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Nixon Peabody’s Sustainability Initiatives Carolyn Kaplan, Esq. , Chief Sustainability Officer December 2010
More than 700 attorneys London Approximately 1, 500 personnel Manchester Chicago 17 offices Rochester Albany Buffalo Boston Providence Long Island New York San Francisco Washington, D. C. Palo Alto Practices supporting Israel and South Asia Los Angeles Shanghai Palm Beach Gardens Paris
Our Commitments To our CLIENTS, we provide – A proactive focus on understanding their needs – Extraordinary service to help achieve their goals – Professional excellence and integrity at the highest levels To our PEOPLE, we assure – A great place to work where mutual respect and candor are valued – The opportunity for personal and professional growth with interesting and challenging work – Teamwork with a diverse group of talented people To the COMMUNITIES within which we work, we encourage – Pro bono representation – Community service through volunteerism and charitable giving – Environmental responsibility in our workplace Our PARTNERS commit to each other and the firm – Putting clients and firm above self – Acting to ensure the long term success of the firm – Recruiting, developing and promoting a diverse group of talented professionals
Today’s Focus: Legally Green, Pro Bono, Diversity Pro Bono Diversity Legally Green®
Sustainability Is Fluid…it Evolves “Our firm culture is one in which we value our colleagues, put our clients first, invest in our communities, and strive for excellence in everything we do. It was a natural transition to add an initiative that focuses on environmental responsibility to complement our existing diversity and pro bono programs and to further our efforts to create a sustainable workplace. ” – Karen B. Greenbaum, Nixon Peabody’s Chief Operating Officer
Legally Green® Legally Green demonstrates our leadership in three interrelated areas: • Internal Responsibility—Through the efforts of the Green Operations Steering Committee and Local Sustainability Teams, the firm has identified priority areas and goals, and implemented sustainable, cost-effective practices firmwide. • Thought Leadership—Nixon Peabody shares its experiences and best practices, actively participates in organizations with a sustainability mission, and partners with clients and others on joint sustainability initiatives. • Client Service—The firm provides integrated services to clients focused on sustainable technologies, products, and solutions, providing advice in areas such as green building, tax credits, cleantech, climate change, and renewable energy siting and finance. The firm also provides green pro bono services.
Legally Green – Internal Responsibility Chief Administrative Officer Chief Sustainability Officer Office Administrators Green Ops Steering Committee Local Sustainability Team
Green Building • Where feasible, apply for LEED® certification for major construction projects – LEED - 1 st law firm office in U. S. (San Francisco) – LEED Gold (Chicago) – LEED Silver (New York City, Albany) • Use sustainable building practices for other projects (e. g, re-use furniture, low-VOC paints, upgrade lighting) • Nixon Peabody is a member of the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and local chapters • Washington, DC Managing Partner is a LEED AP and participates in USGBC Legal Working Group
Energy Conservation • Install motion-detector lighting; use light-harvesting • Establish policy requiring computers to be turned off at the end of each day, followed by auto-shutdown • Computer virtualization • Turn copy machines and printers off or to standby mode at end of each day • Purchase renewable energy credits to offset energy use in offices and/or at large functions • Replace light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs • Purchase ENERGY STAR-certified equipment and appliances
Travel & Commuting • Incorporate sustainability into travel policy • Require rental of fuel efficient vehicles; encourage hybrid when cost is reasonable • Track carbon travel footprint of personnel • Favor use of hotels with sustainable practices • Reduce the need for business travel through flex-place policies, teleconferencing • Provide benefit for using public transit (e. g. , pre-tax; green-jean Fridays) • Encourage use of public transportation, ride-sharing and sustainable car services • Bike-share program (purchase bicycles that can be used by all personnel)
Paper Reduction • ABA-EPA Law Office Climate Challenge: Adopt best practices for office paper management • Set copiers to default double-sided • Lease components that enable duplex copying • Encourage use of both sides of paper for drafts and lengthy documents • Convert documents to PDF and send electronically • Eliminate banner pages • Save e-mails to system rather than printing
