By Laurie E. Martin, Hoover Hull LLP
Emphasis on “going green” at home and in the workplace is nothing new, but some — perhaps lawyers in particular — can be slow to implement change. Legal businesses face unique challenges even if they are willing to embrace environmentally sound business practices. For instance, a firm wanting to “go paperless” must determine how to securely store client materials electronically in order to sever ties with bankers boxes of “hard copies” and rows of “paper files” on which law firms have so heavily relied in the past.
Yet legal businesses have significant opportunities to make positive changes for the environmental health of the community — changes which may simultaneously benefit firms’ bottom lines and marketing efforts in the long-run. To encourage and challenge legal businesses to engage in greener business practices, the IndyBar Go Green Committee, a subcommittee of the Young Lawyers Division, has launched the Green Legal Initiative.
Legal businesses can join the Green Legal Initiative by submitting a one-page application and pledge indicating that their business is committed to engaging in greener business practices. With the application or at any time after becoming a part of the initiative, members can choose to elevate their Green
Legal status by submitting an optional Green Business Practice Certification indicating compliance with specific green business practices in six categories: Water Conservation, Energy Conservation, Recycling, Waste and Paper Reduction, Purchasing, and Community Involvement.
Members submitting applications or certifications by September 1, 2012, will be recognized by the IndyBar at the annual Recognition Luncheon and on the IndyBar website, and will also be provided with the IndyBar Green Legal logo for print and electronic use. Members are also eligible for recognition by the
Indianapolis Bar Association Go Green Committee for outstanding achievement. Visit the Go Green link under the “Resources” tab on the IndyBar homepage for more information and to download the application and certification forms.
To kick off the Green Legal Initiative, the Go Green Committee is sponsoring a Drive-Thru E-Cycling event open to IndyBar members and the public, on Friday, August 24, 2012, from 8 a.m. to noon, at Computer Experts, 101 E. Michigan Street. IndyBar volunteers will accept business and household electronic waste — computers, scanners, printers, cell phones, microwaves, VCRs, DVD players, game systems, and other recyclables — for recycling by RecycleForce. Find a complete list of recyclable materials at http://www.recycleforce.org/recycling-services/materials-we-recycle.
In addition to operating the Green Legal Initiative, the Go Green Committee provides education and annual volunteer opportunities to IndyBar members. Visit the Go Green link under the IndyBar.org Resources tab to find the IndyBar Go Green Resource Guide, a source of information for Indianapolis area attorneys and law firms interested in “going green;” Local Go Green Links and Resources; and Green Tips from the IndyBar’s e-Bulletin electronic newsletter. Contact the IndyBar, Laurie Martin, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Sarah MacGill, email@example.com, if you are interested in additional information about the Go Green Committee, the Green Legal Initiative, or other upcoming events.•