Toby's Clause

Avoiding Excessive Paperwork in Dispute Resolution

A contractual obligation between the parties stating that, in the event of a dispute, parties agree to settle it in a ‘green’ manner.

Jurisdiction: England & Wales

What this clause does

This clause can be used in any commercial agreement and provides certainty that any dispute must be handled in a manner that reduces the use of paper. The clause also includes a commitment by both parties to offset emissions arising from any dispute and to consider how such dispute may be handled in a way that minimises greenhouse gas emissions.


[Insert [Eddie’s Recitals] Climate Recitals]. 


Dispute management

[Drafting note: this clause contains short form green dispute resolution clauses. For more detailed green dispute resolution drafting, refer to [Emilia’s Protocols] Green Litigation and Arbitration Protocols, [Mia’s Clause] Low Carbon Arbitrations and the Campaign for Greener Arbitration’s Model Clause and Green Protocols.]

[Drafting note: capitalised terms relate to either a defined term in this clause or a defined term in the main agreement that this clause is designed to be inserted into.]

1. If a dispute arises under or relating to this contract:

1.1 all notices and communications between the parties will be sent by electronic means; and

1.2 the parties shall use Electronic Bundles for all meetings and hearings.

2. The obligation at clause 1 is subject to any party’s obligation to the contrary found in any relevant court or tribunal order, procedural rule, practice direction or court guide.

3. Where a hard copy bundle is used at any stage in a dispute, the parties must:

3.1 print double-sided;

3.2 use environmentally-friendly toner and ink; 

3.3 use recycled paper; 

3.4 use cardboard (non-plastic) tabs, dividers and folders; and

3.2 subject to any legal obligations to retain copies, dispose of the bundle by recycling it in a secure and confidential manner. 

4. Within [one month] of the resolution of any dispute or at a relevant stage of a dispute, the parties shall appoint an independent third party [e.g. the Carbon Trust] to calculate the Carbon Footprint. 

5. The independent third party’s costs shall be [shared equally by the parties/ paid by the losing party].  

6. Within [one month] of receiving the independent third party’s calculation of the Carbon Footprint, [the parties/ the losing party] will offset the Carbon Footprint by: 

6.1 planting Native Trees; or  

6.2 purchasing carbon credits from a project: 

(a) that has been verified in accordance with [insert name of voluntary standard] or from a United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) clean development mechanism [or [successor/ equivalent] UNFCCC mechanism]; 

(b) where the emissions of Greenhouse Gases avoided, reduced or removed by the project are additional; 

(c) that prioritises removing Greenhouse Gases from the atmosphere rather than avoiding or reducing third party emissions of Greenhouse Gases; 

(d) that for Greenhouse Gas removals, uses storage methods with a low risk of reversal over millennia[./; and

(e) that takes account of a just transition and addresses wider social and ecological goals.]


Electronic Bundles means a bundle of documents in electronic format for use by the parties, court or tribunal (as required). The bundle shall be in a user-friendly format which includes but is not limited to sequential pagination and bookmarks appropriate for each document.

Carbon Footprint means the total annual scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions relating to the proceedings. Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions are as defined by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol: A Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard, as updated periodically.

Greenhouse Gases means the gases that trap thermal radiation in the earth’s atmosphere. They are specified by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Annex A to the Kyoto Protocol and may be updated periodically.

Native Trees means those species of trees which, since the last ice age, have grown in the geographic area now called the [United Kingdom] and which are listed as native on the [Forestry Commission Website].

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