Saving the planet feels good…but does it feel as good as saving money? It turns out you can do both at the same time, according to IndyBar member Rick Mann, who heads up his own small firm in Indianapolis. Richard A. Mann PC was recognized for its outstanding efforts to go green in 2012 through the IndyBar’s Green Legal Initiative, which encourages firms, agencies and legal departments to adopt greener business practices.
“There are things that people can do that will save them money,” says Rick, who notes that he does have greater flexibility because he owns his own building. Several measures, though, can be applied from a big firm down to a solo practitioner.
Here are just a few ways Rick does it:
Cutting down on paper use not only saves trees, it saves on thousands of dollars spent on cups, plates and paper. Rick’s office uses ceramic or glass dishware, and they have dramatically cut down on paper usage by duplexing copies, using sheets that have been printed on only one side for scrap paper, and transmitting electronic files to and from clients by using an online service called YouSendIt. The result? They’re buying just 20-percent of what they used to purchase in paper.
There’s another benefit to online file storage and electronic file transmission—there’s no need to pay for additional space for storage of hard copies, plus postage costs have been reduced dramatically.
Going green can mean increasing efficiency: Because files are stored on the office server, there’s no need for staff to pull and replace files all day, saving on payroll costs.
You know that turning the lights off can reduce your electricity bill, but did you know that low energy/high efficiency lightbulbs emit less heat, reducing the strain on your air conditioner? Rick notes that he’s doubled the size of his office, yet the electricity bill is still less than it was in the 90s, thanks to energy saving measures.
Are you inspired by Rick’s planet—and cost-saving measures? Get your firm or business Green Legal Certified by visiting http://www.indybar.org/resources/go-green to access information about the program and applications for 2013. Don’t delay! Applications are due September 15, 2013. Participating firms will be recognized at the bar’s Recognition Luncheon on November 14.•