Purchasing • Paper (including copy/printer paper, legal pads, letterhead, envelopes) with a minimum of 30% post-consumer recycled content • Non-toxic, biodegradable cleaning supplies • Preference to vendors that use sustainable practices • Revising procurement policy to formally incorporate sustainability • Remanufactured cartridges for laser printers
Waste Reduction & Recycling • Pilot user of the Xerox Color. Qube™ solid ink technology -- 90% less waste than a typical color laser product • Minimize use of bottles and cans • Provide ceramic dishes and silverware instead of paper goods • Provide recycling bins in work stations, conference rooms and common areas • Reuse old office equipment and furniture • Recycle PCs, batteries, cell phones • Collect and reuse old binders, file folders, binder clips, labels, etc. • Use labels and signage to encourage sustainable practices
Education and Outreach
Thought Leadership Alerts Legal Trades Industry Publications Conferences and Speaking
Organizations, Board Memberships, Affiliations National Organizations • American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) • American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) • Cleantech Venture Network • Conservation International • Design Standards Drafting Committee (LEED) • Global Green USA • Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) • U. S. Green Building Council (USGBC) State/Local/Regional Organizations
Green Client Service Examples of Relevant Legal Disciplines • Cleantech • Renewable Energy • Green Building • Sustainable Development • Environmental & Land Use • Public and Project Finance • Tax Credits • Governance/Disclosure
Our Green Marketing Materials
Our Commitment to Pro Bono Nixon Peabody attorneys and staff have a rich history of supporting the communities in which we live beginning from our founding days, when William Rodman Peabody advised all young lawyers to give one third of their time to public service. From representing refugees fleeing persecution in their home countries to helping low income microentrepreneurs get their struggling businesses off the ground, our contributions are many and diverse. “One of our most important contributions as professionals is the pro bono work we do in an effort to provide equal legal representation for all people- despite their ability to pay. From the creation of non-profit organizations to advocacy that has helped families escape domestic violence, our lawyers have long used our legal skills to better serve the communities in which we live and work. The firm values and recognizes the pro bono work and accomplishments of our lawyers. ” - Dick Langan, Nixon Peabody Managing Partner and CEO 19 As a signatory to the Pro Bono Institute’s Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge©, Nixon Peabody commits to use its best efforts to “annually contribute, at a minimum, an amount of time equal to three (3) percent of the firm’s total billable hours or 60 hours per attorney to pro bono work. ”
Pro Bono Initiative The attorneys at Nixon Peabody are committed to improving the lives of those less fortunate. Some of the steps the firm has taken in recent years to enhance our pro bono efforts include: • The creation of a Pro Bono Committee, made up of 20 members across the firm, including both partners and associates. • All lawyers are evaluated on their pro bono commitment • Pro bono activities are included in all office and practice group business plans. • Attorneys who complete over 100 hours of pro bono work are awarded with a Peabody Award. • We offer a Pro Bono program for all our summer associates. • We partner with several companies, including Intel Corp. , Pfizer and Computer Associates (now CA), to carry out joint pro bono efforts. 20 In September 2005, the firm appointed a firmwide Pro Bono Partner to oversee the firm’s expanding pro bono initiative. The Pro Bono Partner chairs the Pro Bono Committee, which has established guidelines providing for, among other things, full billable hour credit for pro bono work. The committee also publishes a quarterly newsletter, Time Well Spent, available on our Web site.
Legally Green Pro Bono
Recent Pro Bono Engagements • We helped the families of victims who died in a shooting at an immigration assistance center in Binghamton, New York, where a lone gunman killed 13 people before killing himself. • We argued for gun-control in an amicus brief to U. S. Supreme Court. • We filed a Supreme Court amicus brief supporting a Pakistani immigrant detained and abused after 9/11. • We won asylum on behalf of a domestic violence victim from Ecuador, a homosexual man from Colombia who suffers from HIV, as well as refugees from El Salvador, Nepal, Sudan, Cameroon, The Gambia and the Republic of Congo, among others. • We argued against the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs to win disability benefits on behalf of several U. S. veterans. • We helped a battered women’s shelter to expand their shelter and get the specialized legal services they needed.
