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Working collaboratively to promote sustainable practice across the legal sector
If you are your firm's premises manager, sustainability manager or on your building committee, you probably know that you are under a three pronged attack - that the built environment is the biggest contributor to GHG emissions; that the cost of outgoings and utilities like water and electricity are on the rise, and that your stakeholders expect you to be environmentally responsible.
See the linked article from Brisbane based Cromwell Property group (courtesy of 'The Sustainability Report') about that very issue, with some tips you can use to ask how green is my building - as well as a reminder that sustainability and profits are not mutually exclusive!!.
Issue 92 (2018) of the Australian Law Journal has an article from Justice Tim Moore of the Land and Environment Court of NSW about the recent collaborative "Paperless Trial" project between AusLSA, The Court and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. The project has saved in excess of 200,000 pages of copying, together with associated environmental impacts and costs and has been embraced by counsel and solicitors. While there was still some getting used to the screen instead of paper, the trial was a success and the Land and Environment Court considers paperless trials to be a significant option for the future. Due to copyright reasons, we can't link you to Justice Moore's story, but click on the screen grab above to see our video of the process, or grab your library copy of the ALJ.
As part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), goal 8.7 was inserted to specifically address forced labour, modern slavery, trafficking and child labour. Alliance87 was formed to assist in acheiving this ambitious undertaking.
As part of AusLSAs alignment to the SDGs we ask all our members to ensure vigilance in their supply chain.
Click on the ICON to find out more about Alliance87 and click HERE to see the Alliance87 strategic vision.
To assist organisations understand the benefits of Flexible Working, the Diversity Council of Australia (DCA) has recently released a toolkit to try and 'debunk the myths of flexible working'.
As many of our AusLSA members know, flexible working policies are sometimes surrounded in stigma and myths that if you are not in the office, then you are not really working. We think that our member firms have passed this barrier, but the attached snapshot of DCA's work may help with any roadblocks that may still be out there.
Click on THIS LINK to see the article.
While fossil fuels still dominate the generation of world energy, other renewable sources are quickly overtaking in 'new' capacity generation. In a recent report from Reuters, climate scientists are predicting that generation of energy from renewable resources should dominate world energy demand by mid century. Last year 'new' energy generation in China was 157 gigawatts, more than double that from fossil fuel. The head of UN Environment feels that we are at a 'turning point' to take oil, coal and gas.
Because it is only 8.30am and I haven't started work yet. AND WHY ARE YOU SHOUTING AT ME!.
New York may soon make it unlawful for employers to expect workers to answer emails after hours - see the article in the NY TIMES HERE.
While this is seen by many as a move which may assist to re-balance work-life balance, France did it a year ago and said that "it is actually beneficial for people not to work all the time". Is being tied to our phones and emails all in our heads?. Interesting....
Targeted regulatory action is being developed by the Australian Government through establishment of a Modern Slavery in Supply Chains Reporting Requirement. This is likely to require entities operating in Australia with a total annual revenue threshold of between $50-$100M to report annually on their efforts to address modern slavery in their operations and supply chains. Reporting requirements could start as early as November 2018 and depending on the final revenue threshold that is determined, may affect AusLSA Members.
Click on the AFEI icon for more information, or CLICK HERE for another article from ProBono Australia about this. Links to other working documents can be found HERE.
The lawyer statistics, as published by the Victorian Legal Services Board as at 28 February, shows that the gender balance of lawyers in Victoria now shows (for the first time in history), a gender balance in favour of women. While the difference is slight (38 female lawyers), Lawyers weekly report that this gradual shift of demographics has occurred over the past decade or so, with the gender 'balancing' of women growing by 3% annual, double the rates of males. The trend is being observed nationally, however the NSW Law Society still notes that firms need to increase their efforts to ensure that women are more prominent in leadership positions.
In 2011 just under 20% of US S&P 500 Companies undertook Sustainability Reporting. In 2017, just under 20% of the same Companies DID NOT undertake reporting, effectively reversing the reporting trend over a six-year period. Analysts observe that this enhanced and expanded corporate disclosure and structured reporting underscores the importance of considering ESG issues when planning growth strategies and communicating results to stakeholders. AusLSA reporting members should consider themselves leading edge, and in good corporate company!. Click on the image for the report.
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