Working collaboratively to promote sustainable practice across the legal sector

GreenThemes Newsletters

  • 09 February 2015 5:00 PM | Anonymous member
    What energy efficient law firms are doing and how to buy stuff

    In this newsletter:

    Energy Efficiency in law firms Energy Case Study Up Next: Procurement
    • Lighting
    • Office Equipment
    • Office Procedures
    • Stretch Target for KWM
    • Answer our 10 second survey
    • Join the sustainability champions to talk about sustainable procurement
    After talking, sharing and reading about energy efficiency during the last few months, what did we learn?

    Energy Efficiency from our Sustainability Champions
    Recent meetings of our Sustainability Champions' Networks revealed that firms are implementing or have implemented the following energy savings initiatives:

    • Replacing T8 lamps with more efficient T5 lamps 
    • Replacing halogen downlights with more efficient LEDs (or dichroic halogens)
    • Timer and Sensor lighting
    • Zoned lighting, particularly for after hours 
    • Designing floors with offices away from windows or offices with transparent walls to maximise natural light
    Office Equipment
    • Replacing desktop computers with laptops (or even tablets)
    • Autoshutdown of computers 
    • Powersave modes or overnight powerdown for all equipment - printers, faxes, drinks fridges, water heaters/coolers, coffee machines, vending machings, (particularly after 7pm)
    Office Procedures
    • Induction processes: including  expectations for turning off, proper recycling, etc 
    • Meeting rooms: keeping doors shut when not in use to minimise cooling 
    • Meeting rooms: turning off lighting and cooling (early preparation of rooms in advance of scheduled meetings allows the temp to equilibrate)

     Case Study: Stretch Targets for KWM

    King and Wood Mallesons' Melbourne office have set themselves an aspirational target to reduce electricity use by 30% in the 12 months to June 2015. The strategy seems to be working as data estimates they have gone beyond the 20% mark already. More... 
     (member login required)
    "Suppliers to the NAB Group must adopt...sustainability principles to actively manage sustainability risks when dealing with their own key suppliers"
     NAB Supplier Sustainability Principles

    What is your firm doing about Sustainable Procurement?

    Answer our 10 Second Survey to help AusLSA identify how we can help Members meet these  expectations from clients and improve their corporate responsibility. 

    Sustainability Champions' Networks

    The AusLSA Sustainability Champions' Networks this quarter will be focussing on sustainable procurement. We will be joined by sustainable supply chain specialists from EY who will be able to answer all your questions about taking your supply chain strategy to the next level of sustainability. 

    Sydney Melbourne  Brisbane 
     Thursday 21 May

    Hosted by

    Wednesday 6 May

    Hosted by

    Friday 22 May

    Hosted by
    Copyright © 2015 Australian Legal Sector Alliance

  • 18 December 2014 4:48 PM | Anonymous member

    AusLSA GreenThemes: Waste
    In this Issue:
     *  Harder to recyclable items  - a list of items being recycled at Australian law firms
     *   Recycling Go/No Go - a quick summary of what can and can't be recycled  
     *  Product Stewardship - buying the right product can simplify its end of life  
     *  Food - Food storage tips to reduce food waste  

    According to the 2014 AusLSA Report, AusLSA Member law firms have increasing facilities for recycling - this year the provision of organic waste facilities increased by more than 30%. It is also great to hear that building managers are taking a more pro-active approach, facilitating more recycling and even producing waste reports for tenants.

    But what more can we do? What else can we recycle? How do we recycle more of what we have?

     Harder to recycle items
    Law firms are recycling many things other than standard paper, plastic, glass, metal and organics. At our recent Sustainability Champions Networks we generated this list of harder to recycle items being repurposed in Australian law firms.

     Food    OzharvestBokashi bins
     Mobile phones    Mobile Muster or your local Zoo
     Spectacles    Lions Recycle for Sight and Rotary
     Work attire    Dressed for Success Fitted for work - workplace clothing swaps
     Printer cartridges    Close the Loop
     Lever Arch Files    Admiral Plastics (NSW) recycles their own lever arch files. 
     Electronic Waste    GiveNowTechCollect
     Batteries    Close the Loop
     Light globes    Fluorocycle - signatory program that facilitates fluorescent light recycling
     Furniture    Charities, staff auctions (for charity)
     Letterhead    Remade into A5 notebooks
     Computers    Donated to charities, schools, staff. Staff auction (for charity)
     Books    Workplace book swap  

    GiveNow   Provides a list of charities that accept donations 'other than money' including furniture, electrical, food, et al.

