Announcements: Partners in Sustainability Program

The Sustainable Future Section (SFS) is pleased to announce a new Partners in Sustainability program. 

In early 2012, the Sustainable Future Section will launch its Partners in Sustainability program.

The purpose of the program is to recognize and celebrate Oregon law firms that meaningfully implement sustainable office practices that satisfy criteria established by the Section.

The Program objectives are consistent with the sustainability goals articulated in Section 26 of the Bylaws of the Oregon State Bar. Each law firm that certifies compliance with the criteria will become a Partner in Sustainability.

The Section will recognize the commitment of Partners in Sustainability on the Section’s Web site, the Oregon State Bar’s Web site, in Bar publications, and in other media.

Criteria for the program are broad and encompass such areas as paper management, reduction of energy and water use, waste reduction, sustainable purchasing, efficient transportation, and office education.

In some categories, application of the criteria differs based upon whether the law office is small (1-5 attorneys), medium (6-24 attorneys), or large (25 or more attorneys). To be eligible to become a Partner in Sustainability, a firm must adopt a sustainability policy containing specified elements, select a sustainability coordinator (which may be a volunteer or part-time position), and implement an education program focused on sustainability matters.

In connection with the Program, the Section will publish a Model Law Office Sustainability Policy, containing the required program elements and other recognized sustainable office practices. The Model Policy may be used by law firms without modification or adapted to the firm’s circumstances or needs.

To become a Partner in Sustainability, an Oregon law firm completes a simple application that includes self-certification of compliance with the Program criteria. Although the Section will accept applications at all times, in order to be recognized in specified media advertisements or press releases, firms must meet specified deadlines.

Those firms submitting applications before March 15, 2012, will be recognized as Founding Partners in Sustainability in the Section’s Earth Day 2012 advertisements in selected media.

The Section is in the process of completing the Program features, and will announce Program details to Section members in early January, 2012.