Lawyers Journal

Eco-Challenge reaches milestone; 100 lawyers, firms, organizations have signed on since 2007

The Massachusetts Bar Association's Lawyers Eco-Challenge now boasts support from at least 100 attorneys, law firms, organizations or businesses across the state. Counsel On Call and Nixon Peabody LLP have become the latest companies to sign the MBA Lawyers Environmental Pledge. And the Massachusetts Recycling Coalition and O'Brien & Levine Court Reporting both recently signed on as Eco-Challenge Affiliates.

The Eco-Challenge was launched in 2007 urging law firms promise to implement the Green Guidelines, which cover energy conservation, paper reduction, recycling, greenhouse gas reduction, environmentally conscious purchasing, education, support for environmental organizations and landscaping. The initiative also includes a cell phone recycling program and an annual recognition program for participants.

Counsel On Call of New England joined the Eco-Challenge because it is committed to reducing emissions and energy usage in its Boston office. It works to reduce, reuse and recycle to help mitigate climate change and protect the environment. Counsel On Call Executive Director Nancy Reiner is also the co-chair of the MBA's Eco-Challenge Energy and Environment Task Force.

Counsel On Call assists corporate legal departments and law firms on a wide variety of legal matters, from e-discovery to specialized practice areas, and is a leader in managing remote work assignments that eliminate overhead expenses.

Nixon Peabody LLP, in November 2007, launched the Legally Green initiative to establish and implement sustainable practices throughout the firm's 17 offices. Nixon Peabody was the first law firm to have an office LEED certified by the U.S. Green Building Council in the category of Commercial Interiors. In addition, two Nixon Peabody offices have achieved LEED Silver certification, one office has basic LEED certification and another office is in the process of applying for LEED certification.

Nixon Peabody was the first U.S. law firm to elevate responsibility for environmental sustainability to the chief sustainability officer level with the appointment of Boston-based CSO Carolyn Kaplan, who oversees Legally Green and its Green Operations Steering Committee. The committee has established seven priority areas, including: construction; education and outreach; energy conservation; paper reduction; purchasing; travel and commuting; and waste reduction and recycling.

The Massachusetts Recycling Coalition, MassRecycle, is engaged in education, outreach and advocacy to reduce waste in Massachusetts. Recycling and waste reduction are the most cost effective ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve natural resources.

Every week, Massachusetts residents and businesses throw out enough paper and cardboard to fill Fenway Park to the height of the Green Monster. To address this problem, MassRecycle started a media and grassroots campaign called "Mass Recycles Paper." The campaign's goal is to divert a million more tons of paper per year from the trash to be recycled into new products.

MassRecycle encourages people to take the paper recycling pledge, and download and share the ads, information and other tools available for free on the campaign's Web site, www.massrecyclespaper.org/. To learn more about MassRecycle or join, go to www.massrecycle.org/.

O'Brien & Levine Court Reporting has been in the forefront in offering new technology and methods for taking depositions and delivering transcripts. For more than 30 years, the company has provided court reporting, videography and litigation support services to law firms and corporations worldwide for depositions, hearings, arbitrations and trials.

In keeping with the MBA Energy and Environment Task Force's Green Guidelines, O'Brien & Levine has introduced the G-Transcript. The searchable, printable PDF file can be opened with the Adobe Acrobat/Adobe Reader program. In addition, O'Brien & Levine offers legal team members the ability to log in to our secure transcript repository and retrieve current and archived transcripts, exhibits and other documents anytime, from anywhere.

"O'Brien & Levine Court Reporting is honored to be designated as an Eco-Challenge Affiliate in support of the MBA Energy and Environment Task Force's Green Guidelines," said Kenneth Zais, president, O'Brien & Levine Court Reporting. "In our daily business practices, we are conscientious about recycling and reducing energy consumption as part of the collective effort to conserve and protect the environment. The introduction of our G-Transcript is one step of many as we take on the Eco-Challenge."

For more information about the Eco-Challenge or to join, go to www.MassBar.org/ecochallenge.

©2014 Massachusetts Bar Association