    Good360   Social Enterprise that helps companies to re-purpose office furniture and equipment by connecting businesses that have goods with charities who need them. 

    Reverse Garbage (NSW) 

      A community organisation that promotes reuse of items
    GreenCollect (VIC)    A social enterprise that collects office waste for re-use, upcycling and recycling. 

    Planet Ark Business Recycling   Good searchable database of recycling options.
    Givit   GIVIT is a grassroots charity that connects those in need with those willing to give.

     Recycling: Go - No Go
    What can or can't be recycled is often difficult to define, largely because it depends upon the facilities in each council. Generally, the guidelines below will apply, but please check with your local council if you have any questions.  

       Go No Go 
    Paper /
    • Envelopes (even those with windows)
    • Small amounts of food residue (eg empty pizza box)
    • Manila folders
    • Phone books
    • Newspapers and magazines
    • Staples and sticky tape are OK, but better it is better if they are removed. 

    • Waxed Cardboard - the wax doesn't dissolve
    • Tissues, paper towel and serviettes - are too weak for paper recycling (but can go in Organic!)

    •  Plastics labelled 1 -3 (definitely) and probably those labelled 4 - 6 
    • Bottle Lids
    • Liquids - OHS risk for waste staff
    • Soft plastics - bags, cling film - they get caught up in conveyor belts
    • Polystyrene
    • Plant pots - fertiliser contamination

    • Aluminium drink cans
    • Tin/Steel food cans
    • Small amounts of food residue
    • Aluminium food trays
    • Aerosol containers
    • Large balls of foil
    • Food remnants - it contaminates the trucks and facilities. But things don't have to be spotless. 
    • Coat hangers, pots, pans
    • Small pieces of Aluminium foil - but you can collect it together into a ball and then recycle it!

    • Drinking bottles
    • Food bottles
    • Leaving the labels on is OK

    • Other types of glass - drinking glasses, light bulbs, mirrors, windows - have different melting temps and contaminate recycled glass. 
    • Broken glass - waste is often sorted by hand
    • Lids
    • Liquid/Food stuffs
    • Food waste
    • Paper and cardboard heavily contaminated with food waste
    • Paper tissues, towel and serviettes
    • Meat, dairy, liquids - makes things smelly.
    • Onion, garlic, citrus - depending on composting method as worms don't like these. 
    Please note this is a guide only and tries to represent what is common practice in Australia...general disclaimers apply. 

     Product Stewardship
    Product Stewardship places more onus on producers to manage the impact of their products over the entire lifecycle of the product, not just during their manufacture. Examples include, South Australia's bottle deposit scheme.  Purchasing products that have good product stewardship from their manufacturers, can extend their lifespan and simplify disposal at end of life.  

    Here are a few examples - 
    Office equipment   FujiXerox have an zero waste policy including 'end of life'. Their resource recovery centre remanufactures or recycles 97% of products, printer cartridges. 

    Coffee pods   Nespresso Capsule Coffe Brigade recycle the plastic, coffee grounds and aluminium in coffee pods. 

     E-waste   - TechCollect - An organisation established by the technology industry to recycle e-waste, particularly TVs and computers.
    - Mobile Muster An organisation established by the mobile communications industry to recycle e-waste

    Carpets   InterfaceOntera and Cavalier Bremworth all have recycling schemes for their products

    Jeans   Nudie jeans offers a free of charge repair service (or will send you a repair kit)

    And in the spirit of Christmas - which is all about over-indulgence, isn't it? - here are some tips to reduce your food wastage. 

    Food Waste   According to this fantastic infographic, each year, Australia wastes:
    • $8 Billion worth of food equivalent to 4,000,000 tonnes
    • 345kg of food per household costing over $1000
    • 20% of all food purchased
    So what can you do to reduce food waste? Buy less is the first step.  But there is more.
    Check out these tips for food storage:
    • Store leafy greens and soft cut herbs in a vase
    • Cut up melon and put in a container
    • Store carrots, cucumbers, broccoli in separate containers

    Still Tasty
      This website provides useful info on best before and use-by dates and makes an important distinction between safety and quality. For example, frozen meat is safe to keep and eat indefinitely, the 3-6month recommendation is only about quality. 

    The site also provides some great tips on storage - did you know that rice, honey, white vinegar, cornflour, sugar and liquor NEVER go off??

