In an increasingly more competitive landscape, law firms are striving to gain an advantage over their competitors. One of the most effective ways for a law firm to gain that edge is by greening their practice. A green practice provides enumerable benefits to the firm, from attracting and retaining top young talent to reducing the firm’s utility bills. Though greening a practice – whether in an existing space or during relocation – seems like a daunting task, there are several cost-effective options to simplify the process.
If greening your law practice is either time or cost prohibitive, focus on a low-cost step or small change. A few easy steps include:
- Form a green committee to elicit staff support and buy-in
- Create a sustainable mission statement for your law office
- Select Energy Star rated products when replacing old or worn out appliances,
- Replace existing light fixtures with motion-detecting lights.
- Think of creative ways to reuse existing furniture or finishes, or consider donating them to a charity.
On the other hand, if your firm is looking to invest substantially in a green office or green policy, consider taking higher-level steps toward achieving that goal. When evaluating sustainable options, first consider whether your firm should move to a new space or green your existing space. If building a new space, the obvious first step toward achieving a sustainable practice is to hire an architect with a track record of designing and building sustainable spaces. The architect can help guide your firm’s efforts toward achieving a green space. In addition, consider LEED certification, which is the current metric-based benchmarking system for rating a space’s sustainability level.
Focus on unique design solutions. For example, our client Delaney McKinney opted to have space available to outside organizations. According to Delaney, “We created a space to allow groups that work toward sustainability and environmental issues to gather at no charge. This is one of the ways we want to give back. We’ve created a large conference room/reception area that we have intentions of allowing such groups to use both for conferences and receptions.”
Delaney McKinney reception area
When renovating an existing space to achieve sustainability goals, select an architect with sustainable renovation experience. Renovating an existing space allows your practice to develop solutions that can be both environmentally friendly and cost-effective.