Simmons’ carbon-neutral claim fuels altercation with SJ Berwin

SJ Berwin” />Simmons & Simmons and SJ Berwin have become embroiled in a tug-of-war over which firm was the first to become carbon-neutral.

The debate was sparked off last Thursday (23 November) when Simmons issued a statement declaring it to be “the world’s first carbon-neutral international law firm”.

However, SJ Berwin went carbon-neutral five years ago and has since planted an estimated 15,000 trees throughout the UK as part of its planting programme to offset the carbon dioxide produced by the firm annually.

A source at SJ Berwin responded to the statement by Simmons. “We’ve taken great umbrage at this,” said the sourceBut Simmons’ managing partner Mark Dawkins defended the claims, stating that the statement arose out of information provided by The Carbon Neutral Company – the same organisation that SJ Berwin is in partnership with.

A spokesperson for Simmons continued that the firm was going carbon-neutral across all of its international offices, while SJ Berwin’s strategy applied only in the UK. For example, Simmons initiatives include reducing flights between offices by increasing the use of video conferencing.

A spokesperson for SJ Berwin said that the firm remained committed to its carbon-neutral policy and had already expanded the programme to support renewable energy projects in the third world.