  • 19 June 2014 4:27 PM | Anonymous member

    GreenThemes: Travel

    In this issue
    ~   Results of our Travel Management Survey ~  Walking the Great Wall at Cornwalls
    ~  Using virtual meetings for clients ~
     Other ideas to get active at work
     Carbon Offsetting ~
     Preparing to Pursue Paper
    Travel Survey    
    At the start of our quarter on Travel, we wanted to find out how Australian law firms are managing business travel. The first round of responses have allowed us to produce a report. Here is what we found: 
    • 33% of respondents are now using virtual meeting technologies to meet with clients, but 90% of firms agree that virtual meetings can't replace the value of a good ol' face-to-face meeting. 
    • Some simple education and training programs on virtual technologies would be very effective in increasing use of virtual meeting technologies because habit and lack of knowledge and understanding were identified as key barriers. 
    • 45% of firms don't have a travel policy and/or procedure, implying that they are not effectively managing their travel budgets or emissions.
    You still have time to contribute to the survey - submit your responses now.

    This survey has provided an initial overview of travel management practices in the legal sector and will help us drill down into some interesting issues in the future. 
    [Full report available only to AusLSA Members - login required]
    Virtual client meetings

      Client demand is often cited as a reason lawyers need to travel and of course face to face meetings are going to be an integral component of the lawyer-client relationship.

    But virtual technologies are constantly improving and businesses are becoming more familiar with how best to exploit the functionality.

    So what are the opportunities of teleconferencing and webconferencing for clients? 

    Asking a lawyer to travel involves a significant cost to the client - flights, taxis, accommodation, etc.. And it is unlikely the full cost is passed on to the client, especially when the disruption to the lawyer's work time is taken into account.
    Meetings for which travel is required take a lot of time; the lead time to arrange the travel as well as the time taken in transit. A virtual meeting can be arranged at short notice enabling lawyers to be more responsive and actually spend more time working on the matter for the client. 

    So virtual meetings can provide clients with more cost-effective and responsive representation. 
    And clearly some clients are interested in using virtual meetings as our Travel Survey indicated that about a third of law firms are now holding virtual meeting with clients.

    Perhaps it is time to offer clients a variety of meeting options?
    Carbon offsetting
    Carbon offsetting provides a great opportunity to turn your firm's emissions from necessary travel into a good news story especially for travel emissions which are proving difficult to reduce. 

    Climate Friendly is offering AusLSA Members some great discounts on Carbon Offsets making it even more attractive.  And you can also use their FlightPortal to monitor and report on your firm's travel
     - More info

    Find out more about Offsetting:  Webinar catchup
    An overview of how to turn your flight's carbon emissions into positive social and environmental outcomes. Watch it here 
    [Full report available only to AusLSA Members - login required]

    Walking the Great Wall at work                  

      Cornwall Stodart is following the AusLSA GreenThemes in their workplace and for our Travel Quarter they focussed on staff commuting. One campaign was a daily steps walking competition.

    Practice groups were invited to form a team of five. Daily steps were tracked using a mobile phone app (“Pacer’’) or pedometers (purchased by individuals).  Cycling distances could also be included with a conversion into steps.

    The target for the firm as a whole was to walk the Wall of China, or approximately 11 million steps, and are well on the way to walking the entire length of the Wall, plus some of the way back! Plus the campaign was incredibly effective at raising awareness of general activity levels and health. 

    Other ideas to get active at work  
     Preparing to Pursue Paper;
    the next AusLSA GreenTheme 
    The Pursuit of Paperless is always a popular topic amongst law firms and it is our next GreenTheme. AusLSA would love to share your ideas and campaigns that have helped to increase paper efficiency and awareness of paper use. What has your law firm done?

    Please tell us by send an email or by completing the AusLSA Paper Practices Survey

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  • 02 April 2014 4:20 PM | Anonymous member

    GreenThemes: Travel
    Dear {Contact_First_Name}

    As we enter Quarter 2 in our GreenThemes program focusing on Travel, lets find out how travel is managed.  Below are two surveys; one to find out what law firms are doing with their travel practices and policies, and another to find out how law firm staff feel about travel.

    Please take 2min to complete a survey on your firm's travel practices and help AusLSA report on how Australian law firms manage travel. 

    There's also some suggestions for broader benefits for reducing travel and don't miss our webinar on offsetting travel (to reduce the environmental impact of the flights you have to take).

