TSL is always on the lookout for new ways our readers can reduce their carbon footprint. We thought we had provided some pretty solid suggestions, from offering personal tips to highlighting the green initiatives of some law firms and organizations (like the BBA). So when BBA Sustainability Task Force Member Carolyn Kaplan (and Nixon Peabody attorney and Chief Sustainability Officer) told us about the firm’s participation in EDF Climate Corps, an innovative energy efficiency program, we were pretty impressed. We know Nixon Peabody is “legally green” but when we heard that they were the first law firm to sign onto the program (inspiring EDF to create a new legal category!) we knew we had to find out more.
No worries if you hadn’t heard about EDF Climate Corps, because until we spoke with Carolyn, we hadn’t either. Here’s a quick breakdown: EDF Climate Corps is a fellowship program developed by the Environmental Defense Fund, a leading national nonprofit organization that places specially trained MBA and MPA students in companies, cities and universities to identify and assess cost-effective opportunities to save energy and reduce emissions. This summer, 98 fellows (from some pretty fancy schools) will work in 88 organizations across the nation. Where will they be working? Some top notch companies, including Boeing, Facebook, Google, Verizon as well as organizations like Boston Public Schools and UNICEF and of course, Nixon Peabody (see the full list here). The plan is that fellows will develop customized energy efficiency investment plans that cut costs and emissions. Well, that sounds well and good, but how about some tangible results? Don’t worry, EDF has that too. Since 2008 the fellows have identified energy-saving opportunities that:
- Cut enough energy usage to power nearly 100,000 homes a year
- Avoid the annual carbon emissions of 200,000 cars and;
- Saved more than $1 billion in net operating costs over the project lifetimes
Ok ok, we are convinced. In case you are not, we asked Carolyn to speak about why Nixon Peabody decided to join Climate Corps:
“Hiring a Climate Corps fellow seemed to be a great way to fast-track our efforts to demonstrate the financial and environmental benefits of investing in energy efficiency,” says Kaplan. “We liked the idea of developing a customized energy plan to help us prioritize investments for our existing space and provide guidance as we consider renovations and lease renewals. It’s exciting to join the ranks of many leading companies and organizations, including some of our clients, in building the business case for energy efficiency. We’re looking forward to a productive summer.”
So there you have it. Nixon Peabody seems to be leading the way for sustainability in law firms, but it’s not like we are surprised. They have been recognized for their sustainability initiatives again and again (and again and yes…one more time).
Nixon Peabody’s fellow will start working on June 1st. TSL is looking forward to hearing how productive their summer really was.