BLP holds Environmental Awareness Day following Carbon Footprint Audit

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) is holding its first Environmental Awareness Day on Friday 29 February to raise awareness of the firm’s plans to reduce its impact on the environment and its carbon footprint.

On the day there will be an Environmental Awareness Exhibition and all staff will be asked to wear green or face a ‘fine’ of £2 that will be donated to Cool Earth, a charity BLP supports on a pro bono basis that was set up by businessman Johan Eliasch and Labour MP Frank Field to help businesses and individuals invest in rainforest protection. Staff are also being asked to contribute their ideas on how to reduce the firm’s environmental impact, with the best suggestions eligible for a £500 reward.

The day follows the establishment of an Environmental Task Force that includes partners, directors and others from across the firm, as well as a comprehensive carbon footprint audit, conducted by the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Management (ECCM), which looked at the impact of commuting, recycling, business travel and BLP’s premises on the environment.

The audit included a detailed questionnaire of individuals behaviour which two thirds of staff completed. The results showed that BLP’s carbon footprint was already significantly better than the average performance of similar businesses and, for the largest areas of impact, is at levels described by the ECCM as representing ‘good practice’. The largest source of carbon emissions was the premises, with commuting and business travel also highlighted as significant.

Following the audit the firm is:

  • Launching a staff awareness scheme which aims to reduce electricity consumption and includes a hints and tips section on the firm’s intranet as well as displays and exhibitions.
  • Introducing a new “Save paper…think before you print!” message on all emails and encouraging the use of double sided printing.
  • Promoting the use of video conferencing facilities.
  • Creating new, additional recycling facilities, with clear guidance on what can and cannot be recycled, as well as encouraging staff to reduce the use of plastic cups and recycle those they do use.

Neville Eisenberg, BLP’s Managing Partner, said: “It is clear from our own staff surveys that our staff regard care for the environment as an important priority and as an organisation we are determined to continue to set high standards in relation to our emissions record. I am very pleased with the broad based support this programme has in the firm.”

Matthew Brander, the analyst at ECCM who conducted the research, said: “The World Business Council for Sustainable Development Greenhouse Gas Reporting Protocol requires that all direct emissions, and those associated with electricity consumption, are assessed.  BLP chose to go beyond this standard and include additional emissions sources such as staff commuting to its offices. Even though it includes some elements that others may not have assessed, the results show that the firm is already doing well in comparison to its competitors, with one of the lowest levels of ‘carbon per lawyer’ that we are aware of.”

If you would like further information, please contact Alison Klarfeld at alison.klarfeld@blplaw.com.

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