    From AusLSA Reporting we have learned that reducing travel is the legal sector's most intractable source of emissions. It's clear that some travel is necessary, but it's also clear that we could all be doing much more to find ways around it. So ask yourself, what more can be done at our firm to reduce travel this quarter?

    Don't forget to look at the GreenThemes website for more travel ideas!
    Travel Survey    
    By answering just 10 questions, taking just 2min, you will help AusLSA prepare a report on the policies and practices for business travel in the Australian legal sector.

    Want to find out a bit more about how other firms are managing travel? Submit your answers now.

    Staff Travel Survey
      The AusLSA Staff Travel Survey aims to capture how law firm staff travel to the office as well as to meetings and how they feel about it. Is travelling for work a perk? or is something detestable?

    Distribute the survey throughout your firm and AusLSA will prepare a report on staff travel for your firm!

    Benefits of not flying
    It's not all about saving carbon, or even about saving direct costs. What are some of the other benefits from reducing the number of flights taken by your firm?
    1. Time. Although a flight between Melbourne and Sydney only takes an hour, when you add on getting to the airport, waiting for the flight, boarding, disembarking, waiting for luggage and getting to your meeting it can take more than 3hrs. A return flight MEL-SYD takes up more than 6hrs.
    2. Productivity. While people might be able to read or write a few emails in the waiting time, much of it is just waiting, in queues: that's 6+ hours of work time that has been lost.  
    3. Illness. Viruses love plane travel. 'Nuff said. 
    4. Indirect costs. Taxis to/from airport. Meals. Accommodation. It costs a bomb. 
    5. Stress. Travel is exhausting and stressful, also making people more susceptible to Illness (see above). 
    6. Risk. When people travel for work it undoubtedly increases the risks they face, but doesn't diminish your firm's duty of care. 
    Makes learning how to use webconferencing a great idea!

    Carbon offsetting for travel: Webinar
    For the foreseeable future, flying for business will be necessary. While every business could do more to reduce the number of flights taken, we can also take steps to mitigate the impact of those necessary flights. This webinar will provide an overview of offsetting flights, the positive impacts and benefits that offsetting can have and a number of options for offsetting (including ticking the offsetting box on the flight booking).

    Alex Stathakis (CitySwitch) and Justin Pilgrim (Climate Friendly) will provide all the information you need to turn your flight's carbon emissions into positive social and environmental outcomes.

    AusLSA Events
     Thursday 3 April  Webinar: Offsetting Travel
     Wednesday 7 May  Sydney Sustainability Champions Network
     Tuesday 13 May  Melbourne Sustainability Champions Network
     Tuesday 20 May  Perth Sustainability Champions Network
     TBA  Brisbane Sustainability Champions Network
     TBA  Adelaide Sustainability Champions Network


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  • 31 March 2014 4:23 PM | Anonymous member

    Energy Issue: Quarter 1 GreenThemes

    This is the last newsletter for Quarter 1 on Energy. Here are a few more ideas from GreenThemes to get you and your colleagues involved in a last ditch effort - 
    More ideas below, or check the GreenThemes website.

    Power savings from Power Boards
    How many electronic devices do you use near your desk?
    • Computer
    • Monitor
    • Phone charger
    • Tablet charger
    • Lamp
    • Fan, heater, etc
    Many of these still use power when switched off unless they are turned off at the wall. But even the greenest amongst us aren't going to scramble under our desks each morning and evening to reach the switch. 

    A powerboard with an on/off switch makes doing the right thing easy. You can do this at home too and save up to 10% of your energy bill. 

    Productivity gains from lighting
    The Green Building Council of Australia also promotes the less tangible benefits of going green. Studies suggest that good ventilation and good lighting can increase staff productivity by up to 23%. That is an extraordinary opportunity to improve your firm's business. 

    Find out more about lighting by watching VECCI's lighting webinars

    AusLSA has started a webinar series to capture Membership knowledge. AusLSA Members will present on their sustainability programs and achievements detailing the crucial factors that enabled success. Each session will be recorded and posted for Members on the AusLSA website, so you can participate live or catchup at your convenience.

    How we won a CitySwitch Award: Wallmans 
    David Dercho, Client Development Manager will outline why and how Wallmans Lawyers in Adelaide became CitySwitch's New Signatory of the Year.  
    PowerDown at Clayton Utz (Melbourne)
    Jason Molin, Operations Manager, explained how their Footprints Committee managed a reduction in electricity use by 50% over 6 years with very minimal investment.

