It's our world, and here's how we're collaborating to make a difference in celebration of Global Goals Week

Global Goals Week is well and truly underway and through our Responsible Business Programme we are continuing to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and incorporating the principles of the UN Global Compact into our local and global initiatives.

We continue to strengthen our inclusion and diversity programme and our community outreach efforts by providing tools and resources to empower our people to support the causes they care about.  In addition, we continue to expand our supplier engagement programme and are beginning to work with our suppliers to lower emissions and improve procedures through supplier selection, education, and training.  This September, we will publish details of our global carbon reduction plan aligned with the Science Based Targets Initiative.

Our five priority goals

SDG 3- good health and wellbeing

We are committed to promoting and enabling positive mental health and well-being for our people by continuing to provide a range resources and seeking feedback.   In November, 2021 we supported UNICEF’s Give the World a Shot -  for every colleague in Australia receiving their first COVID-19 vaccination, we donated ten vaccines to the campaign - a total of 1,440 vaccines were donated.  This summer our colleagues in Madrid spent a day with 20 young people and their families at the Al Paso Association, which offers, psychological, educational and social support through assisted therapy with animals.   Our growing network of CSR Champions have also been involved in a number of challenges which have focused on healthy lifestyles, whilst giving back. These include our global step-challenge, a number of local running and cycle challenges and forming partnerships with mental health and children’s charities.

SDG 4 - quality education

We are committed to creating education, learning, and development opportunities within Kennedys and our communities. Through our schools outreach programme, we have engaged with around 600 students this year and 300 students attended our virtual careers insight day. In addition to this, we have enrolled 3,704 students onto our virtual work experience programme. Our education-business partnerships enable us to collaborate with organisations that are continuously developing career support programmes; we run a variety of initiatives that provide young people with career guidance, mentoring and access to the networks they require to kick-start their careers. We also launched KITE, our global learning and development programme; to date, our colleagues across the globe have accessed over 18,000 tailored learning courses.

SDG 10 - reduced inequalities

We are committed to reducing inequality across our business and creating equal opportunities for all. We are on track to achieve our aspirational goal of 40% of partners being female by 2030, with a current representation of 32%. Furthermore, in May 2022, we launched our new D&I training programme, covering issues from racism to sexual harassment, LGBTQ+ to parental discrimination. We have created five regional D&I advisory groups globally to share ideas, discuss new initiatives, and to advise on what more we could be doing. In July 2021, Kennedys signed up to the Mansfield Rule in the US and the UK which aims to boost the representation of historically underrepresented lawyers in senior and leadership roles.

SDG 13 - climate action

We are committed to tackling climate change and aspire to become net zero and are collaborating with industry expert Carbon Intelligence to measure our carbon baseline and establish ongoing emissions monitoring. We also know that most of our emissions can be found within our supply chain. We have set targets to support our suppliers through improvements in our procurement process. Kennedys is developing a training platform that our procurement team can use to educate and inform our suppliers about the SDGs.

SDG 16 - peace, justice and strong institutions

We are committed to developing a co-ordinated, targeted and impactful pro bono programme, utilising the skills and expertise of our people to meet the most urgent needs in our communities.  Our people can volunteer up to 10 hours a year to focus on pro bono activities in support of the projects they are passionate about. We recognise that of equal importance to improving our firm's ESG performance is exploring ways of integrating ESG considerations into our legal services. This year, we established a partnership with The Chancery Lane Project (TCLP); the project team discuss here the importance of highlighting the commercial challenges of incorporating climate-conscious clauses into contract drafting, Our vision is to help organisations to include climate-change clauses in every contract.

If we can get the market on board with this new clause, together with an updated Connor’s clause, it will be pioneering work and great for The Chancery Lane Project.

Denise Eastlake, Legal Director

Denise Eastlake Half Body Large 1620X1080

We actively look for opportunities to collaborate with other like-minded organisations to achieve our objectives.  Find out more about our Partnerships for the goals.

If you would like to learn more about what we are doing to advance the UN SDG's please review our latest responsible business report.