ARMSTRONG Legal has become Australia’s first carbon neutral lawyers following accreditation by the Carbon Reduction Institute.
CRI has already certified three more law firms and is in the process of auditing an additional three across New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria and expects all to be carbon neutral by the end of November.
“The process is simple and cost effective. By reducing the company’s carbon footprint the firm is reducing its impact on the environment and reaching one of the company’s goals of acting as good corporate citizens by demonstrating it is socially and environmentally aware,” said Peter Magee, partner for Armstrong Legal.
“Armstrong Legal’s carbon neutral status has been well received by both clients and staff. It is sending a powerful message to the business community that the firm is serious about making a difference to the environment and that all companies can make a change.”
“The company’s carbon neutral stance was the first of several environmental initiatives that have now been implemented into the practice. All have had an impact on minimizing overall business costs,” Magee said.
“Armstrong Legal’s green stance has contributed to the firm’s growth in a tough business environment. Many clients are passionate about the business and its stance on helping the environment. This factor alone has contributed to new business.”
CRI audited Armstrong Legal’s electricity usage, fuel usage, waste, business flights and emissions generated from assets and expenses.
“All emissions from the firm are now offset by purchasing carbon credits from the Karnataka Renewable Energy Project in India which generates renewable energy from clean burning waste from agricultural products such as rice husks,” said Magee.
“The legal fraternity has embraced the concept of helping the environment by adopting a carbon neutral stance. The cost to a service based business is negligible and the marketing differentiator and philanthropic approach adopted by carbon neutral companies has contributed to their growth,” said Rob Cawthorne, managing director of CRI.
“Carbon neutral companies have also gained a competitive advantage when tendering opportunities have arisen with larger organizations and governments contributing to significant business expansion in some cases.”
“Early next year CRI expects to launch a low carbon lawyers’ initiative to further raise awareness about the benefits associated with a carbon neutral status."