    Quarter 2: Travel 
    Start getting ready to focus on our next theme, Travel, during Quarter 2.  AusLSA's mantra for reducing travel is eliminate, substitute, combine. 

    Many law firms have significantly reduced the costs of travel by simply changing the approval process for staff travel to enhance oversight ensuring all travel is necessary. 
    • Action: Review your firm's travel policy
    Go online, not the airport. 
    Webinar and videoconferencing platforms have come a long way and can replace the need for some travel. Many employees aren't aware of how good it can be. Did you know that many systems allow live document sharing? This allows you to work on a document with you remote colleagues at the same time!
    • Action: Organise a training or trial session of your firm's online meeting platform. 
    • Action: Introduce regular webconferencing training sessions, or include training as part of induction. 
    If you have to go, make the most of it. Organise a few more meetings while you are away. You could even visit another AusLSA Member for a coffee! Ask Emily for an introduction.

       In this issue
    o Powerboards
    o  Lighting increasing productivity
    Winning a CitySwitch Award
    PowerDown at Clayton Utz
    Earth Hour reminder
    Coming up next quarter: Travel
    AusLSA Events

    Earth Hour 
    8.30pm 29 March 2014
    Don't forget to switch off at home and at the office!
    Spiderman's switch off campaign

    Watch this video about the production of the new Spiderman movie and how a Sustainability Champion helped make sustainability a key feature of the production. 

     AusLSA Events
    Sustainability Champions Networks
    Offsetting Travel
    Webinar - 3 April 2014

    Sustainability Snapshot
    Friday 21 March - Wallmans: Winning a CitySwitch Award

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  • 31 January 2014 4:18 PM | Anonymous member

    GreenThemes: Energy Ideas
    In the FY2013 AusLSA Report 17 of 26 firms reported electricity reductions since the previous year. It's not too late to make an impact to your electricity use this year; even small changes can have big impacts. 

    The GreenThemes Q1 program is looking at Energy and here are suggestions for things you could do to improve your firm's energy efficiency. Think about:
    • refreshing or posting signs to remind people to Switch off
    • posting a video (like the Earth Hour one below) to your intranet
    • watching a webinar about lighting to see if your lighting could be more efficient
    • asking your operational staff about server virtualisation
    • making sure your firm has organised to participate in Earth Hour
    VECCI and Carbon Compass are currently running a series on lighting from basics, through technologies to grants. You can catch up by watching the recordings or join the final seminar next week. 
    Switch-off campaigns
       Switching off is the easiest way to save electricity (and money!). The trick is establishing new habits. Remind your colleagues to flick the switch with these signs available to download from Carbon Compass. 

    PC monitors
    Monitors use the majority (up to 80%) of your computer's power and turning off the monitor is so quick and easy that there are really no excuses. Attach some of these labels to your colleague's monitors.

    Drinks Fridge
    Does your firm (or home) have fridges just for drinks? How about using a 24-hour timer to turn the fridge off overnight when you don't need icy cold beverages

    Christmas Day
    Greensense monitored energy usage in buildings on Christmas day and found that many offices used as much energy as per a usual work day despite everyone being at home eating seafood and opening gifts. Do you reschedule your office lights, equipment and building automation for public holidays?
    Earth Hour - use your power: 29 March 2014
    The new campaign for Earth Hour 2014 will be released tomorrow. Subscribe for updates, sign up to the campaign, download tools and participate with 7000 cities and 154 countries across the world.

    The Earth Hour videos are always immensely inspiring and a great quick video to share or show to your colleagues. This one shows Earth Hour Sydney in 2012. As you will see there are still offices with lights switched on! Make sure your office isn't one this year. 

    Earth Hour calendar reminder

    Power save mode
    Most office equipment have power save modes - computers, monitors, faxes, printers,etc... Good power saving settings can save hundreds of KWh of electricity per year without any frustrations for staff.  

    Have a think about how each device is used and investigate what saving settings are possible. You could set: 
    • computer monitors to sleep after 5min and hibernate after 20min
    • printers to go to sleep at 8pm and wakeup at 7am. 
    Measuring energy usage
    Measuring your energy use is vital is you want to know if your efforts are successful. A plugin energy monitor will let you know immediately how much electricity single appliances draw when in use or turned off. 
    Calculate the savings when turning off your computer and monitor each day and extrapolate for your entire fleet. Example of a plugin Energy Monitor.
    Server Virtualisation
    IT servers use a lot of energy and produce a lot of heat (requiring A/C). Virtualising servers can drastically reduce the electricity required. Most firms have already virtualised their servers (and now thinking about cloud-based services). If your firm hasn't yet, you can learn how to do it from other AusLSA Members - see the Virtualisation Case-studies. 

