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Herbert Smith Freehills has today published its seventh annual Responsible Business Report. Outlining the steps taken by the firm to progress as a responsible business, the report highlights the firm's approach and its ongoing commitment to the United Nations Global Compact.

The 2023 report highlights how the firm is reporting on our double-materiality assessments. It notes that, as a result of this analysis, a range of core issues have been identified as areas in which the firm positively impacts society. These include diversity and inclusion, ESG impact, employee wellbeing and social impact.

The report also reveals steps taken over the past year, with a range of programmes undertaken and delivered to drive progress on ESG issues. These include:

- launching the Black Employee Network to advocate for and build community amongst Black lawyers and business professionals
- partnering with LUNA to provide period-care products in our offices across Asia as part of a campaign o remove stigma about menstrual health
- ensuring the firm is 'digitally inclusive' through the adoption of technology to help hearing impaired colleagues fully participate in an increasingly online world
- working with our clients to shape impactful ESG strategies, evidenced by the firm being one of only 2 firms consistently ranked in Band 1 for ESG by Chambers Global
- advising clients on their provision of renewable energy to help the societies in which we operate move towards a more sustainable energy future.

A central tent to our 10 Actions for Change, the firm also continued its commitment to provide pro bono support to charities and social enterprises dedicated to combatting discrimination. This included helping refugees in the Rule 39 initiative, setting up a Refugee Law Clinic and contributing 8,736 hours of pro bono support for the Towards Truth project.

"Our commitment to responsible business is evident across the firm, but as much as it's important to reflect on what we have achieved, we must contemplate what is yet to come because that is how organisations can contribute to, and improve, the world around us. Our focus on ESG, energy transition and private capital and how these three areas intersect enables us to drive a positive impact now and in the future so that we, and our clients, are in the best possible position to take actions as responsible corporate citizens," says Emma Cooke, director of responsible business.


Additional highlights of the report also include case studies showcasing how we have helped clients make a difference to the communities in which they work, how our Life@HSF approach enables individuals to progress their careers and how we are making progress on our carbon commitment.

The report can be downloaded here.


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Mike Petrook

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