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Commitment

Good Law Practice (the “Firm’) is committed to acting responsibly in relation to environmental issues and will work towards lessening its adverse impact on the environment through its business practices and through the services it offers. The Firm will not only take steps to minimise the potential impact on the environment of its activities but will also ensure that it complies with all environmental legislation and ensure that environmental best practices are implemented. We will ensure that environmental factors are incorporated into our decision making and purchasing procedures.

The Firm recognises that there will be an impact on the environment from the activities of all businesses but we are committed to the continual improvement of our environmental performance in relation to the services and operations we offer and perform.  

Responsibility

The overall responsibility for the management of the environmental policy  within the Firm will lie with Bernard Stotesbury, Legal Practice Manager (the “Environmental Policy Manager”) and it is they who will ensure that those involved within the firm, whether they be directors or employees  and whether or not they are permanent, full time, part time or temporary (referred to collectively as “Staff”), are aware of and abide by the provisions set out in this policy.  

However, managing environmental issues is a function for everyone within the Firm.  For that reason, all Staff have responsibility in their area to ensure that the aims and objectives of this policy are being met. 

Key concerns

The Firm has identified a number of key environmental concerns in relation to the provision of legal services.  These include:  

  1. Waste disposal and recycling; 
  2. The use of energy, water and other resources;  
  3. The use of paper-based files and correspondence; 
  4. Consumption of printer cartridges; 
  5. The purchase and subsequent disposal of electronic and other similar equipment; 
  6. The use of cleaning products and their disposal; 
  7. Travel to and from the office and to clients, court etc.  

Whilst it is not possible for the Firm to be able to offer its services and at the same time cease contributing to the negative impact of these environmental concerns, the Firm has adopted a policy to: 

  1. Continually improve our environmental performance; 
  2. Continually improve our recycling across the Firm; 
  3. Increase the awareness of all Staff to issues related to the environment; and 
  4. Wherever necessary, comply with all relevant legal and regulatory requirements. 
  • The Firm will review and explore measures that will enable it to reduce the volumes of all waste materials generated by it;  

    The Firm will explore opportunities to recycle or reuse all of the waste materials that it can with. 

    Consideration will be given to ensuring that the most effective waste management and recycling options are adopted so as to ensure best practice. 

  • The Firm will continue to take steps to reduce levels of energy consumption wherever possible.  

    All Staff are required to ensure that energy and water usage is minimised. To that effect, equipment such as computers, screens, lights, phones, chargers, photocopiers, printers and portable electrical appliances are to be “switched off” when not in use, including during breaks and at the end of the working day.  

    We will wherever possible implement energy saving measures including: 

    1. making use of natural light wherever possible; 
    2. monitoring both the timings and the temperatures of the heating and cooling systems to see whether energy saving adjustments can be made;
    3. when appliances such as fridges require replacing, making sure that energy efficient models are purchased;
    4. ensure that all heating, lighting and ventilation are used efficiently and effectively;
    5. if undertaking office renovations, replace standard lighting with low energy lighting and wherever possible ensure that all lighting is sensor operated to ensure that lights go off when a room is unoccupied;
    6. review, and improve where appropriate, the insulation and draught-proofing of the offices. 
  • The Firm will minimise the use of paper within the office and will continue to encourage all Staff to take steps to ensure that wastepaper is minimised. In particular, staff will be encouraged to: 

    1. ensure that they print on both sides of the paper when it is possible to do so; 
    2. only print out documents that require printing and where possible to read documents on screen; 
    3. not to print out more copies of a document than is absolutely necessary; 
    4. where paper has been printed on one side only and does not contain confidential or sensitive information, to use the unprinted side as draft or scrap paper; 
    5. to reduce the font size of documents where possible in order to reduce the number of pages required to be printed; 
    6. where file copies or “carbon” copies are required, use lighter more environmentally friendly paper. 

    When ordering paper, files, folders and other paper or cardboard products the Firm will ensure that wherever possible recycled paper or cardboard is ordered from environmentally friendly sources. 

    The Firm will strive to use less packaging wherever possible. 

    The Firm will recycle all paper through the secure shredding bin. 

  • The environmental impact of printer ink is often overlooked and traditional printer inks come with a hidden environmental cost since they often contain harmful chemicals and the production of printer ink consumes significant resources and contributes to pollution.  

    The proper disposal of printer ink cartridges is vital if we are to reduce environmental harm with many ink cartridges ending up in landfills and thus contributing to electronic waste. The Firm will ensure that all ink cartridges are recycled wherever possible. 

  • Every year an estimated 2 million tonnes of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) items are discarded by householders and companies in the UK.  Such items contain a wide variety of materials, including metal, glass, plastics, ceramics and precious metals.  Some items contain hazardous materials such as mercury. 

    Regulations exist as to the safe disposal of WEEE items. 

    The Firm will ensure that whenever WEEE items are disposed of that it is in accordance with all pertinent regulations and will do so in the most environmentally friendly manner possible. 

    If it is possible to upgrade an item rather than dispose of it, then the Firm will consider this option since doing so produces less environmental waste. 

  • There are two factors to be considered in relation to cleaning products – the chemicals they contain and the packaging they come in. 

    The chemicals contained in cleaning products can pollute streams and rivers and may take a long time to degrade into harmless products. Some may not break down at all but may persist in the environment and may enter the food chain, being eaten by aquatic creatures and perhaps eventually by humans.  

    The Firm will, wherever it is possible to do so, endeavour only to use cleaning products that have a lower impact upon the environment, both in terms of their content and their packaging, and will take such steps as it can to reduce the overuse of all cleaning and similar products. 

    The Firm will ensure that all cleaning product packaging is disposed of responsibly. 

  • All Staff should consider whether any particular journey they plan to make is necessary.  

    If it is possible for a meeting to be held remotely using Teams, Zoom or similar, then all Staff should try and do so. 

    Clients should not be encouraged to come to the office when it is not necessary.  The use of emails and letters are a more environmentally friendly alternative to travel where it is possible to do so. 

    Where Staff have no alternative but to travel, environmentally friendly options such as public transport should be used wherever it can be. 

    All Staff are encouraged to work from home at least two days per week when this is possible and their job description makes this a feasible option. 

Suppliers

Wherever possible, the Firm will work with its suppliers to encourage them to adopt environmentally work practices, in particular in relation to their supply to the Firm. 

The Firm will take steps to minimise the number of deliveries from suppliers so as to reduce their dependence upon travel. 

The Firm will prefer suppliers that have policies designed to recycle and reduce waste, that take positive steps to reduce packaging and who are able to supply recycled products. 

Training and awareness

The Firm will ensure that all Staff are trained in the importance of this Environmental Policy.  Refresher training will be provided from time to time. 

The Firm regards the matters dealt with in this Environmental Policy as being very important. Failure strictly to abide with the terms of this policy will be deemed to be a serious matter and may, as a consequence, result in disciplinary action up to and including the termination of employment/contract with the Firm. 

Review

This Policy will be reviewed annually as part of the review of the Firm’s policies and its effectiveness will be evaluated at that time. Any events which have occurred which cast the efficacy of this Environmental Policy into doubt will be considered and evaluated. In the event that it is amended, Staff will be provided with a revised version and informed of the impact of any changes.  

All Staff are encouraged to put forward ideas and suggestions for developing and improving the operation of this policy and the development of the Firm’s approach to Environmental Issues.