Law Firms: It’s Getting Easier to Go Green
Can law firms go green? The answer today is absolutely – thanks to technology, it’s easier than ever before to take the environment into account in the day-to-day running of a business. Law firms have their own particular hurdles to jump, so use these seven tips to make it happen.
1. Go digital
Create a digital data bank of all your contracts, documents, and anything that you don’t legally need to have printed out. Instead of giving your clients printed documents, email them a permanent link to their documents stored on your server. This will immensely reduce the amount of paper you use.
2. Recycle old files
Under Australian law, you have to keep customer data private, particularly when it is of a sensitive nature. If you have documents and files you no longer need, the sensible thing to do is to destroy them. Use an approved program to shred the documents, making them unreadable, and then turn them in for recycling.
3. Encourage emailing
While emails still constitute a written form of communication that can be used as evidence, many people are set in their ways and like to write physical letters regarding legal matters. Make sure you have an email address on your website and encourage people to use it, or focus on phone calls.
4. Focus on procurement
Your office manager probably has to procure a lot of materials for the firm: stationary, filing materials, equipment, furniture, electronics, and so on. While looking at the procurement process, focus on sustainable sources and recycled materials. If you can’t find something that fits the bill, at least find something that can be recycled after you use it.
5. Incentivise lower vehicle use
Introduce a rewards system for members of your law firm who car pool, use public transport, or take an alternative method such as cycling to get to work. The fewer vehicles are in use every day coming to the firm’s office, the lower your emissions will be as a whole, and that’s good news for the planet. You can also enforce car pooling to trials or client meetings, for example, when more than one member of the firm is going to be attending.
6. Be energy-efficient
As well as being eco-friendly, reducing your energy use could save you a lot of money. Make sure that you are using energy-efficient light bulbs, and that all electronics and lights are turned off when not in use. You can set up all office computers to go into standby mode after a certain amount of inactivity, and the last person out of the office at night should be responsible for switching all the lights off, as well as heating or air conditioning.
7. Renovate for good
While these changes are easy to make without much upheaval, you can also make bigger changes by renovating and refurbishing your law firm’s office. Pay particular attention to things like windows, which should be large enough to let natural light in and reinforced to prevent energy leaks; your water system, which can incorporate recycling systems and energy efficient features; your insulation and flooring; and the materials used in all furniture and décor.
With these tips put into action, you can truly go green in many ways. This will hugely decrease your effect on the environment as a whole, helping each member of your law firm to feel that they are making a difference. This can also become a measure of pride – something you can boast about to potential clients, letting them know that you care about the world around you.
Lucy Taylor is an avid blogger who enjoys sharing her tips and suggestions with her online readers. Working as a legal expert at LY Lawyers, Lucy often helps people dealing with legal problems, addictions and crime.
How to Apply for a Green Job With the demand for green jobs skyrocketing so far in 2017, giving yourself a unique edge can be difficult—yet absolutely necessary—in order for you to become a proud worker for Mother Earth. Follow these steps to successfully claim your next environmentally friendly employment opportunity. 1. Resume: Make sure … Continue reading..