Clifford Chance and Blackbridge debut new industry push to curb waste and carbon emissions from early talent sector
A coalition of leading law firms, professional services companies, major employers, and recruitment agencies have this week teamed up in a bid to slash the environmental impact of the annual Milk Round and curb emissions associated with graduate recruitment.
Dubbed the Sustainable Recruitment Alliance, the new initiative has been launched by international law firm Clifford Chance and communications agency Blackbridge, and as already secured support from a host of leading businesses, including Babcock International Group, Co-op, Enterprise, DAZN, Herbert Smith Freehills, Hogan Lovells, myGwork, National Student Pride, Pinsent Masons, Police Now, RPC, TLT LLP, Unlocked Graduates and Weil Gotshal & Manges.
More organisations are expected to sign up to the group in the coming months.
The coalition aims to curb the environmental impact of the annual practice of sending recruiters to leading universities each year, acknowledging that the sector has a sizeable footprint that could be addressed.
Most organisations rely on merchandise, travel, and event catering when attracting early talent and all of these play a part in the waste of resources and add to the sector's carbon footprint, the group said.
As such, the Sustainable Recruitment Alliance is inviting members to review their own processes and take steps to reduce their carbon footprint and the environmental impact of early talent recruitment activities by curbing the use of physical branding materials and merchandise and limiting travel where possible.
It is also calling on companies to report annually on their progress and publish details on the environmental impact that the changes they are making are having.
"Nearly two decades in this industry has left me wondering why we, as recruiters, place such importance on disposable material objects when building relationships with candidates and promoting our brands," said Laura Yeates, head of graduate talent at Clifford Chance and chair of the Sustainable Recruitment Alliance. "Our consumption in the name of attraction is inexcusable and it needs to change now. Our position as founding partners of the Sustainable Recruitment Alliance cements Clifford Chance's commitment to finding a more sustainable way of recruiting, not just for us but for the whole early talent industry."
The launch follows the release of a report from consultancy Greenstone, which assessed the impact of Clifford Chance's sustainable recruitment policies, which have seen the company end the use of printed recruitment brochures and leaflets, switch to meat-free catering, and make use of virtual engagement platforms.
The report found that the simple decision to scrap brochures saved a total of 5.7 tonnes of paper and avoided an additional 8.5 tonnes of CO2 emissions being emitted. Similarly, changes to purchasing decisions saved 3.6 tonnes of CO2 between 2017/18 and 2019/20.
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