As citizens of more than 190 countries unite to commemorate Earth Day on 22 April, the Campaign for Greener Arbitrations (“CGA”) continues to progress its mission to guide the international arbitration community towards more sustainable practices. This year marks a milestone for the CGA as it celebrates the fifth anniversary of the Green Pledge. In this post, we review the history of the CGA, showcase its accomplishments over the past five years, and look ahead to forthcoming initiatives.


How It Started

In 2019, the year before the pandemic, international arbitrator Lucy Greenwood looked behind her at the end of a hearing. She saw stacks of paper hearing bundles that had not even been cracked open over the course of the hearing. She made a commitment right then to minimize the impact of her arbitration practice on the environment – her “Green Pledge”.

Lucy Greenwood launched the Green Pledge with her 2019 blog post – A Zero-Impact Arbitration? Let’s talk – which began “[a]s an arbitration community, we have talked a lot about how we might arbitrate climate change issues. We have not spent the same amount of time talking about how as a community we might address climate change.” This call to action was followed by additional posts in early 2020, including 1999 called and wants its Procedural Order back and We have Flight Pride when we should have Flight Shame, which provide insight into Lucy’s concerns about the way the arbitration community appeared unconcerned about the environment at this time. While she viewed climate change as a systemic global issue, she recognized that we need to consider our individual responsibility. That aspect is what we can control – the choices we make at home and in the workplace. By examining the relationship between our consumption and behaviours (specifically our workplace behaviours), we can identify tangible actions we can take. Shortly after these musings, the arbitration community and the world at large were forever altered. While the ensuing pandemic forced the global community to adopt many of the proposed actions – including reducing travel and conserving resources, the work of CGA members that began in 2020 has paved the way towards permanent change.


How It’s Going

Lucy’s personal commitment resonated greatly with the international arbitration community. Arbitration colleagues worldwide were compelled to heed the call to reduce the carbon footprint of their practices.

Since then, the Green Pledge has evolved into a global Campaign for Greener Arbitration committed to reducing the carbon footprint of international arbitrations through behavioural change. In the four years since the CGA formally launched, nearly 2,000 individual and institutional signatories have signed the Green Pledge, including 90 arbitrators, 72 arbitral institutions and venues, 192 law firms and chambers and 77 corporate and service providers. The public commitment of these individuals and organisations is inspiring. To further guide Green Pledge signatories, CGA members have produced a series of resources to effectuate implementation. The published materials start with the foundational Green Protocols, a comprehensive set of suggested action items tailored to various actors and entities through all stages of arbitral proceedings and in daily operations, and expand to various other resources, including:

In addition to written materials, CGA members actively participate in global events and arbitration weeks by hosting substantive programming and informal networking gatherings, both in-person and virtually to expand participation. Look for CGA representatives at ICCA Hong Kong, LIDW, and many upcoming events.

The work of the CGA has even inspired a new GAR Award – the Campaign for Greener Arbitrations Award for Sustainable Behaviour. The most recent award was presented by Cherine Foty, Global Co-Chair of the CGA, at the 2024 GAR Awards Ceremony to ICCA for convening a Panel of Experts, co-chaired by Annette Magnusson and Catherine Amirfar, to develop and promote a draft annex on conciliation of disputes under the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. A worthy winner!


What’s to Come

With the appointment of a new Global Steering Committee and Regional Chairs for the 2024-2026 term, the CGA is re-energized and poised to tackle new initiatives.

The CGA has expanded its global reach with an inaugural India Regional Committee. This new chapter joins the CGA’s seven other Regional Committees – Africa, Asia Pacific, Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, MENA and North America. The Regional Committees work to tailor the CGA’s message to regional specificities and lead outreach to their local arbitration communities.

At the global level, the CGA continues to focus on the close parallels between sustainability commitments, cost-savings, and increased efficiency of proceedings. The CGA’s efforts on the individual, institutional, and corporate behavioural level are closely aligned with regulatory decarbonization efforts in jurisdictions around the world. The CGA’s new Innovation & Policy Task Force is creating a modelling tool to track the carbon footprint of arbitrations and identify items for mitigation. Our Institutions, Corporate, and Implementation Task Forces are in the process of rolling out a series of initiatives to align with those objectives, collect best practices, and obtain solid commitments from institutions, counsel, and other arbitration stakeholders to incorporate sustainable procedural behaviours into arbitral proceedings.



Five years have elapsed since the Green Pledge was launched and four since the CGA was launched on Earth Day 2020. On this Earth Day 2024, the global community must heed a leading scientist’s warnings that climate change could reach “uncharted territory” by this summer.

All arbitration stakeholders share the responsibility to reduce our carbon footprint and move toward more environmentally friendly practices. Follow the CGA on LinkedIn to stay informed of all the CGA initiatives, including the forthcoming Green Survey for Arbitration Institutions, produced by the CGA’s Institutions Task Force, which will gather data from arbitration institutions on green practices. If you have not already done so, make a commitment to act this Earth Day by signing the Green Pledge!


“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Jane Goodall


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