Posted by Richard Gorham, Senior Associate
We’re switching off for Earth Hour
If you’re new to Earth Hour, on 24 March at 8:30pm (local time) everyone switches off all electrical devices for one hour. It is as simple as that.
Switching electrical devices off for an hour will not save the Earth. What it can and will do is spark a movement for the environment and inspire millions of people across the Earth to take action against environmental issues and climate change. The purpose is to inspire people to take stock and actions to reduce their environmental impact.
But your offices will be closed, it’s a Saturday!
True, but with a strong commitment to implementing sustainable measures and encouraging our staff to make behaviour changes, we will be participating.
How does Royds Withy King reduce its environmental impact?
CSR is an important part of the way we do business. We are members of the Legal Sector Alliance, which allows UK law firms to benchmark their carbon footprint against others in their sector, and we have signed up to the Low Carbon Workplace Charter. Our dedicated Green Group promote greater awareness and improved behaviours across all of our offices. Some of the things we have been busy with include:
Did you know that electricity consumption accounts for around 70% of overall carbon footprint? Our regular “switch off” campaigns and energy saving light bulbs across all offices are helping to reduce our consumption.
- Going paperlight
The traditional image of lawyers might be desks covered in paper and rooms stacked with filing cabinets. And although we recognise we may never be ‘paperless’, our Operations team is helping to lead the charge with a programme to transition to electronic ways of working. That means simplifying our processes to work smarter and stay ahead with delivering top level client service, as well as improving our compliance and carbon footprint.
Staff are coming up with the right solutions for them on how they can reduce paper usage and streamline ways of working. We’ve also invested in technology – new energy efficient printers and scanners with default duplex printing, dual screens for our staff to reduce the need for printing and new software to support electronic file sharing.
- Reduce, reuse, recycle
Reuse – rather than purchasing water and creating waste with plastic bottles, we use branded bottles in our meeting rooms which are re-filled throughout the day with filtered water.
Recycle – every desk has a ‘green’ bin rather than a general waste bin, in addition to other office recycling bins.Throughout the day all recyclable waste can be easily popped in the recycle bin and any general waste taken to specific bins on each floor. We have seen a dramatic decrease in the general waste going to landfill and a huge increase in our recyclable waste. More can be done we are looking into composting projects, in addition to our wormery in our Swindon office.
- Video conferencing
To address emissions from inter-office travel, we have invested in state of the art video conferencing for both internal and client meetings. No more traffic, no more late trains and meetings from your own desk are now a breeze (with strong support from our IT and Facilities teams!).
- Green Week
Our annual Green Week puts a focus on our environmental initiatives and helps to encourage staff to make small changes to have a large environmental impact. With walks, talks and other events throughout the week it is a fun way to look to the future and consider how we can continue to improve.
Acting collectively, through the effort of many, we can achieve more than we can on our own and we can change the way we work – smarter, greener and better for all.
What more will Royds Withy King do?
New initiatives and projects are being looked at, in line with our business strategy and through getting ideas from our staff; from sourcing local produce to providing reusable coffee cups.
There will always be more to do to reduce our environmental impact but for a start, turn out the lights on Saturday night at 8:30pm for Earth Hour.
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