find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
Firms walk the carbon neutral talk

Firms walk the carbon neutral talk

"Carbon neutral" has become more than a buzzword ambition for the legal industry, with a number of firms having now walked the talk and become carbon neutral. Armstrong Legal was the first firm…

"Carbon neutral" has become more than a buzzword ambition for the legal industry, with a number of firms having now walked the talk and become carbon neutral.

Armstrong Legal was the first firm to be accredited as carbon neutral by carbon-neutral certification company Carbon Reduction Institute in July, and it claims to be Australia's first carbon neutral firm. Its move has since been followed by NSW firms William Roberts Lawyers and Streeterlaw Sydney Lawyers, and Victorian firm Doogue O'Brien.

Armstrong Legal partner Peter Magee explained that the firm's carbon-neutral project had humble beginnings; the firm's initial intention being only to try and improve its performance in the area of waste recycling. However, the idea quickly bloomed.

"Community awareness in relation to carbon neutral and environmental issues generally is on the rise, and ... initially, we were looking at how we could turn around and minimise our impact through waste recycling, and then we moved down the path of looking at becoming carbon neutral," he explained.

Initiatives the firm has taken include reducing emissions by compartmentalising lighting and air conditioning. "So the air-conditioning and the lighting generally fall into a number of zones, and it's a matter of not having zones on that aren't being used," he explains. "We don't have to light up a whole floor because someone wants to work back, or air-condition a whole floor because someone comes in early."

The firm is also offsetting remaining emissions by purchasing carbon credits from the Karnataka Renewable Energy Project in India, which generates renewable energy from clean-burning waste from agricultural products.

Magee says that once the firm had committed to becoming carbon neutral, the process was surprisingly straightforward. "It was actually quite a simple process once we'd made the decision ... I thought it would be far harder than it was," he says. "It sounds like a big thing, but the Carbon Reduction Institute really helped drive the process. They were able to lead us in relation to what we had to do in terms of record keeping so we knew what our carbon footprint was, and dealing with carbon credit offsets - they made that process quite easy."

The firm's staff members, Magee says, have enthusiastically embraced the challenge and client feedback also been positive. "It's certainly something clients are aware of and notice," he says. "I don't know whether it influences clients to turn around and make a decision in our favour, but it certainly doesn't hurt!"

- Zoe Lyon

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Firms walk the carbon neutral talk
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
Marriage equality flag
Aug 17 2017
ALHR backs High Court challenge to marriage equality postal vote
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has voiced its support for a constitutional challenge to ...
Give advice
Aug 17 2017
A-G issues advice on judiciary’s public presence
Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis QC has offered his advice on the public presence of jud...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...