Beveridge & Diamond
 

Sustainability at Beveridge & Diamond

As one of the nation’s leading environmental law firms, it is natural that Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. would take a leadership role in the field of sustainability for law office management. In its offices across the country, Beveridge & Diamond is translating its values into action, improving the Firm’s sustainability and reducing its environmental impacts. Key examples of our sustainability efforts and accomplishments include:

Law Firm Sustainability Network (LFSN). Beveridge & Diamond serves as one of a handful of law firms on the LFSN Leadership Council. LFSN was founded in 2011 to develop key performance indicators, foster knowledge-sharing, develop best practice guidelines, and recognize innovation regarding environmental sustainability in law firms. Firm Principal and Green Team Chair Daniel Krainin serves as co-President of LFSN. B&D helped create the LFSN’s American Legal Industry Sustainability Standard (ALISS), a web-based tool designed to help law offices assess and improve their sustainability programs.

ABA-EPA Law Office Climate Challenge. Beveridge & Diamond’s commitment to the ABA-EPA Law Office Climate Challenge is another example of the Firm’s leadership on environmental and sustainability issues. The Climate Challenge is an environmental sustainability program geared towards law offices, developed by the ABA and EPA. Beveridge & Diamond became the first law firm in the country to commit to all three components of the ABA-EPA Law Office Climate Challenge for all of its offices nationwide. Two Beveridge & Diamond attorneys oversaw the design and implementation of the Climate Challenge, and one of them, Daniel Eisenberg, continues to serve as the primary contact for all firms participating in the program.

The Firm’s participation in the Climate Challenge entails specific commitments to three separate programs:

  • The Green Power Partnership (“GPP”), which promotes the use of renewable electricity (Beveridge & Diamond participates at the "Leadership" level; see B&D's Partner Profile);
  • Best Practices for Office Paper Management and EPA’s WasteWise program, which promote waste minimization, recycling and the use of recycled paper; and
  • Energy Star, which promotes energy efficiency and conservation.

In addition to its commitments under the Climate Challenge, Beveridge & Diamond has undertaken a comprehensive review of the Firm’s sustainability practices and has put in place a formal sustainability policy. The Firm has established a Green Team, consisting of at least one representative from each of the Firm’s offices, to oversee the Firm’s sustainability efforts. The Green Team includes lawyers, managers and other staff members.

The Green Team’s efforts have produced numerous opportunities for us to improve our environmental sustainability policies, from major firm-wide initiatives to the everyday actions of individual attorneys and staff members. In addition to our participation in LFSN and the ABA-EPA Climate Challenge, below are some of the steps taken to date by Beveridge & Diamond to improve the Firm’s environmental sustainability, and the results we have achieved:

  • The Firm has entered into an agreement to purchase 1,875 mWh of renewable energy certificates (RECs) annually for wind-generated electricity, reflecting 100 percent of the firm’s nationwide energy usage.
  • In all of its offices, the Firm is utilizing paper containing at least 30 percent post-consumer recycled content for all standard in-house printing and copying. Some offices are utilizing paper with 100 percent post-consumer recycled content.
  • Firm personnel are regularly encouraged to properly separate recyclable products and make full use of available recycling, including not only paper but toner cartridges, cardboard, plastics, batteries and other materials where possible.
  • The Firm has instituted a policy of double-sided copying and printing for drafts and internal documents with a goal of ensuring that at least half of all printing and copying in each office is double-sided.
  • The Washington office is located in a building that is certified LEED Gold and has earned the Energy Star designation from EPA based on its strong energy efficiency performance.
  • The Baltimore office is located in one of the first buildings in downtown Baltimore to receive LEED Gold certification.
  • The New York office (the only one of Beveridge & Diamond's offices that is individually metered for electricity) has reduced its electric usage by nearly 10% since implementing changes recommended by the Green Team.
  • The Baltimore office successfully initiated a recycling program that is available for all tenants of its 27-floor office building by enlisting the support of building management, and researching and locating an appropriate vendor. In August 2010, the office was registered with the Maryland Green Registry.
  • The San Francisco office has achieved a 25% energy savings by replacing light fixtures and bulbs with more efficient alternatives.
  • The Firm purchases computer equipment and appliances that are Energy Star compliant, meeting efficiency standards set by EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy. All of the Firm’s old computer equipment is donated for reuse or recycling.
  • The Firm’s computer monitors and hard drives are programmed to go into sleep mode after 30 minutes of inactivity, and printers do so after five minutes of inactivity.
  • The Firm holds sustainability-themed contests, fund-raisers, clean-ups or other events to commemorate Earth Day each year.
  • Beveridge & Diamond was a recipient of Bisnow's 2008 Green Leadership Award, recognizing the Firm for its efforts in promoting green consciousness and principles in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.

Relevant Articles

"3 Easy Ways for a Law Firm to Reduce its Environmental Footprint," BloombergBNA, April 2016

"Law Office Sustainability - The Next Generation", ABA Natural Resources & Environment, October 2015

"Law Firm Network Is Striving To Make It Easier To Be Green", New Jersey Law Journal, August 2013

"Firms Ditch Stacks of Paper for Digital Ease", NJBiz, July 2012

"Going Paperless Offers Benefits", NJBiz, July 2012

"The Sustainable Firm", The Environmental Forum, May 2012

Find Resources for Developing Green Policies”, ABA Partner Newsletter, December 2009

Ending the Paper Chase”, ABA Journal, January 2008

How Green Is My Law Firm? ”, LMA White Paper, November 2008 (posted with permission granted by the Legal Marketing Association, Glenview, IL)

Keen on Green”, New York Law Journal, October 2007