Castrén & Snellman’s Carbon Footprint Halved during Pandemic Year

Castrén & Snellman has completed its second annual carbon footprint calculation. The firm’s carbon footprint in 2020 was approximately 388 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e). The pandemic year nearly halved the firm’s carbon footprint, as the firm’s emissions were 750 tonnes in 2019.

‘This drastic drop in our footprint is mainly due to the pandemic. The end of business travel in March 2020 reduced our emissions from that source by 79% compared to 2019. It is important to keep in mind that the pandemic has had an extensive impact on how work is done in the legal services industry. Our emissions from heating also went down 22%’, says Anna Kuusniemi-Laine, head of sustainability at C&S.

The firm’s main sources of greenhouse gas emissions remain business travel and heating, which together correspond to approximately 67% of the total, making up 20% and 47% of emissions, respectively.

The most important role of the calculation is to spur the firm on in reducing its climate impact.

‘Calculating our footprint helps us focus reductions in the right places’, Kuusniemi-Laine continues.

The calculation is based on the GHG Protocol standards, which are the most widely used greenhouse gas accounting standards globally. Sustainable business consultancy Gaia Consulting advised the firm in the calculation.

Primary Reduction Targets: Business Travel and Heating

Based on our first calculation last year, the firm decided to reduce emissions by 25% by 2025 by reducing emissions from business travel and heating.

‘The pandemic sped up our adoption of new digital tools. We want to take what we have learned over the past year to continue to reduce business travel emissions. With the situation starting to return to normal, we are also adjusting the emissions target we set last year’, Kuusniemi-Laine continues.

The C&S office is located in central Helsinki, and a comprehensive energy renovation of the building was completed in the spring.

‘The renovation will reduce the building’s energy costs and environmental emissions by about 20%, which will also affect our firm’s future emissions. The property already buys only green energy, and we have an active dialogue with our landlord concerning new ways to reduce our firm’s emissions’, Kuusniemi-Laine says.

Carbon Footprint and Green Office Are Part of C&S’s Sustainability Work

As a member of the UN Global Compact, Castrén & Snellman is committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and to combating climate change. In addition to reducing its emissions, C&S also offsets its emissions each year.

As part of the WWF’s Green Office programme, the firm reports its paper and electricity consumption and its emissions from travel and sets new targets each year. In 2020, all three monitored numbers dropped, particular emissions from air travel.