Recent Pro Bono Awards • Legal Community Against Violence Pro Bono Attorney of the Year (2010) • Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Recognition Award (2010, 2009) • New York State Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award, Seventh Judicial District (2010) • New York State Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award, Third Judicial District (2010, 2009) • ECBA Volunteer Lawyers Project Pro Bono Award (2009) • The Legal Aid Society Pro Bono Publico Award (2009, 2008, 2007) • Flower City Habitat for Humanity “Roger Cross Leadership Award” (2009) • Volunteers of Legal Services Pro Bono Award (2009) • Legal Community Against Violence “Outstanding Pro Bono Contribution” (2009) • Legal Services for Children Pro Bono Advocate Award (2009) • The Volunteer Legal Services Project Mc. Knight Award (2009, 2008) • Lawyers Clearinghouse Pro Bono Award (2009)
Diversity Action Committee Nixon Peabody is working to ensure that diversity is realized throughout the entire range of our activities, including recruitment, training, development and mentoring, internal policies and operations, community service, and leadership positions in groups that support the advancement of individuals of diverse backgrounds. Our commitment to diversity is one of our core values. Our firm is made up of a diverse group of lawyers and professionals whose demographics mirror those of the communities around the world in which we live and work. Our diversity initiative is managed by the Diversity Action Committee (DAC), which is led by the firm’s Managing Partner and CEO, and enjoys the full support of our partners and senior management.
Our Diversity Initiative: Key Elements Recruiting: We are building a pipeline of minority law students by sponsoring legal internships and scholarships, and attending multiple job fairs across the country. Affinity groups: Nixon Peabody has five active affinity groups representing African-American; Asian-American; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT); Hispanic; and women employees. Sub-committees: DAC has created sub-committees focused specifically on recruitment, retention, and promotion of diverse attorneys. Partnership with clients: By working with clients who share our diversity commitment, we provide opportunities for women and diverse attorneys through internships and exchange programs Supplier diversity: Our supplier diversity program tracks our spend with minority, women and other diverse business owners. We also have worked to identify MWBE law firms to partner with on client projects. Supportive professional development programs: We offer professional development programs for all senior associates, including women, minorities, and LGBT attorneys (e. g. mentoring circles, career advancement plans). Supportive human resources policies: The firm has adopted policies and programs that accommodate the diverse lives of our professionals and staff. Diversity in the business community: Our lawyers are active in leading diversity efforts both in and outside the firm (e. g. , founding member of the Greater Rochester Diversity Council).
Our Diversity Challenge Each attorney is asked or “challenged” to devote 40 hours annually to diversity initiatives, activities, or events to enhance the recruitment, development and retention of diverse attorneys and staff Measuring attorneys’ individual commitment to enhancing diversity in their practice areas and across the firm Establishing practice group benchmarks for associates with practice-specific expectations for all associate’s development Regular reviews of work assignments and hours billed by diverse attorneys Diversity champions in each office/region are ombudspersons for diversity issues Developing a Mentoring Program to assist with the coaching of mentors of diverse mentees; provide diverse attorneys with input on developmental goals and priorities Developing a Partnership Coaching program for diverse attorneys under consideration for partnership Establishing and promoting a Diverse Summer Associate Mentoring program, and expanding diversity scholarship programs
National Recognition for Diversity • Nixon Peabody has been recognized with a 100 percent (100%) rating by the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index (2006– 2010), which focuses on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality in corporate America. • Vault Top 100 Law Firms ranked us #15 for Overall Diversity, #16 for Diversity: Minorities, and #20 for Diversity: LGBT (2009) • Multicultural Law, Top 100 Law Firms for Diversity, recognized as a top law firm for diversity efforts and programs (2009) • FORTUNE© magazine cited the high marks we achieved for diversity from our lawyers and staff as a factor in naming us a “Best Place to Work, ” one of only six law firms to be named to the 2008 list. • Nixon Peabody received the Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s 2007 Mid. Atlantic Region “Thomas L. Sager Award, ” which is given annually to a law firm that demonstrates a sustained commitment to diversity issues, especially in regards to the hiring, retention, and promotion of minority attorneys.
Nixon Peabody’s Triple Bottom Line Pro Bono Diversity Legally Green®
Benefits of Sustainability • Environment: We are taking responsibility for our impact on the environment • Retention: In keeping with our “Best Place to Work” philosophy • Recruiting: Law school grads and laterals want to work in a workplace that embraces sustainable policies and practices • Business: We and our clients share similar values and concerns • Cost Reduction: One-firm approach promotes efficiency, consistency among offices
Thank you! Carolyn S. Kaplan, Esq. Chief Sustainability Officer [email protected] com www. nixonpeabody. com 617. 345. 1345