Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has released a corporate social responsibility (CSR) report which it claims is the first from an international law firm.
Chief executive Hugh Crisp says CSR "is an important subject for our clients, staff and other stakeholders and we are very pleased to be at the forefront of this developing area." The first report is London-focussed, he concedes, but the company aims to produce "a fully validated and externally audited CSR report that encompasses the entire firm by 2007".
The company currently employs almost 2,500 lawyers in 28 offices worldwide.
Freshfields says that, where possible, the report follows the guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative. "It provides an accessible and balanced account that should help interested audiences learn more about the firm and engage more effectively on the issues that concern them, says Mike Tuffrey, director of The Corporate Citizenship Company, which reviewed the publication.
Among the firm’s successes, the report notes that it is the only law firm to have won the UK Business in the Community award for excellence. In addition, it mentions that 327 of the company’s staff worked on projects for the homeless in London and the firm sent volunteers to help reconstruction in areas of Sri Lanka devastated by the 2004 Tsunami.
Going forward, the firm says it intends to change all its energy contracts to renewable ones, and to cut down on its paper use and air travel.