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Identifying priority areas

Here we focus on examples of products and services that are likely to be familiar to most law firms (for example, paper or energy). However, these examples are not exhaustive, and you may find the following framework useful for prioritising other categories - we have used it to identify whether the carbon impact of each stage in the product lifecycle is high or low.

Carbon usage - high or low?
  Example: IT consulting Example: paper
Extraction of raw materials Low High
Design and production Low High
Packaging and distribution Low High
Use and maintenance High (travel) Low
Incineration and disposal Low High
Overall Low High

Once the risk of a category is established as high or low, this can be contrasted with its volume of use within the firm, which can most easily be measured by annual spend. Firms are then likely to prioritise effort in relation to those categories sitting in the top right hand quadrant.

Sustainability