Spring 2013 Spotlight on Local Action
Mayer Brown’s London office receives ISO 14001 certification
In February 2013, our London office was awarded the internationally recognized ISO 14001 certification for its environmental management system. ISO 14001 is the most widely used framework for environmental management in the world, requiring companies to establish an environment policy, determine environmental impacts, and implement and continually improve their environmental management system through measurable targets and management reviews.
As part of the process for certification, we have put in place various tools to assess existing environmental impacts and set out objectives and targets for their reduction, which will be audited annually. These continuous improvement targets in four key areas include:
Managing our Climate Change Impacts
- Calculate carbon emissions from facilities operations
- Reduce carbon emissions from building energy consumption by 1%
- Implement “material substitution” plan for key consumables
- Reduce paper consumption by 10%
- Execute waste reduction plan
- Achieve 74% recycling for municipal wastes
Engagement with Stakeholders
- Implement “environment awareness campaign”
- Deliver vendor workshops to communicate requirements of ISO14001
The London office’s ongoing dedication to sustainability includes achieving an “excellent” BREEAM rating for the office at 201 Bishopsgate, utilizing key performance indicators for maintenance contractors to ensure they remain current with legislation and training, and the inclusion of sustainable criteria in its supplier procurement RFPs. Additionally, the office has implemented a Sustainability Policy Statement to drive continuous improvement in our environmental performance. For our efforts, we were recently presented with the 2012 City of London Clean City Award for our commitment to the promotion of good waste management practices.
Winter 2012 Spotlight on Local Action
Reduced Paper and Ink Consumption
Complementing our robust firmwide recycling programs, Mayer Brown has implemented a number of environmentally-friendly paper and ink consumption initiatives, including replacing printer equipment with duplex-capable printers, and defaulting new equipment to duplex copying and printing. The Chicago office has realized a nearly 50 percent reduction in paper use since implementation.
Additional best practices include:
- Purchasing and utilizing Forest Stewardship Counsel (FSC) certified paper for brochures.
- Using USB flash drives for external meetings and presentations.
- Moving to electronic circulation of our publications to external sources whenever possible.
- Investing in file management software to eliminate paper files.
- Establishing an e-card holiday greeting card policy.
- Using ink-saving fonts and setting printers to default to “draft quality” print options for internal documents.
Fall 2012 Spotlight on Local Action
Reduced Air Travel and Auto Emissions
Mayer Brown currently utilizes video conferencing for both internal and external meetings to reduce non-essential travel. Additionally, our local offices have implemented the following initiatives:
- Mayer Brown established a corporate agreement with Amtrak in 2009 for rail travel on the East Coast (NY to Washington, DC) to reduce air shuttle travel and the overall carbon footprint. Amtrak rail uses 2,709 BTUs versus 3,264 BTUs on an airplane. Amtrak is also the first railroad to join The Climate Registry, a nonprofit collaboration among North American states, provinces, territories and Native Sovereign Nations that sets consistent and transparent standards to calculate, verify and publicly report greenhouse gas emissions into a single registry.
- Our US offices participate in a program that provides pre-tax benefits options to employees using public transportation for their commute.
- The Chicago office teamed up with I-GO in 2011 to provide Mayer Brown employees with discounted I-GO membership and driving rates. I-GO is a non-profit car sharing service, that supplies a fleet of 100% low-emission, fuel-efficient vehicles.
- The London office has changed its taxi operator from a diesel-fuelled operator to electric motor vehicles.
Summer 2012 Spotlight on Local Action
Sustainable Office Operations: London
Our office building in London, 201 Bishopsgate, has a BREEAM “Excellent” rating, the best rating obtainable by the world's most widely used environmental assessment method for buildings. Escalators and taps use sensors to ensure they only activate when needed, and the lighting control system has automatic presence detection and perimeter dimming to match daylight levels. The “green roof” holds back the flood of rainwater into London’s sewer system, provides a habitat for wildlife, reduces solar gain and enhances insulation. The building comprises approximately 20% recycled materials, has a highly specified building façade coupled with extensive heat recovery equipment and features an efficient cooling plant to keep emissions to almost 50% below average.
London recycles 72% of all internally generated waste up from 60% a year ago. London is aiming to achieve 85% recycling.
As of May, the London office began the process to gain our ISO 14001 environmental management system. We hope to achieve accreditation under the scheme by January 2013.
Spring 2012 Spotlight on Local Action
Our Chicago office achieved a Tier 1 ranking in the Chicago Green Office Challenge, the highest level possible in the Challenge.
The Green Office Challenge is a program designed to promote leadership in the environmental performance of downtown Chicago businesses. The 2011 Challenge resulted in a reduction of more than 124 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, the elimination of more than 85,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and diverted approximately 43% of waste from landfills.
Participating tenants in this year’s Challenge were evaluated through a “Green Office Scorecard” developed by International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (“ICLEI”), which included 50 green strategies related to five key office-related sectors: waste and recycling, energy, transportation, outreach and education, and property manager engagement.
Noteworthy achievements leading to our Tier 1 ranking include:
- Participating in the process that led to the LEED Platinum certification of the Hyatt Center, the building in which the Chicago office is located. Highlights of the building include facilities with water conserving devices such as faucet aerators and motion sensors; office occupancy sensors in private offices, a lighting control system in the open areas, internal and external bike parking, the sole use of environmentally friendly cleaning products, and a comprehensive recycling program.
- Conducting an energy audit resulting in the installation of energy efficient vending machines; more energy efficient light bulbs; and, where possible, ENERGY STAR rated equipment and appliances such as copiers/multifunctional devices and kitchen appliances.
- Reducing paper usage by tracking the use of copy paper on a monthly basis and implementing a pilot program to set new printers and new copiers to duplex printing—with a goal to reduce paper usage by 30 percent within the year. Approximately 50 percent of our copier fleet has been updated with the goal to default all new equipment to duplex printing.
- Replacing disposable cups, plates and utensils with ceramic mugs and utensils and plates that are made from recycled, decomposable material. We also discontinued the use of plastic water bottles for internal and external meetings, and provide pitchers of filtered water in our 30+ conference rooms.
- Implementing recycle programs for rechargeable and alkaline batteries and all technological waste, including computers, printers and any device containing an electronic board.
- Providing our employees with commuter benefits such as discounted membership and driving rates for I-GO, a non-profit car sharing service; transit fares at a pre-tax rate through WageWorks; and discounted shower access for bike riders through the building’s fitness center.
- Implementing a "Computer Shut Off" campaign, encouraging the practice of turning computers off upon departure from the office and working with our IT team to ensure faster start-up times from shut off mode.
- Participating annually in Earth Hour, turning off all non-essential lighting in the building.
- Sending regular communications with suggestions for sustainable living practices and local, national and global resources that promote and support such practices.