THE GOOD intentions of the annual institution we call Clean Up Australia have found their way into Australian law firms, which are now able to demonstrate their responsibility to the environment and local community through creating sustainable work places.
Business Clean Up Australia Day, which took place on Tuesday this week, has been embraced by Gadens Lawyers in its overhaul of the daily processes, planning and management of the firm. Taking it further than just an active one day event, however, the firm is integrating an Environmental Management System (EMS) into its operations.
The firm has adopted a two-tier approach to its transition, involving employees as well as clients, suppliers and investors. The EMS will focus initially on areas related to waste recycling, including paper, water and waste. It will monitor energy consumption, and purchase Green Energy products and services. All employees are expected to become involved, and suppliers that have environmental management systems will be used.
Corporations are realising they have a strong responsibility towards society and future generations, said Frances Richards, Gadens partner for planning, environment and government. “The Gadens culture of sustainable development reflects this awareness,” she said.
Gadens advises its clients on how to implement environmental programs but is now finding ways to internalise the initiative. “We have partnered with tda environmental consulting to implement this environment friendly program, and establish limits and check on our resource consumption,” said Richards. “I am sure this program will be a huge success with our employees and external partners, who have already demonstrated their enthusiasms through initial surveys conducted by tda.”
Initiatives already undertaken by the firm include waste reduction, by using double sided paper for internal communications, using energy efficient lighting, using energy efficient products and purchasing recycled paper.