An Environmentally Conscious Approach to the Practice of Law
As a recognized American Bar Association-Environmental Protection Agency “Law Office Climate Challenge Partner,” we are committed to doing our part to conserve energy and resources as well as reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses that cause global climate change. You’ll be pleased to know that our efforts are not just good for the environment—they are good for you, too! Conserving energy makes our office greener and leaner, which means we spend less on costly office overhead expenses—savings that are ultimately passed on to you through our reasonable attorney fees.
The paper-intensive law office comes with an equally intense carbon footprint. An American Bar Association survey found that the average lawyer prints or copies between 20,000 and 100,000 sheets of paper per year. This amounts to 10-50 sheets of paper per hour. And while the use of paper itself is not hazardous, its production and disposal generate considerable greenhouse gases.
While perhaps the most significant carbon contributor, paper alone isn’t the only environmental culprit in the law office. Computers, monitors, fax machines, printers and other vital office equipment all run on electricity produced by environmentally unfriendly resources, like coal. Many offices use old equipment with outmoded power conservation features that never power down when not in use. This equipment is costly to run as it is harmful to the environment.
In an effort address energy conservation and the needless consumption of resources, of office has undertaken the following environmental best practices:
- Paperless Initiatives. Since 2012, our office has scanned every piece of paper we have received. The paperless storage of file materials allows us to access a file electronically from virtually anywhere in the world. Scanned files also mean we use less paper—because we are not making copies of the important papers you give us. Whenever possible, we are also transmitting in an electronic format, which means we no longer have to print and send copies by regular mail. Paperless files are not the victims of fire or flood, either. Rest assured that our files are backed up and secure and will always be available to us. There is also the benefit of efficiency: our files are more organized, which means we spend less time looking for a file and more time working on it instead. Scanned files are easily the best approach to paperless law office
- Recycled Paper & Double-Sided Printing and Copying. While we do everything we can to avoid the use of paper, it is inevitable that we must still print and copy items from time to time. When we do, we will only use paper and envelopes that have at least 30% post-consumer recycled content. In the rare event that drafts and internal documents are printed or copied, they will be doubled-sided.
- Recycling Initiatives. While we may not use much paper, it seems our colleagues still do. We thus commit to recycle at least 90 percent of discarded mixed office paper that we either print or have received from others. We will also recycle our toner cartridges and only purchase reused replacement cartridges.
- Energy Saving Initiatives. At least 50 percent of the office equipment we use will be Energy Star compliant, as defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. We will power off devices when not in use or otherwise set the device’s power saving features to automatically power down or sleep after a nominal amount of idle time.
We recognize that our efforts alone will not stop global climate change or even dramatically reduce the greenhouse gases that cause it. But we are committed to doing our part nonetheless. And we hope our efforts will inspire other lawyers to modernize their practices as well. After all, these simple environmental best practices are as green as they are lean!
Please feel free to contact us if you’d like to learn more about our commitment to the environment.