Our friends at Nixon Peabody are well known leaders when it comes to sustainability. TSL has talked about their innovative Legally Green initiative in past posts (here and here), so you already know plenty about that. As a quick refresher, the initiative includes three commitments, 1) implementing sustainable policies and practices throughout the firm, 2) serving as a sustainability “thought leader” in the communities they serve and 3) assisting clients to create long term value through sustainable business strategies.
So it was no surprise to us when a representative at Nixon reached out to TSL about yet another sustainability effort, but with a twist…Nixon wasn’t going at this one alone. They helped create and organize the newly incorporated Law Firm Sustainability Network (think the Justice League for environmentally conscious law firms) which is committed to developing key performance indicators and best practice guidelines, fostering knowledge sharing, and promoting sustainability innovation in the U.S. legal sector. In addition to helping to spearhead the initiative, Nixon also serves on the Leadership Council and Board of Directors for the LFSN.
That sounds great and all, but if you’re wondering what the LFSN actually DOES, fear not, we’ve got that covered too. We reached out to Carolyn Kaplan, Chief Sustainability Officer at Nixon, for a more in-depth look.
The LFSN began informally in 2011, with a handful of firms, all focused on the nuts and bolts of sustainability, a desire for practical knowledge they could implement at their offices. So they started sharing case studies and informational webinars on key issues, such as dealing with large buildings, paper purchasing, and the like. Over the course of time, the informal network became more formal, and decided to incorporate in November of 2012.
Carolyn explains: “The firms involved saw the benefits of collaborating with their peers. Our clients recognize the importance of entering into partnerships to achieve sustainability goals. If law firms collaborate, we too have a greater ability to make an impact and drive change. Issues we are dealing with are broad and global and require collective effort.”
A global and collective effort? Really? As a matter of fact, yes. The LFSN has already officially partnered with global organizations like the Legal Sector Alliance UK and the Australian Legal Sector Alliance, furthering their goals to further raise awareness and reduce environmental impacts globally within the legal industry.
Currently, they are working to finalize the American Legal Industry Sustainability Standards (ALISS), a self-assessment tool that comprehensively measures law firms’ implementation of practices that promote energy efficiency, conservation of energy and resources, recycling, commuting, and more. Firms can rate themselves and earn recognition for taking a leadership role. They have continued their webinar efforts, holding programs on enhancing market reputation and increasing business efficiencies. Learn more here.
Now it’s your turn to get involved. Learn more about how to be a member here. There’s still plenty of time to make an impact. The Justice League (ahem, Law Firm Sustainability Network) hasn’t even cast the Green Lantern yet.