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  • 06 December 2013 4:16 PM | Anonymous member

    Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
    Waste audits are NOT a waste of time

    Case-Study: In 2007 Clayton Utz Melbourne carried out a waste audit with the help of Green Collect. The audit involved a 24 hour sample of the office waste and showed the following;

    • 60% of the waste was paper related;
    • 25% could have been recycled and;
    • only 15% was really landfill waste.
    Overall the amount of waste going to landfill per floor each night was 480 litres.

    As a result of the audit, a number of 120 litre co-mingled recycling bins were introduced throughout the tenancy and the standard waste bin under the desk was replaced with a 3 in 1 bin solution. The 3 in 1 bin encouraged easy co-mingled and paper recycling whilst reducing landfill. Another waste audit was carried out in 2008 after the changes were implemented and it showed;
    • 0% of paper was going to landfill;
    • 10% of waste was still recyclable;
    • 10% was organic (a commercial kitchen was introduced in late 2007) and;
    • 80% was considered landfill;
    Overall the amount of waste going to land fill per floor each night had reduced to 48 litres (or 90% less than the amount going to landfill per floor in 2007).

    Spot waste audits are still carried out and pleasingly the good results have continued well after the changes were introduced.


    Some ideas being used in law firms to the environmental impact of food
    • Reduce catering orders and portion sizes by 30%
    • Encourage use of 'Tentative' meeting responses and then confirm attendance
    • Sending meeting reminders prompts attendance updates
    • Meat-free Mondays even once a month (the Norwegian Army does it every week!). Livestock produce nearly 15% of all greenhouse gases
    According to Ronni Kahn, CEO of OzHarvest, 1 million Australian children go to school without breakfast or to bed without dinner. 

    At the same time, Australians waste $8billion worth of food each year, or 20% of all food purchased. 

    OzHarvest can collect your firm's surplus catering (even 10 sandwiches!) and distribute them to hungry people. They have even addressed the liability issues with donated food. 
    24% of Aussies use a wormfarm or compost bin instead, 10% feed food waste to chooks (or other livestock) and 13% use a council food waste scheme.

    Bokashi bins are an easy and non-smelly way to quick compost your food scraps if you don't have other options. 

    Food and other organic waste rots in landfill produces methane which is 25X worse than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.  

    It's estimated that each person will generate 400kg of electronic waste in their lifetime and currently most ends up in landfill. This wastes non-renewable resources such as gold, steel, copper, zinc aluminium as well as water, oil and energy. 

    The National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme promoted the recycling of 40,000 tonnes of e-waste in 2013 and aims to recycle 80% of all ewaste by 2022. TechCollect and Planet Ark provide details on where and how you can recycle your ewaste. 

    Recycling Revolution
    Do you want some facts & figures to support your recycling programs? More guidance on how to recycle specific items? 

    Have a look at Planet Ark's Recycling Revolution website and report for info like:
    • only 4% of batteries are recycled in Australia - ALDI & Battery World outlets provide facilities
    • introduce or promote recycling at your workplace with help from the business recycling toolkit
    • Plastic bags usually can't go in recycling as they can break the sorting machines, but Coles Supermarkets collect them for recycling. 

       This Issue
     + Waste Audits
     + Food 
     + Technology
     + Recycling Revolution 
     + Get ready: Energy

    See the full list of ideas and resources on the AusLSA GreenThemes website

     AusLSA Events 2014
    Sydney Champions Network 
    Wed 6 Feb

    Wednesday 12 Feb

    Webinar: Offsetting Travel
    Thurs 3 April

    Webinar: Moving to the Cloud at Lavan Legal
    Thurs 6 March

    Training: Intro to Procurement and Sustainability
    Webinar series
    Feb - March 2013 (TBC)

    Brisbane Champions Network
    Feb 2013 (TBC)

    Perth Champions Network 
    Feb 2013 (TBC)

    Adelaide Champions Network
    March 2013 (TBC)

    The Challenge of Changing Behaviour
    It is far easier to do again what we have done before, than it is to do something better. 
    So, make the new habit the easier option and explain why it is worth the effort.

