Reaching net zero by 2040 with TLT LLP

We speak to Maria Connolly to find out how TLT LLP will be a net zero business by 2040...

We’re all aware that businesses, as well as individuals, play a huge role in our collective journey to net zero emissions.

But in the business world it can be less clear how to go about making the (often significant) shifts needed to hit the target, while still operating as a successful business.

We spoke to Maria Connolly, executive board member responsible for sustainability at TLT LLP, to find out how this Bristol-headquartered law firm has committed to reach net zero by 2040.

“We’re extremely proud of our 2040 net zero target, because it’s been done in the most rigorous of ways and sets a gold standard for decarbonisation right here in Bristol.” 

TLT’s ambitious commitment to achieving net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2040 has been verified by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), marking a monumental step forward in the firm’s comprehensive decarbonisation strategy.

To hit its goal, TLT’s specific targets include: 

  • Reducing absolute scope 1 and 2 emissions by 80% by 2030, compared to 2019 

  • Reducing absolute scope 3 emissions by 47% by 2030, compared to 2019

  • Reducing absolute scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions by 90% by 2040, compared to 2019

These goals go beyond the SBTi’s recommendation that businesses halve their emissions before 2030 and achieve net zero before 2050, as well as the UK’s commitment to achieving net zero by 2050.

“This marks an important step on our continued journey, as we now work towards achieving net zero by 2040 and our near-term targets” says Maria.

You can find out more about scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions in our guide here.

In recognition of the urgency of the global climate crisis and the importance of rapid and deep emission cuts, TLT’s targets are: 

  • Science-based – meaning they align with the latest climate science 

  • 1.5°C aligned – meaning they pursue the lowest target for global warming recognised in the Paris Agreement and by major governments and scientists worldwide 

  • Long-term and short-term – meaning they align with a net zero future  

  • Total Scope 1, 2 and 3 – meaning they include scope 3 supply chain emissions (which are traditionally excluded from corporate strategies, the largest proportion of TLT’s emissions and the hardest to control) 

  • Approved under the SBTi’s new Net-Zero Standard – the world’s first science-based standard for setting corporate net zero targets 

TLT is now working on implementing its net zero roadmap, developed in conjunction with specialist consultants Carbon Intelligence as part of the SBTi submission. 

Separate from the SBTi validation, TLT has also committed to offsetting its emissions in 2025 to enhance environmental protections even further, as it journeys towards net zero.

For TLT, the renewed focus on sustainability is felt throughout the organisation; “From day one, reducing our emissions has been a firmwide effort and we will continue to work at every level" says Maria.

With engagement across the firm - from the board, through to employee forums and external partnerships - TLT is able to make rapid progress, and is connecting the net zero mission to its wider sustainability and wellbeing activities.

With an emphasis on collaboration, Maria continues; "We need to ensure that every business has access to the information and resources it needs to set as ambitious a net zero plan as possible, and that businesses work together to share best practice and ideas. There’s still a lot of confusion.” 

TLT has already achieved some significant milestones, including launching an electric car leasing scheme for staff to make driving an EV more affordable, and installing EV charge points at its Bristol headquarters for staff and visitors. 

“Collaboration is a key part of achieving net zero, and we are pleased to be speaking to so many businesses to share our experiences and work together on decarbonising as quickly as possible.”