Law Associates Talk Green: Does putting "think before you print" on emails count?

by Aman Singh Das | April 06, 2010

  • My Vault

Every year Vault conducts employee surveys to rank firms and companies by industry according to various standards including diversity, prestige, work/life culture, salary, etc. Last year, we added a short section on green, i.e., energy conservation, etc. in the survey, hoping to get a glimpse into what companies were doing toward becoming ecologically friendly. We're currently in the middle of our 2010 Law Firm Survey, responses for which continue to pour in every day. The "green" comments feel misplaced and stand out alternatively for their smugness while others stand out for their ingenuity along with a lot for their triviality. Without further ado, here then, are some of the best.

Green? Tell me what that means again...

Recycling

""Green" is all around us: printing double-sided, recycling, etc."

"Too committed. Unlike most people here, I like to print on one-side and I am not sure why that should be an issue."

"Adopted to the extent they make financial sense. This is the soundest practice."

"All printing is double-sided. Nough said."

"Almost overly so... the silverware is biodegradable (try cutting a steak with a knife made out of corn)."

"Besides utilizing double sided printing, I am not sure what the firm's commitment to environment is. Let's just say I have no idea where the recycling bins are (and I do not have one in my office)."

"Does putting "think before you print!" on emails count?"

"Don't really know. They do stuff but I don't pay attention."

***********************

Green = Recycling. Right?

"As far as I can tell, the firm's environmentally friendly policies begin and end with recycling of office paper, plastic bottles, and aluminum cans."

"Don't know. We have recycling. Beyond that seems a waste of time and money."

"We theoretically recycle. We literally do not recycle."

"Environmental sustainability is not a priority. We're not a thought-leader generally so if enough other firms "go green" and we can see a cost-effective path for it, then we might follow along. We have one office in a LEED-certified building but it's not clear if that was a decision to support sustainability or if that location was selected for some other reason. We do have recycling though and some employees make decisions that reduce the firm's environmental impact as it goes about its business."

"Located on the printer is a sign that says that we should think before we print. It is read by every attorney as they walk to the printer and pick up their print job."

"The firm is a die-hard pit of environmentalists to the point that it is a joke. When you lay off a bunch of single mothers and old ladies who are your secretaries and then make a large purchase of carbon credits a few months later, your priorities are all wrong."

***********************

Green what? Will it save money?

Cadillac Escalade

"None that I am aware of. To the contrary, we do not recycle ANYTHING."

"Not clear, other than the fact they promoted more double-sided printing on the big printers. Not sure if that was intended to save paper or money, though."

"...has hopped on the green bandwagon like everyone else... blah, blah, blah. Its boring to me. Build me an electric Escalade so that I can drive what I want and not have to get dirty looks for it. Then I will feel like the green revolution is making progress."

***********************

Truly Green?

"We have some LEED-certified offices. There is a big clean tech push."

"We have recycling and energy reduction programs and our building won an award for being the most energy efficient."

"We are working to become (if we're not already) a "green" firm. For example, we eliminated our branded bottled water program for water pitchers. From a billable standpoint, we also have a significant number of alternative energy clients and that practice area is growing rapidly for us."

"From recycling to energy saving to encouraging public transportation (plus subsidizing Zipcar membership), the firm has engaged in a sustained and constantly-revisited effort to continually improve its environmental policies."

"A number of associates have formed a committee to help "green" the firm. Typical of ..., there are now partners serving on the committee as well and it has the full attention of our facilities administrators. They are actually getting things done."

Got something to add? Should law firms be exempt from being environmentally conscious because of the nature of their job? Leave a comment or email In Good Company. And, of course, if you'd rather tweet, connect with me on Twitter @VaultCSR!

Filed Under: CSR

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