    Green Themes 2014 
    Q1: Energy 

    Burning the midnight oil
    29 March 2014

    Join the global collective of Earth Hours - 152 countries, 7000 towns/cities - and run a switch off campaign at your office. 
    • Ask security/cleaners to make sure office lights are off for Earth Hour
    • Encourage staff to participate at home.
    • Hold a competition for a candlelit dinner
    • Use Earth Hour as a platform for ongoing change and switch off every night.
    The Earth Hour website also some fantastic videos to help you inspire your staff. 

    PC Monitors use up to 80% of the energy of the entire machine making them an easy target for energy savings.
    • Power saver settings on  computers can save up to 50% of PC energy usage. Set the monitor to turn off after 3min of inactivity. 
    • Turning on and off the monitor is quick and responsive, so there should be fewer complaints from staff when asked to do so.
    • Laptops  are generally more energy efficient than desktops and are more mobile. 

    Download some Switch-off stickers and posters from the Carbon Trust.  

    Office buildings consume approx 55% of their energy footprint during vacant hours (which is  approx 72% of the time). 

    GreenSense have produced an Out of Hours Guide that provides facts, figures and advice on how to reduce out of hours energy. 

    A Night Audit as suggested by the CitySwitch program involves an office walk around after or before staff are at work. Note the PCs left running, perhaps including a reward or an anti-reward.  

    Conduct an audit before and after your Switch-off Campaign. 
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  • 18 October 2013 4:13 PM | Anonymous member


    do one thing well
    An excellent way to make progress is to focus on one thing at a time and do it well. 

    AusLSA has developed Green Themes, a resource to help you focus your greening efforts at your firm on one material impact at a time.

    We've started a website with a bunch of ideas to get you motivated and inspired and hope that you will contribute your favourite ideas. 

    We suggest a new theme each quarter as it gives you enough time to create change without getting bored.

    We also encourage you to adopt the same theme as AusLSA and the firms involved in developing the resource: Clayton Utz, Jackson McDonald, Maddocks, Allens, Kemp Strang and Slater & Gordon. 

    Each quarter we will be sending out more ideas, more resources and reminding you to focus on a green theme.

     Be part of the movement to green the Australian Legal Sector!

    Q4: WASTE
    Our first theme is Waste and Recycling to make the most of:
     water ideas
    Problems with disposable water bottles
    • millions of litres of water and oil to manufacture
    • extensive transportation costs
    • only 36% are recycled in Aus
    • cost 1500X more than tap 
    Encourage the use of Tap Water:
    • Use refillable bottles in meeting rooms - you can even have logos printed on them
    • Install water purifiers or even a sparkling water dispenser so you can have filtered, bubbly water
    recycling ideas 
    Most law firm offices provide good recycling facilities. But how you get staff to recycle correctly? And the rules seem to be constantly changing!

    Recycling capability is dependent upon your local waste management services and will therefore differ site to site.  

    I didn’t know I could recycle that! (from provides a great list of what is recyclable and also includes location-specific guides for ACT, NSW, Sydney,QLD, SATASVIC (Sorry WA and NT : guides not available). 
    more ideas...


    Law firms use quite a lot of catering. To reduce food waste:
    1. Monitor surplus catering and reduce order sizes if possible,
    2. Provide leftovers to staff,
    3. Donate food to redistribution charities:

    Collect and redistribute prepared food from professional caterers, including one-off events, in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Newcastle.

    Second Bite

    Collect and distribute surplus fresh produce.


    When organic materials decompose in landfill, they produce methane.

    Methane is more than 20 times worse than CO2 as a greenhouse gas. 

    The solution?
    Divert organic materials (food, soiled paper, etc) from landfill into compost and organic waste streams. The nutrients can be recovered and reused rather than turned into methane emissions. 
    ·  Q4: Waste
    ·  Water saving ideas
    ·  Recycling ideas
    ·  Food Waste

    Coming soon:
    Q1 2014
    We'll be preparing for
    ·  Earth Hour: 29 March
    ·  Switching off!
    ·  PC Shutdown software
    ·  Lighting 
    ·  Efficient Equipment

    Green Themes 
        ENERGY: Q1
    Night audits, Powerboards, switch off pledges, Green Power.

