Garrigues and climate change: smaller carbon footprint, responsible consumption and sustainable spaces

In 2002, the firm expressly committed to protecting the environment through application of the United Nations Global Compact principles

As Madrid and Santiago de Chile, two cities in which Garrigues has a strong presence, work together this week to host the UN Climate Change Conference, our firm looks to bolster its commitment to environmental sustainability. At its core, this commitment means taking the necessary action over time to reduce the firm’s carbon footprint, to evolve toward ever more sustainable workspaces, to promote responsible consumption and to foster environmental awareness.

Since the publication of its Code of Ethics, Garrigues has undertaken to identify, evaluate and manage the impacts of its business, particularly with regard to reducing emissions, using resources efficiently and responsibly and managing waste appropriately. In 2002, the firm doubled down on this commitment when it signed on to the United Nations Global Compact, which, among other implications, meant explicitly committing to a precautionary approach to environmental challenges and to initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility and the use of environmentally friendly technologies (principles 7, 8 and 9 of the Global Compact). Moreover, the firm formally undertook to contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which includes SDG 13 Climate Action.

In terms of efficient energy use, Garrigues couples awareness-raising initiatives with the installation of efficient heating, cooling and lighting systems and energy-saving IT equipment and printers. More than one-third of the firm’s worldwide office space carries sustainable certifications (LEED and BREEAM): Lima, London, Madrid, Mexico City and Málaga offices. Plus, the firm has cut its electricity use per square meter by 10% over the past two years.

Currently, nearly 90% of electricity consumed at Garrigues’ offices in Spain comes from sources with a guarantee of origin: 66% comes exclusively from renewable sources, while 20% derives from renewable sources and high-efficiency cogeneration plants.   

Since 2004, Garrigues performs an annual inventory of the greenhouse (GHG) gas emissions produced by its business, using the methodology set out in the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. In 2018, GHG emissions (scope 2) stood at 1,649.04 t CO2e (GRI 305: Emissions 2016 Disclosure 305-2). In the past two years, the firm cut its carbon emissions by more than 40%, both by using less electricity and by improving emission factors.

Going forward, Garrigues will continue to roll out measures relating to the use of renewable energies, energy efficiency and sustainable mobility, so as to reduce its carbon footprint in line with the best practices and techniques available and the targets set by the benchmark international organizations.