The role that values-based law firms play in society goes far beyond the legal services they provide. Alongside delivering first-rate legal advice, Gleiss Lutz makes a significant contribution to promoting social justice and environmental protection through sustainable business practices. The actions we take in pursuit of sustainable, inclusive change – all in line with our firm’s values and goals – have a lasting, positive impact on our society and environment.
Gleiss Lutz’s ESG strategy is developed primarily by our ESG committee and implemented across the firm. The nine-strong committee is chaired by Dr. Gabriele Roßkopf, ESG partner, and meets virtually once a month. The committee also comprises a partner from each of Gleiss Lutz’s three core business units, the two managing partners, and the directors of the three business service units Business Development & Marketing, Legal HR, and Support HR and Office Administration.
We as a firm have a responsibility not just to our employees and our clients, but also to society at large. We take this obligation seriously, and actively work to give something back – after all, the success of our social coexistence is fundamental to the success of our firm. We believe it is important to contribute to the local community in each of the locations in which we operate, and support a variety of initiatives in several cities around Germany. The projects we support include:
Gleiss Lutz's ESG Principles
We are committed to the Ten Principles and 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the UN Global Compact. In particular, our firm’s ESG principles are aligned with the six SDGs shown here – areas where we, as a law firm, believe we can have the greatest impact.
Digital Guide for Refugees From Ukraine
Our multilingual app (Ukrainian, English, Russian, Hungarian and German) offers guidance to refugees from Ukraine as well as an overview of available assistance in Germany. This includes information on topics such as entry requirements, health insurance, residence, jobs/study options, etc. Led by our firm’s Legal Tech Department, up to 50 employees worked on the project. This allowed us to develop the app within 48 hours and make it available online a few days after the war started.
Singa Business Lab
The Singa Business Lab in Berlin and Stuttgart helps refugees start their own businesses – an endeavour in which legal issues inevitably arise. We assist Singa Business Labs with regular law workshops that cover the issues that are fundamental to founders.
Laptop Donations to Stuttgarter Jugendhaus
Our IT department has donated more than 50 laptops to Stuttgarter Jugendhaus, a local children’s and youth organisation. The initiative involves supplying fully operational laptops to schoolchildren and people starting their careers to ensure that disadvantaged young people have access to online education – especially during the coronavirus crisis.
"Orange The World"
Our Stuttgart and Frankfurt offices took a very visible, bright orange stand against violence against women. They did so as part of Orange the World, an initiative organised by UN Women – the United Nations organisation dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women – to mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The initiative aims to educate about and raise awareness of an often invisible issue.
We also support numerous charitable initiatives – for example Kinder in Not, an organisation that works on location in Brazil, the Philippines, and India, helping communities help themselves, with a focus on education and health. Other areas in which we contribute to society include voluntary employee registration drives for stem cell registry DKMS, and our support of the Karl Josef hospice in Freiburg. One of the most important aspects of our social commitment is the regular advice we have provided in pro bono cases – advice that we have steadily expanded in recent years.
Preserving the Planet for Future Generations
We take our obligation to the environment and to future generations seriously, and are committed to the sustainability and environmental friendliness of our work throughout the firm. In everything we do, we want to make sure that we use the planet’s resources responsibly – and we work continuously to do so, evaluating our processes, our offices, our travel, and our IT infrastructure and optimising them to make them as sustainable as they can be. By striving to promote the sustainability of our firm, we hope to even further reduce its environmental impact – and that’s why we have adopted a variety of green policies.
EcoVadis is a leading provider of business sustainability ratings. Our bronze EcoVadis medal reflects our consistent efforts in aid of ecological integrity, social equity and ethical conduct. As a law firm, we consider it our duty not only to provide our clients with outstanding legal services, but also to effect positive change in the community and for the environment.
Green (Workplace) Infrastructure
Green infrastructure means energy efficiency. We use electricity from renewable energy sources and have optimised the energy footprint of our IT – through energy-efficient server management, sustainable procurement processes, our emphasis on eco-labelled hardware, and saving energy by powering down electronic devices at the end of each day.
For our offices – particularly when choosing new office sites – we look to climate-neutral buildings and adopt company-wide energy savings and efficiency measures, such as low-carbon heating and air conditioning designs. Our Stuttgart office, for example, is situated in a building that is Platinum-certified under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification programme; our Düsseldorf site is LEED Gold certified. Our Frankfurt office has Gold certification from the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB). Since 2020, our Berlin office has been based in cube berlin, a customised smart building with a platinum rating from the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB).
The Mark of our Success
Our firm’s success is built on more than just passion, legal excellence, and client focus – it is also the result of a work environment in which everyone is able to contribute to their full potential. We believe that this is best achieved by an organisational culture that values acceptance and mutual trust, where open-mindedness, diversity, and inclusivity are part of everyday life. It is this level of respectful cooperation that defines our corporate culture. But diversity is an ongoing process that demands sustained commitment and persistence – and that’s why we want to become even more diverse and inclusive.
We believe that the diversity and different perspectives of our employees – regardless of their nationality, origin, age, gender, or sexual orientation and identity – have a profound and positive impact on Gleiss Lutz and will make a decisive contribution to our future success.
That’s why we have not only adopted a binding Diversity and Anti-Discrimination Policy for all Gleiss Lutz employees, but also work to promote diversity and inclusion both in and outside our firm – for example, through our involvement with Charta der Vielfalt, Germany’s largest corporate diversity network.
Women in Business
We have a comprehensive strategy for the advancement of women in business. Gleiss Lutz has long recognised that a person’s career should not have to suffer from their desire to have children. In 2001, we were the first major German law firm to introduce part-time partnerships. Several years ago, we also launched Women in Business, a three-pronged initiative directed at female law students, female lawyers already at Gleiss Lutz, and female clients. This initiative includes unique offers such as roundtables with female partners, ladies’ lunches, and targeted training activities.
Gleiss Lutz Unique
To strengthen the LGBT+ community at Gleiss Lutz, we established Gleiss Lutz UNIQUE.
The initiative is open to all interested employees and is designed to facilitate mutual dialogue. Gleiss Lutz UNIQUE also offers special internal events for employees and recruiting events for interested law students.