Sustainability Success, As Law Firm Branches Out Into Home Working
Irwin Mitchell has thanked its clients, colleagues and the community for helping it to reach a record rise in the level of recycling following a card collection earlier this year.
For the first time, members of the public were invited to send unwanted Christmas cards to one of 14 Irwin Mitchell regional offices in January for recycling alongside the firm’s clients and colleagues.
Thanks to public support, 13,299 cards were collected, meaning 133 trees will be planted in Caledonia, Scotland, while 133 acres of rainforest will be protected via the Rainforest Trust.
Protecting an area twice the size of Hampton Court Palace Gardens was made possible thanks to Red-Inc who doubled their original pledge of planting one tree for every 200 cards collected, and to protect an acre of Peruvian rainforest for every 400 cards received.
With 4,482 more cards collected than last year, the record total means the firm has been able to safely store 24,771 tonnes of CO2e, a standard unit for measuring carbon footprints.
The results come as the impact of coronavirus has accelerated the firm’s plans for improving its overall carbon footprint with a combination of new ‘green’ offices coupled with a huge increase in remote working. The firm now has 2,500 people working remotely due to the lockdown with the obvious decreases in travel and paper use as more legal work is carried out digitally.
Opened in January, the new Birmingham office building boasts a BREEAM environmental and sustainability rating of ‘excellent’, reflecting a firm wide pledge on reducing environmental impact. Digital solutions have also enabled the firm to continue to support clients during the coronavirus pandemic, enabling flexible home working that may have an additional environmental dividend.
Expert Opinion“I’m thrilled to see that our recycling scheme has grown this year. With members of the public, colleagues and clients all sending in cards to be recycled into new paper products, we are constantly improving our environmental impact and I want to thank Red-Inc for all their support.
As a business, we are doing more than ever to improve our environmental approach in a way that supports our clients and the communities in which we operate. Our Christmas card and pen recycling schemes go hand in hand with this, together with new ‘green’ offices and a commitment to seeing all our offices using renewable energy by 2025.
Coronavirus has accelerated moving many processes into digital form and coupled with the restrictions on local and business travel, we are all learning new ways of working. From digital signatures to virtual meetings in cyberspace, these can have a positive impact on business and at the same time, perhaps have an unforeseen, positive impact on the planet.” Sarah Ball - Director of Group and Business Legal Services Operations
Adam Huttly, the founder of Red-Inc, said: “It has been a pleasure to work with Irwin Mitchell again this year and I would like to congratulate them on reaching such an impressive total in terms of cards collected.
“Recycling projects like this sends a very positive and important environmental message and embraces our values and ethos of assisting clients and where possible and reversing any impact on the environment we have as businesses. Our Red-Inc Foundation will allocate the funds to UK reforestation and worldwide legal protection of vital rainforests.”