Supply chain clauses drafted by Isobel Annan, Tabitha Gould and Meryon Roderick - lawyers in Burges Salmon's Projects and Construction Teams – have been published by The Chancery Lane Project (TCLP).

During the three-session TCLP energy drafting event last year, Isobel, Tabitha and Meryon committed pro bono time to collaborate, generate ideas, draft and peer review draft clauses on the theme of ‘Renewables’. This involved drafting two clauses with lawyers from other participating firms in the energy sector to promote the uptake of renewable energy and reduce emissions by encouraging practical procurement solutions and supply chain transparency.

Isobel and Tabitha drafted ‘Ayshe’s Clause’ on the Transparent Sourcing of Greener, Fairer Renewable Energy. Lawyers can use this clause in their contracts to oblige stakeholders in renewable energy technology supply chains to safeguard against modern slavery in the manufacturing process, lower their carbon emissions and minimise their environmental impact. This clause helps businesses and their lawyers to promote the use of best-in-industry renewable energy generating assets, meet net zero and ESG commitments, improve renewable energy generating asset supply chain transparency, reduce their Scope 3 emissions, protect their ESG credentials and reputation, and minimise negative social and environmental impacts associated with their energy installations.

Meryon drafted ‘Viola’s Clause’ on Renewable Energy Requirements in Supply Contracts as a clause for a supply agreement requiring the supplier or contractor to procure energy from renewable sources. Lawyers can use this clause to future proof contracts, avoid costly reprocurement (as the global mix of energy supply swings towards renewable sources), meet funder, customer or government procurement requirements (as the use of renewable energy becomes standard market practice) and help achieve net zero targets. For many organisations, a large part of their emissions come from their supply chain and this standard clause is a way to counteract that by imposing a requirement to procure renewable energy on suppliers and subcontractors.

The two model clauses have now been published on the TCLP website as a freely accessible online resource.

TCLP provides a collaborative forum for lawyers to devise practical legal solutions that will aid the transition to a net zero carbon economy and society. The initiative has swept through the legal profession with impressive momentum since its formation in 2019, signalling a growing recognition of the important role of the law (and lawyers) in tackling climate issues. Beyond the involvement by our Projects Team, colleagues in Burges Salmon's Real Estate Team took part in the drafting and peer review of draft clauses on the theme of ‘Agriculture & Land Use’, and contributed to the development of a clause which encourages the incorporation of circular economy principles into repair and alteration clauses in leases or agreements for lease. In addition, the firm's Construction Team hosted their own internal mini drafting event to introduce lawyers to TCLP while the Environment Team drew on their specialist expertise to help with peer review of clauses generated during various recent drafting events.

As a firm, we are committed to both reducing our own carbon-reliance and helping the wider business community to transition. This partnership with TCLP follows our Net Zero Cross-Sector Initiative, our public commitment to being net zero by 2026, and our recent participation as a co-founder of the Net Zero Lawyers Alliance, amongst our other commitments to environmental responsibility.

This article was written by Isobel Annan.