2023 ALPMA/Ithaca Impact State of Sustainability Priorities in the Legal Industry



Report released on

18 December 2023

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StatusNew Report Available

2023 Ithaca Impact State of Sustainability Priorities in the Legal Industry

ALPMA has partnered with sustainability experts at Ithaca Impact to assess the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) priorities and activities of Australasian law firms and ALPMA members.

We surveyed law firms across Australasia to answer key research key questions, including:

  • How important is sustainability to the legal industry?
  • What is driving sustainability action?
  • What progress are law firms making towards sustainable outcomes?
  • What barriers are preventing further sustainability action?

The preliminary findings were presented in a keynote address by Dr Elizabeth Armstrong at the 2023 ALPMA Summit, 6-8 September.

Law firms that can overcome their barriers to sustainability progress and leverage their sustainability strengths will gain a competitive edge in an evolving market.

Dr Elizabeth Armstrong, Principal, Ithaca Impact

Key Findings


80% of firms have, are working on, or recognise the need for a sustainability strategy


Employee pressure, client pressure and reputation risks are the primary drivers of sustainability action


Issues of paramount importance:

professional integrity and ethics
data security
employee wellbeing


Larger firms were more likely to assign greater importance to sustainability, perhaps reflecting higher expectations from their clients and employees.


There is significant room for improvement in reported performance of employee wellbeing and social impact*


‘Lack of understanding of ESG' is the biggest barrier to further progress, suggesting a need for sustainability knowledge building or the use of external expertise.

* pro-bono legal services and non-legal volunteering

The significance of ESG in today's world cannot be overstated. These principles have begun to shape the global business landscape, dictating a new age of responsible leadership and sustainable growth.

― Emma Elliot, CEO, ALPMA

Access the report to understand how your firm’s sustainability actions and challenges compare the industry.  Leverage the findings to inform your own strategic priorities and approach to sustainability.

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Next Steps

Keep an eye out for ALPMA’s initiatives to our members in 2024 to continue to support their sustainability progress. Our focus will be on providing learning & development, ongoing education and, where able, practical tools that align with the feedback received from the survey. Through knowledge sharing, ALPMA aims to help to reduce barriers to action and achieve greater sustainability progress across the sector.

About Ithaca Impact

Ithaca Impact supports firms to advance their sustainability and responsible business approaches. ALPMA members receive discounted rates on relevant services. Go to: www.ithacaimpact.com to learn more, or reach the team directly at info@ithacaimpact.com

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