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TURNING THE LAW GREEN, BIT BY BIT

<strong>DESMOND HUDSON<br />LAW SOCIETY CHIEF EXECUTIVE<br /></strong>WE are all aware of the dangers of climate change, but the fact is that we spend much of our lives at work. If we are going to tackle the problem, businesses need to do their bit. So is it possible to save the polar bears from the comfort of your office?<br /><br />The Legal Sector Alliance (LSA) is helping lawyers do just that. Launched in 2008, the LSA is a group of law firms committed to working collaboratively to support firms to manage, disclose and reduce carbon emissions and adopt more sustainable practices, by providing access to information, guidance and support.<br /><br />Supported by the Law Society, the LSA represents almost one in four solicitors in private practice in England and Wales. By committing to act on six key climate principles, firms are able to publicly demonstrate their green credentials to clients and staff.<br /><br />The LSA principles have been developed collaboratively by LSA founding members following extensive consultation with environmental experts and law firms of all sizes across the country. The principles were developed to have a real impact but are applicable and available to all firms regardless of their size or previous environmentally activity. They are designed to help firms reduce their individual carbon footprint and contribute to reducing the collective footprint of the profession. They cover firms' own operations, as well as their influence on clients, suppliers, employees and policy makers.<br /><br />Going green is about more than ethics. Law firms can make considerable savings by adopting environmentally sustainable practices. Reducing energy usage is common sense, even without the responsibility to tackle climate change &ndash; straightforward improvements to how firms light, heat and cool offices can generate significant savings.<br /><br />Whether firms are motivated by taking action on climate change or saving money, the reality is that by changing the way we do business, we can make a difference. Given the scale of the challenge facing all of us that must be the right thing to do.