Linklaters has cut its paper usage by a massive 50 per cent over the last three years, with a reduction of 34 per cent in this year alone.
The news was revealed in the magic circle firm’s ‘Corporate Responsibility Report’ published yesterday (9 December), which further listed a fall by 30 per cent in its CO2 emissions and 30 per cent in waste over three years.
Linklaters’ partnership secretary and director of corporate responsibility, Oonagh Harpur said: “We have 150 ‘Environmental Champions’ around the world and it’s their energy and enthusiasm that found the solution.”
“We all need to reduce our environmental footprint,” added Harpur. “When you look at what we do as law firms in the world we don’t have a huge carbon footprint, but we should still do what we can.”
The result was achieved with the help of the voluntary champions positioned in each office worldwide, and through increased use of e-filing, promoting default double-sided printing and internal educational programmes. However, the firm did not go as far as to abolish its 7,500 paper-based graduate recruitment brochures, a plan that was mooted in November 2009 by former graduate recruitment partner Matthew Keats.
As reported by Lawyer2B.com in August Linklaters abandoned the idea after research revealed that students favoured paper-based products (read more).
Linklaters reported that in spite of this environmental achievement, it is further looking to reduce energy use and travel through powering down computers, reducing water usage and improving use of video conferencing.
Elsewhere, the report further revealed an increase in pro bono work, with 41 per cent of staff volunteering globally during 2009/10, supporting 374 community organisations with an investment of £2.5m and 63,750 hours of time.
Harpur commented: “For all these areas we not only publish the report, but publish key issues on a calendar that is delivered to everyone’s desk, designed to give the key messages to raise awareness and remind them; here are the firms values and this is what we as a firm want to improve.”