Sustainability refers to the ability to maintain or support a process continuously over time. In business and policy contexts, sustainability seeks to prevent the depletion of natural or physical resources, so that they will remain available for the long term.
Baker McKenzie law firm has named Paris-based Partner Alyssa Auberger as its first Chief Sustainability Officer. Alyssa will be responsible for leading the law firm global Sustainability strategy which is core to the law firms overall priorities for the next decade.
After beginning her legal career in-house in the United States, Alyssa joined Baker McKenzie in Paris in 1998 and from 2016 until this appointment, was Global Chair of its Consumer Goods & Retail Industry Group. In this role, she worked closely with a number of global bodies, including the United Nations Global Compact, to heighten awareness of the importance of Environmental, Social and Governance risks and opportunities for the consumer goods and retail industry.
She has worked with the law firms lLeading practices to develop solutions for clients on supply chain transparency and claims, product lifecycle issues, and human rights and emissions reporting, in order to help them understand their impact and responsibilities across entire value chains.
Franco-American and as a partner specialised in multijurisdictional mergers and acquisitions and private equity transactions and based in Baker McKenzie’s Paris office, Alyssa has extensive experience regularly advising American and French corporations, multinationals, and private equity investment funds on their acquisitions and divestitures worldwide as well as in their international expansion efforts.
Baker McKenzie has strong relationships with leading sustainability-focused forums, including the World Economic Forum and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, of which it was the first law firm member.
In 2017, the law firm collaborated with the World Economic Forum to launch the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in San Francisco, which brings together leading policy makers, businesses, start-ups, academia and international organisations to collaborate for the greater good by maximising the benefits of science and technology.
The law firm became a participant of the United Nations Global Compact in 2015 and remains committed to upholding the Ten Principles on human and labour rights, the environment and anti‐corruption. Since then, it has adopted eight of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including Gender Equality, Climate Action, and Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.
Recently Global Chair Milton Cheng joined more than 1,200 Chief Executive Officers from companies in over 100 countries to demonstrate the law firms support for the United Nations and inclusive multilateralism by signing onto a powerful Statement from Business Leaders for Renewed Global Cooperation.
To mark the 75th Anniversary of the UN, the statement was released by the UNGC Action Platform for Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, of which Baker McKenzie is a proud co-patron. The law firm also recently announced commitments to significantly reduce its global carbon emissions over the next decade and achieve aspirational global gender diversity targets, set at 40:40:20 per cent, to represent 40% women, 40% men and 20% flexible.
As well as announcing Alyssa’s appointment, Baker McKenzie reaffirmed its commitment to placing Sustainability at the core of its strategy for the coming decade, facilitating active engagement with like-minded businesses, governments, international organisations and civil society, in order to achieve shared goals for a more sustainable world.