Going Green with Rudlings Wakelam.
Every day we hear on the news how climate change is affecting the world, and how every activity we undertake has a carbon footprint.
One of the recent policies the firm has decided to implement is to make all of the firm’s dealings as ecological as possible.
There are many simple actions everyone can take in their home environment which can be imported into the office.
This page of our Website is dedicated to setting out the various actions we are undertaking, and hopefully in time, letting you know how successful they have been.
You will probably assume that the first action that the firm would take would be to use recycled paper products. Certainly, this is something that we are implementing wherever it is possible. But actually it is better if we can reduce our reliance on using paper at all wherever possible. To this end we are promoting the use of e-mails both with clients and between members of staff.
As with most Law firms, one of our biggest wastes is paper, and most of what we throw away also has to be shredded as it is confidential. The shredding process obviously has its own carbon footprint as it involves a truck coming to each office to shred the waste onsite using shredding machines inside the truck.
At Rudlings Wakelam there are various different actions which we are implementing to reduce both our paper consumption, reuse the paper we spoil and to reduce the amount we need to shred.
For example, wherever possible documents are printed double sided, any non confidential paper waste is being recycled into telephone message pads, and A4 envelopes are being reused as document wallets in files.
If we can reduce our paper disposal sufficiently it might also be possible for us to buy our own smaller shredding machines to shred our own paper. We are also investigating organisations who will then collect our paper shredding and reuse it (such as for animal bedding).
Reduction in Energy Consumption
We use numerous electrical appliances across our three offices, and it was standard practice to leave them on standby each night. We now have a policy that every machine, photocopier, printer and computer is turned off at source every night.
We have installed water saving HIPPOs into every toilet cistern to reduce our water usage.
We have also taken the decision to remove our water cooling machines. This is for two reasons. Firstly these machines were on all the time, thus wasting electricity and secondly bottled water has its own carbon footprint (as recently publicised on television).
Everyone has heard of how bad plastic is for the environment, energy is consumed in its production and it does not bio-degrade, so is around for thousands of years. At Rudlings Wakelam, fortunately plastic is not one of our major consumables, but we have taken the decision to minimise our use of plastic products as far as possible, and to reuse items wherever possible.
We have commissioned fairtrade, ethically sourced Jute Carrier Bags. Every member of staff has been given one to use in their shopping activities. We are also offering these to any one who wishes to buy a bag at the princely sum of £2.50. All profits are being donated to the Suffolk Wildlife Trust so as to continue the whole green cycle.
Product Miles (same as Food miles)
Wherever possible we try to source any products or services we need from local suppliers. This reduces the number of miles each item has to undertake, so reducing the carbon emissions.
Geof and Penny welcome ideas and suggestions from both staff and members of the public on how to make our practice greener, so please do not hesitate to contact either of us.
Members of the West Suffolk Green Business Forum