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Litigating sustainably – the Greener Litigation Pledge

18 Apr 2023

The Greener Litigation Pledge is a mission statement setting out practical changes that signatories pledge to commit to in the journey towards net zero.

Those who have signed the pledge believe that courts and court users of England and Wales play an important role in achieving the UK’s commitment to achieving net zero by 2050, and encourage lasting change in litigation practice both within the UK and around the world.

The primary goal is to change the way in which dispute practitioners conduct litigation, so as to reduce the carbon footprint of court disputes, as well as look after the health of court users and others arising from air pollution in and around our courts.

The Greener Litigation Pledge now has almost 100 signatories, including City law firms, barristers’ chambers and Cripps!  All organisations engaged in the conduct of litigation in England and Wales are welcome to sign up to the Pledge, which commits to taking active steps to reduce the environmental impact of litigation, including by:

  • Corresponding electronically, and seeking to avoid unnecessary emails.
  • Limiting the printing of hard copy bundles and other documents.
  • Promoting the use of electronic bundles for court hearings.
  • Walking, cycling or using public transport for journeys to court.
  • Considering the appropriateness of witnesses giving evidence by video-link and implementing the necessary procedures for this.
  • Actively considering for each hearing whether it is appropriate and amenable to being heard remotely, in whole or in part, including by telephone or by video-link, and, where it is, making that suggestion to the Court and other parties to the litigation.
  • Avoiding unnecessary travel in relation to a dispute in which we are acting.
  • Committing to the use of renewable energy sources wherever possible.
  • Using suppliers and service providers who are committed to reducing their carbon footprint wherever possible and appropriate.

Greener Litigation’s Court Engagement group has recently published recommended wording for litigators to use when corresponding at the pre-action stage and for inclusion into draft directions orders at the CMC. The resources are made available for anyone to adapt and use.

The dispute resolution teams at Cripps are proud to be signatories to the Greener Litigation Pledge and to play our part in building a more sustainable future.

View our other environmental initiatives and plans for the future.

Joanna Ford

Partner and Head of Commercial Dispute Resolution
Commercial disputes