Community engagement

Community Engagement: making a difference at Allens

Our community engagement program focuses on the issues that matter, where our people can contribute their skills and resources to make a real difference: alleviating disadvantage, access to justice, reconciliation and protecting the natural environment.

Our approach is to show courageous and innovative leadership, encourage enthusiastic engagement by our people and collaborative effort including with community organisations, clients and other members of the legal profession.

Take a look at some of our recent pro bono achievements and community initiatives.

Allens is a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact and was the first Australian organisation to sign the Compact in 2001. Our most recent Communication on Progress details the ways we have continued to develop, implement and promote activities within our business to uphold the Compact's 10 principles.

We support all the Sustainable Development Goals, and focus in particular on those areas, shown below, where we are able to make the most material impact.

Pro Bono
Peace, Justice and Strong InstitutionsPartnerships for the goals

What we do

  • Work with disadvantaged individuals and for NGOs to promote access to justice and protect human rights
  • Provide legal and administrative support to Community Legal Centres to assist the homeless, refugees and asylum seekers
  • Fund the only ongoing graduate position in the community legal sector in Victoria

How we make a difference

  • Over 17,000 hours of pro bono work on human rights related matters in FY17
  • Over 28,000 hours of pro bono legal work in FY17
  • We target at least 50 hours of pro bono legal work per lawyer each year
Reduced inequalitiesPartnerships for the goals

As a business, and as members of the community, we have a responsibility to build lasting, respectful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and to ensure the same level of opportunity exists for them as for other Australians. We implemented our first Reconciliation Action Plan in 2009 to support that commitment.

What we do

  • Commit to a Reconciliation Action Plan for over 8 years
  • Support the creation of employment opportunities in the firm and in the community
  • Support equitable quality education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
  • Build capacity through staff secondments with Jawun and the Empowered Communities Project

How we make a difference

  • We target over 15% of our pro bono legal work for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations
  • 105 students have completed the firm's Indigenous Legal Internship Program
  • Staff in each office participate in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mentoring programs
  • More than 550 hours of skilled support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations through our partnerships with Jawun and Empowered Communities

For more information about our commitment and contribution towards reconciliation, take a look at our 2015 Reconciliation Action Plan.

Responsible consumption and productionClimate actionPartnerships for the goals

Allens has a longstanding focus on environmental sustainability and strives to take a leadership position in our sector. We recognise our material impacts arise from our procurement practices, how we deal with people, and how our offices are managed, and we are committed to taking action to reduce these impacts.

What we do

  • Reduce and offset our greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change
  • Promote sustainable consumption through our Sustainable Procurement Policy
  • Partner with the Australian Legal Sector Alliance (AusLSA) to promote sustainable practices
  • Maintain an Environmental Management System certified under the AusLSA (AEMS) Standard

How we make a difference

  • Greenhouse gas emissions reduced by 9.4% in FY17
  • First Australian law firm to be certified as carbon neutral through the Australian Government's Carbon Neutral Program
  • By supporting Indigenous carbon farming projects through pro bono work and by purchasing carbon offsets from the North Kimberly Fire Abatement Project

For more information about our carbon neutral  and other environmental commitments, you can take a look at our Environmental Sustainability Policy and NCOS Public Disclosure Summary.

Reduced inequalities

What we do

  • Provide financial support to charitable organisations through our community grants and matched funding program
  • Organise fundraising days and events to support charitable causes and community partners
  • Our staff volunteer their time to alleviate disadvantage and inequality

How we make a difference

  • 350 grants provided to 167 organisations since 2002
  • Staff across our offices volunteer for important causes including mentoring young people and assisting homeless people