First law firm in the UK to be awarded top green credentials from BSI
17 June 2008, News release from BSI Management Systems
International law firm Taylor Wessing has become the first legal practice in the UK to be awarded ISO 14001 environmental certification from BSI Management Systems.
The firm has proven its green credentials by becoming one of only a very few professional practices in the UK to be awarded the internationally accepted standard to date.
Taylor Wessing, which has a headcount of 667 in the UK, has implemented new green practices at its London headquarters and is now hoping to expand this to its other nine European offices.
"Carbon offsetting is fine insofar as it goes, but in a way it is a bit of a cop-out. We wanted to take a far more proactive approach to environmental issues", said Partner and Chair of Taylor Wessing's Environmental Awareness Committee Simon Walker. "The whole firm really got behind the decision to go for BSI certification and when we realised that we had achieved it everyone was delighted."
In fact, the partners were so pleased with the support of employees that everyone within the practice was presented with a low energy light bulb as a small token of their appreciation.
ISO 14001 is an international standard that specifies a process for controlling and improving an organisation's environmental performance, and the rigorous assessment process helped Taylor Wessing identify and implement new greener work practices.
Mr Walker said: "We have taken practical measures such as banning air travel for people attending internal meetings in Paris and Brussels. They now use the train or make more use of internet conferencing."
The firm is seeing a consistent reduction in its monthly electricity bills by staff switching off photocopiers, computer screens and lights when they leave the premises, and all waste is now either recycled or disposed of in accordance with the relevant environmental legislation."
In terms of practice within the office environment, Mr Walker recognises that law firms have traditionally been heavily dependent on printed documents, but this is being reduced by introducing double-sided printers, reviewing what actually needs to be printed, and moving to an e-filing system.
He added: "It has taken us several months to complete the assessment process, but it has definitely been worth it. Having the certification gives assurance to our clients that we are doing all we can to minimise our impact on the environment, and gives us a competitive edge when talking to potential clients."
BSI Management Systems spokesperson, Vicki Gomersall said to date few professional practices have achieved the certification, and said this is a significant achievement for Taylor Wessing.
She added: "We know that organisations implementing ISO 14001 experience many benefits including improved profits through operational efficiencies and reduced costs."
For more details about BSI accreditation visit www.bsi-global.com
For further information please email BSI Management Systems