The Law Firm Sustainability Network (LFSN) recently launched the American Legal Industry Sustainability Standards to measure law firms’ efforts to become greener by reducing consumption and boosting efficiency.
“The Law Firm Sustainability Network … found that there were really only small piecemeal programs in existence, such as those through the Environmental Protection Agency and the American Bar Association,” said Peter Masaitis, partner in Alston & Bird’s Litigation Group and co-president of the Law Firm Sustainability Network.
“We didn’t model it after Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) per se, but the thought was that the tool would ultimately be useful in the same way that LEED is for design and allow firms that have significantly invested in their sustainability to be recognized by virtue of obtaining a high ranking, but also to give firms a sort of road map for where they can improve.”
Asked about common areas for improvement, Masaitis focused on two general categories that are the biggest consumers of energy: lighting and appliances, including computer equipment.
“One of the projects we put on for LFSN is to explain the creation of virtual servers, as a way of compressing a firm’s computer system onto fewer servers that consumer less electricity. But beyond things like that, just having a policy in place where the firm only uses appliances have a high energy star rating, there’s the fact that, even if you’re not doing a full office renovation, you can do a lighting retro-fit program, and take advantage of a rebate program to offset a certain amount of that cost.”