#5QuestionswithMaxwell Green Edition: Lucy Greenwood


#5QuestionswithMaxwell Green Edition: Lucy Greenwood

In this #5QuestionsWithMaxwell interview, we feature Lucy Greenwood, an independent international arbitrator specializing in commercial and investment disputes, particularly in the energy sector. 

She has practised international arbitration since 1998 and has acted as arbitrator in over 85 arbitrations since becoming a full time arbitrator in 2017. She is a Chartered Arbitrator, a Member of the State Bar of Texas and a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales. Lucy is listed on all major arbitration insitution panels. She is a Trustee of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Past Chair, International Committee, Dispute Resolution Section, American Bar Association, Past Chair, North America Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a Fellow of the College of Commercial Arbitrators.

Lucy is also the founder of Campaign for Greener Arbitrations in 2019, an initiative to reduce the environmental impact of international arbitrations with the aim of significantly reducing the carbon footprint of the arbitration community.

In this interview, Lucy shares more about the Green Protocols under this Campaign, the importance of harnessing technology to make arbitration greener, practical steps arbitrators can take towards sustainability and more.  

Download the PDF version of her interview or read her full interview below:

Q: As the world returns to some form of normality post Covid, do you think the progress made in terms of virtual hearings and less travelling have slowed down over the last two years? 

Personally I feel that remote hearings are not the main way in which we are going to reduce the environmental footprint of an arbitration or change the conversation about the issue in the way we need to.

Back in 2019 when I launched the Green Pledge, I was really concerned that as a community we were focused on how we could arbitrate climate change disputes and we were not talking about our role in addressing climate change. I think that has changed hugely and it is there that we need to celebrate our progress in this space. People are much more open about the need to take personal responsibility for how we run our arbitration practices and the importance of doing so in an environmentally friendly way.

The value of the Green Pledge is that it provides a starting point for a grown up conversation about climate change and how everyone needs to change their behaviours to address it. Of all the things the Campaign for Greener Arbitrations has achieved, I am most proud of our Green Protocols, which are essentially a detailed guide to the changes that everyone can and should make to their practices. There are six protocols and an overarching framework. 

The protocols are:

• Green Protocol for Arbitral Proceedings and Model Green Procedural Order

• Green Protocol for Law Firms, Chambers and Legal Service Providers working in arbitration

• Green Protocol for Arbitrators

• Green Protocol for Arbitration Conferences

• Green Protocol for Arbitral Hearing Venues

• Green Protocol for Arbitral Institutions

At its most basic level, the Campaign has three simple messages: adopt clean energy, fly less and eliminate hard copy bundles. In relation to the second and third messages, clearly technology plays a key role and here it is right to be concerned that there may be fewer remote hearings and that people are beginning to fly more again.  

Q: What are some of the most popular measures and/or protocols adopted by parties? 

We don’t have the ability to track when people do or don’t adopt the protocols in their arbitrations (that is something I am hoping we can persuade arbitral institutions to track for us). Anecdotally we hear of Tribunals adopting portions of the Model Green Procedural Order and parties implementing the protocols, particularly in relation to the elimination of hard copy bundles. 

Q: What are some technologies you wish to see developed or used in the future that may possibly help us in our efforts to move towards greener and more sustainable arbitral practices? 

Harking back to the trigger for the original Green Pledge again, the environmental impact of an arbitration was really brought home to me in 2018 when I was chairing a major arbitration. At the end of the two week hearing I looked at the wall of printed binders of documents behind me and realised that not a single binder had been opened during the hearing. I thought back to my first arbitration in 1998 and concluded that there had been very little evolution in the intervening period. Essentially, we were still running arbitrations in a very old fashioned way.

Shortly afterwards I was asked to speak on a panel on technology in arbitration. In preparing for the panel it dawned on me that all the technology that we needed to run arbitrations more efficiently and also in a way that was better for the environment was readily available to us. However, as far as I could tell we were not using the technology for either purpose. So in short, I think we have to use the technology we have in a more efficient and joined up way. We have what we need, we just need to make sure we are all technologically competent in order to benefit as much as possible from it.

Q: What are the sustainable measures you personally adopted or wish to adapt more in the future for arbitral procedures? 

Personally, I rarely eat meat, I rarely drive and I rarely fly. Professionally, I continue to focus on how to effect lasting behavioural change in the way in which arbitrations are conducted. 

Q: What are three practical steps arbitrators can take to make their next arbitration greener? 

1. Consult the relevant green protocol at an early stage in the arbitration.  

2. Review Procedural Order No.1 and add in relevant provisions from the Green Procedural Order.

3. Ensure they are technically competent. 


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