Commitment to Sustainability
Wendel Rosen's Green Certification
In July 2003, Wendel Rosen became the first law firm in the country (at least that we can find) to be awarded "green" status by a certifying agency (in this case the Bay Area Green Business Program), and joined the ranks of hundreds of Bay Area "green" businesses. In January 2007 and 2010, the firm went through follow up certification audits to ensure that we continue to keep our goal of running a sustainable operation.
In order to get to certification, the firm hired a consultant to present an educational series on sustainable practices to all firm employees. We developed a Sustainability Team comprised of attorneys and staff. The team analyzed all of the firm's environmental impacts and made recommendations for areas of improvement. Some were undertaken immediately, and others will be phased in over time. Changes we have implemented as a result of our internal sustainability efforts have yielded impressive results.
- Moving to all "Energy Star" electronics.
- Worked with building on waste separation and recycling programs
- Give purchasing preferences to items with high recycled content
- Converted many internal memos and reports to email versions
- Set default copying procedure for double-sided wherever feasible
- And more. . .
What about all the paper?
In an industry known for "papering clients to death," the firm switched to entirely 100 percent, post-consumer waste recycled paper, processed chlorine-free. For outsourced printing projects the firm uses soy-based inks. We've instituted two-sided copying as a default for most reports and copy jobs. The firm also encourages electronic transmission of documents, whenever possible.
Our transition to 100% post-consumer content chlorine-free recycled paper annually saves more than 250 trees, 40,000 pounds of greenhouse gases and 31,450 kilowatts of electricity each year!
By demonstrating reductions in paper, energy, water and waste; increases in recycling; and other measures to lessen environmental impacts; the firm prepared for a series of audits conducted by PG&E, East Bay Municipal Utility District, the City of Oakland and Alameda County. The Green Business Program gave us the stamp of approval, and we became official.
In addition, Wendel Rosen was selected by the California Integrated Waste Management Board for a case study on how medium-sized law firms can reduce waste.
We know there is still a long way to go, but the firm is excited to be taking these steps in the right direction. We continue to review our operations based on The Natural Step Sustainability Framework. Under the leadership of professional sustainability consultants and the participation of firm employees, we constantly look for ways to improve our operations, including energy conservation, waste reduction, and incentives for mass transit.
In the Community
Wendel Rosen attorneys are active in many community efforts to improve the environment and create sustainable economies. We promote "green" building and architecture, and we are leaders in local efforts to substantially expand the local agricultural economy to create a "greenbelt" around urban areas. In addition, our lawyers are active in many organizations and entities with influence over sustainable living issues.
Wendel Rosen is affiliated with the following green organizations and others:
Law Firm Sustainability Network
As a leading law firm in the area of sustainability, Wendel Rosen is a proud member of the Law Firm Sustainability Network (LFSN). The LFSN’s mission is to develop key performance indicators, foster knowledge-sharing, develop best practice guidelines, and recognize and promote sustainability innovations in the U.S. legal sector.
The firm is a founding member of the leadership council and firm executive director Gina Maciula sits on the LFSN Board of Directors as Treasurer.
To learn more about LFSN and what law firms can do to lessen their environmental impact, visit http://www.lfsnetwork.org/home
We want to share our story with law firms and other businesses that also have an interest in green business practices. If you would like to know more about our efforts, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are a green business in search of a lawyer, we encourage you to contact one of our attorneys to find out how we can help you achieve your goals.