Womble Bond Dickinson’s sustainability programme has been recognised again after the North East-based law firm retained its gold certification from the world’s largest provider of business sustainability ratings.

EcoVadis assesses criteria across four themes: Labour & Human Rights, Ethics, Environment and Sustainable Procurement. The 2023 survey evaluated over 100,000 companies from 200 industries spanning 175 countries.

In 2022, WBD, which has offices in Newcastle and Teesside, received a rating of outstanding in Environment and advanced in both Labour & Human Rights and Ethics.

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This year, the firm has maintained those ratings and increased its score in Environment, Ethics and Sustainable Procurement, and is now placed in the top two per cent of all companies reporting globally.

To achieve this, WBD - one of the key partners in The Northern Echo’s Level Up campaign for investment and jobs – has made several changes in the last 12 months.

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The firm has introduced a sustainable procurement strategy with clear quantitative and qualitative objectives, finalised an extensive carbon emissions report to help fully inform and shape carbon reduction plans, taken actions to further prevent discrimination in professional development and promotion processes, and achieved silver Investors in People ‘We Invest in Wellbeing’ status.

Nick Barwood, UK Chair at Womble Bond Dickinson, said: “Each year the requirements to achieve the ‘gold’ banding increase so to have retained our medal and improved our score is a fantastic achievement and is due to a huge concerted effort across teams in the business.

“As a firm, WBD aims to be a responsible business working closely to ensure we deliver the best for our people, clients and communities and EcoVadis is a vital part of assessing our responsible business activity.”