Manchester legal firm cuts own carbon footprint

Leading legal firm Pannone has been working on its internal environmental footprint [see their press release here] It has established an environment/sustainability policy, conducted a firm-wide internal environmental audit and in the last 12 months reduced energy consumption by 40%. Manchester Climate Monthly contacted Tim Hayes, who heads Pannone’s Environmental and Sustainability Group, for more information. [Links added by MCFly]

What was the impetus to take action on your environmental footprint? Save money? Impending government regulation? Responsible corporate citizenship? Mix of these? Others?
We were awarded ISO 14001 in November 2011. The impetus for pursuing the award was a mix of reasons; environmental footprint, carbon audit, CSR, cost implications, to assist in tender process and because it the right thing to do.

What did it cost? (roughly!) and when is it expected that this suite of actions will have paid for itself?
We are unable to put an overall cost on the whole process that took over 18 months and involved a number of staff.  We were assisted by some free consultancy support from Groundwork under the Enworks funding programme. The firm’s investment in environmental improvement makes clear commercial sense e.g. saving paper, reducing energy costs and winning new work. We are often asked about it when submitting tenders. Of course, our waste minimising and recycling efforts did not simply commence on the day we were given the award, we have been recycling for some considerable time now.

Were there any unexpected obstacles, and if so how were they overcome?
In very general terms the vast majority of staff embraced our environmental approach. This is evidenced by the take up of the recycling facilities and the enthusiasm of our ‘green champions.’

What, if any, action, has Pannone taken to reduce the amount of flying its staff/partners do? (Teleconferencing etc)
We have our own bespoke in-house teleconferencing suite and in addition many partners hold conferences via Skype.
What actions are Pannone planning next?
Our aim is to continue to meet the requirements/standards  of ISO 14001.

What are other similar firms doing?
A number of other national law firms had already achieved ISO 14001. Further information can be obtained from websites and the Legal Sector Alliance.

Marc Hudson
mcmonthly@gmail.com

[PS If readers have further questions, please add them to the comments box, and we’ll ask Pannone to respond!]

Disclaimer: MCFly may have unconsciously “soft-pedalled” on this story, given that the current writer did claim (inadvertantly falsely) in our January 2012 print edition that we had contacted Pannone for answers and that they had not got back to us – see our unsolicited apology to them here.

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Monthly Magazine/newsletter about all things climate and resilience in Greater Manchester.
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