Environmental Policy and ISO 14001
Environmental policy and ISO 14001 accreditation is a way of committing to being a responsible business. It means we take our environmental sustainability work seriously, and dedicate resources and expertise to continuously reducing the impact we have on the environment. Our engagement in this work is truly company wide, meaning that every employee at every level is involved, and it extends through our customer base and the communities we are based in. In 2005, we were the first law practice in the UK to be awarded the ISO 14001 certification. For us, securing international environmental certification was solid recognition of the commitment we had – and still have –to managing our negative environmental impact effectively.
ISO 14001 certification
Our ISO 14001 Environmental Management System is encapsulated in our Environmental Policy. The EMS covers each of our offices, all of our employees and is managed by our in-house EMS Coordinator. Every year, we prepare an Environmental Management Programme, which consists of objectives and targets that focus our efforts on addressing the areas where we have the most impact and can successfully drive the most improvement.
We are very proud of what we have achieved so far; below is a selection of the initiatives we have rolled out so far:
- Paperless working: We developed a sophisticated client-management system to support our goal of becoming paperless. It enables us to manage cases efficiently, without the need for large, paper-based files, to communicate electronically and securely with our clients and to produce electronic paginated court bundles easily
- Waste management: We removed all personal waste bins and introduced a comprehensive recycling and landfill programme in all our offices. We have carefully selected waste contractors to ensure the majority of our waste, including our WEEE, is recycled and or re-used
- Energy management: We converted all of our IT equipment to some of the most energy efficient. We have installed motion-sensor operated lights and taps, and intelligent building management systems in nearly every office
- Carbon reduction: Every office has both tele- and video-conferencing facilities; these are used between offices and with clients, greatly reducing business-related travel
- Sustainable employee commuting: Every employee has access to the Cycle to Work Scheme and public transport season passes. We are introducing a Care Share Scheme to reduce the number of single-occupancy vehicle journeys made and increase the number of cyclists and walkers. We also have excellent facilities for cyclists, walkers and runners in nearly all our offices, including showers, secure bike lock-ups and a bike-maintenance service
- Employee engagement: We have a vibrant employee engagement programme that sees us run annual Green Weeks, Fairtrade Fortnights, Walk to Work Weeks and WWF Earth Hours. Each initiative and campaign engages employees and cultivates environmentally responsible behaviour
- Green Leaders Programme: our active Green Leaders are committed volunteers who support the EMS Coordinator in delivering campaigns and projects across the company
- Award winning: We are immensely proud of the collection of awards we have amassed. In 2013, we secured gold accreditation for our Workplace Travel Plan. In 2014, we won silver and in 2015 ‘gold’ and ‘best office’ at the South West Fairtrade Business Awards. In 2017, we were decalred Best Fairtrade Business at the South West Fairtrade Business Awards.
Environmental Management Programme
Our 2016 Environmental Management Programme objectives push us to reduce our environmental impact even further:
- To manage our resource consumption effectively and responsibly across the company
- To ensure the company as a whole moves towards paperless working
- To reduce the impact associated with our business-related travel and commuting
- To minimise the carbon emissions within our direct and indirect control where practicable
- To create a sustainable supply chain up- and downstream
- To align ISO 14001 with ISO 27001, our facilities department and the Health & Safety Manager’s work wherever possible
- To develop a stakeholder engagement programme that supports the embedding of ISO 14001 across the company
We are long-term members of the Legal Sector Alliance. Our membership places us among a select group of law firms that are committed to working together to take action on climate change. As a member, we have signed up to their seven principles, annually disclose our scope 1, 2 and 3 carbon emissions, and share our ideas and best practice.
You can find out more about our environmental commitment, by reading our Environmental Policy.
For more information, please get in touch.