbon footprint per employee decreased by 39% to 3.07 tonnes of CO2 (tCO2e).

The total carbon footprint associated with all 59 reporting firms was 191,836 tCO2e. This represents an average figure of 3.24 tCO2e per employee — an 11% reduction on last year.

Jim Haywood, director of Achill Management who host the LSA, said: “Huge congratulations to Wake Smith Solicitors for its achievement. We encourage all members of the LSA to measure and report their carbon footprint each year using the bespoke LSA Carbon Reporting Tool.

“By doing so Wake Smith Solicitors has provided a tangible demonstration to staff and clients of the firm’s commitment to tackling the increasingly urgent issue of climate change and are also helping to inspire and encourage other law firms to take a similar lead.”