At Lawson Lundell we are committed to environmental and social responsibility and to adopting measures aimed at reducing our environmental footprint, through waste reduction, energy efficiency and minimizing potential impacts on the environment. We have developed an Environmental Responsibility Program (ERP) for the firm. The ERP identifies measures and sets objectives for:
- paper reduction;
- waste reduction and recycling;
- environmentally responsible product purchases;
- increasing energy efficiency; and
- reducing our carbon footprint.
To reduce paper waste, we encourage better use of technology, favouring electronic records over paper, encouraging double-sided copying and printing (printing is double-sided by default), using electronic filing options for court documents and regulatory agencies, and encouraging use of email for communications.
We use confidential shredding services to securely recycle sensitive documents. We use recycling boxes to recycle other paper at each desk and work station, have containers for recycling of batteries, cans, newspapers, magazines and cardboard, supply water through dispensers rather than water bottles, and recycle binders, file folders and other stationery as well as used office furniture and equipment, including computer equipment. We also take part in a composting program that collects organic food waste from our lunchroom.
We consider reduced packaging when ordering supplies, give preference to energy efficient (Energy Star) appliances, computers, printers and other office equipment, and prioritize commitment to reducing packaging and waste when hiring outside suppliers as part of our efforts to ensure environmentally responsible product purchases.
As part of our commitment to energy efficiency, we retained Prism Engineering to conduct a detailed energy assessment at our Vancouver office. The energy assessment considered all office energy consumption including lighting, computer use, office and kitchen equipment, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). To reduce energy consumption, our building has automatic lighting systems programmed to shut off during non‑business hours (lawyers working late can dial in to a program to enable lighting in specific sectors of the office), and our air conditioning systems are programmed to shut off automatically after regular business hours (and then only activated when necessary). We have implemented lighting efficiency improvements at work stations and more efficient operation of our meeting room lights. These measures have reduced our electrical energy consumption by approximately 18%.
To reduce our carbon footprint, we encourage video conferencing as an alternative to travel, where appropriate, and we replaced our parking privileges for associates with an expense allowance, which enables associates to elect the use of public transit. Our Vancouver office is located close to transportation hubs and stations for buses, SkyTrain and the West Coast Express.