        TRAVEL: Q2
    Public Transport, Conferencing, Ride to work, offsetting, 
    Bike/Car Share Schemes

        PAPER: Q3
    Office competitions, Tree planting, E-Journal subscriptions,  Trial new paper processes

        WASTE: Q4
    KeepCups, Office attire recycling, Collections of batteries, mobile phones

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  • 07 July 2013 4:30 PM | Anonymous member

    GreenThemes: Paper

    In this issue
    ~   Paper Management Survey ~  Saving Paper at home
    ~  Paper facts and Resources ~
     AusLSA Events
     Environmental Impacts of Paper
    In 1975, the head of FujiXerox Research predicted that the Paperless Office would be the norm within 20 years (ref). Nearly 40 years on, the introduction of electronic documents has merely fuelled the use of paper (one recent report calculated an annual growth rate of 25% for paper use by an average company).

    In the Australian legal sector, each person uses an average of 122kg of paper each year (and that is down by 11% since 2010!). See the AusLSA Report. 

    While there are definite advantages to using paper and there are also impacts from greater use of electronic devices, there is clearly scope for the legal sector to use less paper. Australian government employees use nearly 3 times less paper than legal!

    So with the start of our Paper focussed GreenTheme, here are some tips, facts and resources to help you start reducing paper at your firm. 

    Paper Management Survey
    • How does your firm manage and monitor paper practices? 
    • Do you print double-sided by default or by choice? 
    • Is the electronic file the file of record? What document management software do you use? 
    • Where is your firm on the path to paperless?
    The AusLSA Paper Management Survey is 11 quick questions that will provide insight into the common paper practices at Australian law firms. 

    • Have you changed a paper practice at your firm?
    • Have you introduced a paper change that you our proud of?
    Tell AusLSA and let us share it with others!

    Paper facts and resources

    Financial impacts   Using less paper saves money. 
    Switching to double-sided printing can reduce your paper bills by up to 40%. But did you know that the actual costs of using paper can be 10 TIMES the cost of purchasing paper because you will also be reducing:
    • Printer and copy inks and toners
    • Printer wear and tear
    • Associated stationery like folders
    • Storage space in the office and archiving
    • Postage costs
    • Manual handling costs, including in the office and retrieval from archiving. 
    Environmental Impacts  
    On average, each tonne of paper removed from commercial correspondence saves (ref):
    • 18 trees
    • 67,500 litres of water
    • 9,500 kWh of power
    • 3,300 kg of greenhouse gas emissions (CO2e)
     Useful websites  
    Print and post these messages to encourage your colleagues to think twice. 

    AusLSA Paper Posters
    Each person in the legal sector uses 122kg paper. Do you really need to print that?

    World Wildlife Fund
    Save Paper Save money Save Forests
    Environmental Impacts of Paper    How to minimise
    Climate Change
    The paper industry contributes 9% of total global carbon dioxide emissions derived from manufacturing and is often cited as the fourth largest industrial user of energy.

    Paper manufacturing also produces other greenhouse gases like Sulphur and Nitrogen oxides. 

    Carbon Neutral Paper Paper made from virgin pulp can be produced with zero net emissions from offsetting or if waste from the manufacturing processes is used to fuel the paper mill. 

    Look for manufacturers that have certified Environmental Management Systems (EMS) and publish Sustainability Reports. 

    Harvesting wood to produce paper inevitably impacts on wildlife and ecosystems.

    Producing pulp and paper involves significant volumes of water which can allow pollutants to enter water systems. 

    Harvesting wood can also impact on water catchments areas. 

      Paper made from recycled content or other waste reduces the need for pulp from forests. 

    One of the aims of good forestry management is to minimise their impacts on water catchments and animals. Look for FSC  (Forestry Stewardship Council) labelled products. 

    Again look for paper producers that have an EMS and publish reports on the sustainability of their practices. 

    When paper products end up in landfill they have a greater impact on the environment than if they were burned. When paper breaks down in landfill it produces methane, which is 23 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas.

      Make sure that all your paper products enter recycling waste streams. 

    Increase the value of recycled products and thereby encourage more recycling by purchasing more products made from recycled paper. 

    Saving paper at home                
    Get a free 'No Junk Mail' sticker Add your address to the
     'Do not mail' list
    Get the catalogue not the paper
       5 August  Discussion on e-filing and document management systems
       Sydney  7 August Let's talk about paper certifications, brands and environmental issues
      Brisbane 19 August General paper discussion and an opportunity to take a look at Telepresence 

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