Our low carbon future - one contract at a time

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NZGIF has launched the New Zealand Climate Clause Bank, a free resource that can help businesses make small climate-friendly changes that, across the economy, can have a big impact on emissions reductions.

The New Zealand Climate Clause Bank builds on the work of The Chancery Lane Project (TCLP), a global collective of lawyers based in the UK using contracts to help deliver climate solutions. Many of the clauses in the New Zealand Climate Clause Bank have been adapted from TCLP’s work and modified for use in Aotearoa.

Developed by NZGIF in collaboration with of some of Aotearoa’s leading national and regional law firms, the New Zealand Climate Clause Bank is a suite of template clauses for contracts that can help drive better climate outcomes. Contributing law firms were Anderson Lloyd, Anthony Harper, Bell Gully, Buddle Findlay, Chapman Tripp, DLA Piper, Core Legal Solutions (formerly Knapps Lawyers), Lane Neave, MinterEllisonRuddWatts, Russell McVeagh and Simpson Grierson.

The clauses allow contract parties to take small steps to operate more sustainably in their interactions, for example, by measuring and reducing their greenhouse gas emissions, procuring or delivering low carbon goods and services, and minimising air travel.

"These clauses have the potential to significantly change the way businesses think about climate change and their role in mitigating it", says NZGIF Head of Legal Ian MacKenzie, who led the development of the clauses.

"Businesses could proactively use their contracts with others to get closer to our low carbon future by taking small actions across various commercial agreements. In future, sustainability won’t be an afterthought in contract drafting - it will be built in from the start.

"For example, one of the clauses is designed to ensure that dispute resolution is handled in a manner that minimises travel and excessive paper usage and includes a commitment by both parties to offset emissions arising from any dispute. By ensuring parties commit to greener dispute resolution practices, parties can reduce emissions and energy use and contribute to Aotearoa’s decarbonisation."

NZGIF Chief Executive Craig Weise added, "Climate change isn’t something that will happen in the future - it is happening now. Action on climate issues is critical and every bit helps, no matter how small or insignificant it seems. If many law firms across the country adopt these clauses, together we can enable a greater impact on decarbonisation."

"We’re proud to lead this piece of work that can help businesses make a meaningful contribution to climate change mitigation. Bringing together so many of the country’s top law firms to work on this project demonstrates the sort of collaboration that’s needed to address climate change."

Phoebe Roberts, TCLP’s Director of Implementation and Co-Lead APAC, says, "We are delighted that the legal community in Aotearoa New Zealand has come together with NZGIF to further TCLP’s work in combating climate change through contract drafting. We hope that this initiative can be the model for lawyers around the world to collaborate for the health of our planet."

All businesses are encouraged to look at the New Zealand Climate Clause Bank and consider how the clauses might be able to assist in their own sustainability journey.

The New Zealand Climate Clause Bank is available for use by all lawyers and other businesses, for free, on NZGIF's website. View the New Zealand Climate Clause Bank.

About New Zealand Green Investment Finance (NZGIF)

NZGIF is a green investment bank established in 2019 to facilitate and accelerate investment that can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in New Zealand. We are a long-term, mission-driven investor, providing innovative, flexible and tailored capital solutions to support decarbonisation initiatives across a broad range of sectors. As a limited liability company independent of government, we make independent investment decisions. NZGIF invests on a commercial basis; we do not offer concessionary finance. We invest in scalable companies, technologies and products that are commercial-ready and offer low carbon benefits for New Zealand.

NZGIF is not a registered bank. For more, see www.nzgif.co.nz

About The Chancery Lane Project (TCLP)

TCLP is a collaborative initiative of international legal and industry professionals whose vision is a world where every contract enables solutions to climate change. Together, they create new, practical contractual clauses ready to incorporate into law firm precedents and commercial agreements to deliver climate solutions. They then work with lawyers to ensure effective and impactful implementation of the clauses across industries, practice areas and jurisdictions. See www.chancerylaneproject.org for more.

Contributing firms

The following firms contributed to the New Zealand Climate Clause Bank: Anderson Lloyd, Anthony Harper, Bell Gully, Buddle Findlay, Chapman Tripp, DLA Piper, Core Legal Solutions, Lane Neave, MinterEllisonRuddWatts, Russell McVeagh and Simpson Grierson.