As one of the UK's leading full-service City law firms, Travers Smith recognises that it has a responsibility to protect the environment; a responsibility we take seriously.
Back in 2003, after conducting a detailed assessment of the firm's environmental impact, we became one of the first law firms in the UK to introduce an environmental management system (EMS).
With representatives from facilities management, the partnership, associates, trainees and wider business teams, our Environment Committee is responsible for implementing the EMS.
This is achieved through a range of measures designed to minimise Travers Smith's environmental impact, including reducing our carbon footprint and meeting the environmental policy objectives outlined below.
Environmental Policy overview
At Travers Smith we have adopted a holistic approach to promoting waste recycling and energy reduction; our two main areas of environmental impact.
To achieve this we aim to:
- minimise our energy consumption
- utilise recycling options for waste paper, IT equipment, catering and maintenance waste
- source recycled and sustainable products where possible
- promote awareness of environmental best practice among our employees and clients through communications and events
- regularly review our EMS
- set achievable objectives to minimise our environmental impact
- review and update this environmental policy statement at regular intervals.
All of our waste is split into different streams at the point of disposal. In 2018, the firm introduced new recycling bins into every kitchen, and additional recycling stations on all floors, allowing staff to split rubbish into general waste, mixed recycling or food waste.
Here are a few helpful steps we would recommend members of staff should follow to reduce waste and stop cross contamination:
- use your own ceramic or re-usable coffee cup where possible
- all disposable coffee cups should go into the specially provided standalone bins in each kitchen
- use waste bins provided and split waste accordingly
- rinse out any plastic containers before placing in the recycling bins
- if food packaging cannot be cleaned/rinsed of food then place in general waste
- depleted batteries should be disposed of using the recycling bins situated in Braithwaite's and General Office.
We are fully committed to achieving 'nil to landfill', and therefore also recycle confidential waste, batteries, toner and cartridges, fluorescent tubes, other electrical waste and cardboard and glass.
Travers Smith was awarded a Recycling Gold Standard Award in 2017 by waste management company First Mile. Out of 20,000 commercial customers in London, the firm finished in third place with 98 per cent of our waste being recycled.
All of the firm's general waste is sent to the Belvedere Incinerator, which converts the waste into clean energy to power up to 100,000 homes every year. The leftover ash is turned into products to be used to build roads all over the UK.
We are committed to reducing our paper consumption and have introduced a number of initiatives such as 'follow-me-print' to help achieve this goal, which requires staff to re-confirm they want an item printed after it is sent to one of our floor multi-function printers.
To help reduce our paper consumption members of staff should print double sided whenever it is possible.
Where members of staff require assistance setting up their default printing preferences please contact the Print Services or Tech Support teams who will be more than willing to help.
All our paper is Forest Stewardship Council certified giving us the confidence that we at Travers Smith are helping our forests survive for generations to come.
Our built environment and energy consumption
We recognise that our built environment (i.e. our offices and facilities) affects our carbon footprint in a significant way.
With this in mind, during the refurbishment of our London offices, real consideration was given to the most energy efficient building management systems and products that we could implement. This includes dedicated technology that manages air (sampling system), water, heating, air-conditioning and our electrical system.
Our office is supported by a number of other environmentally friendly products and processes such as:
- LED luminaires and a light control system with motion sensors
- energy efficient heating and cooling systems with energy efficient fans
- air volume monitoring to reduce consumption
- improved insulation to existing structure, façade and ceiling voids.
We use a third party to procure green energy contracts. Energy monitoring reports and market watch reports are produced on a regular basis and are reviewed by the Travers Smith Facilities team.
As part of our 2019 energy efficiency drive, Travers Smith is committed to meeting the requirements of ISO 50001 – an internationally recognised accreditation for effective energy management and consumption.
Whilst, physically speaking, Travers Smith has a limited international footprint, our business and clients are global. Given this reality, the partners and other members of staff are required to take short and long-haul flights from time to time.
We already look to limit unnecessary international trips; however, where this is not possible, we will be considering over the coming year ways to further reduce our impact in this regard, including encouraging rail travel (where appropriate) and the introduction of carbon offsetting for certain flights.
The Travers Smith client kitchen
Our commitment to sustainability is bolstered by the Travers Smith client kitchen who hold a 2* rating (out of 3*) from the Sustainable Restaurant Association due to its commitment to using local and seasonal produce, serving more vegetables, less and better quality meat, responsibly resourced fish, and supporting global farmers as well as the local community.
Natural resources are valued and the client kitchen are careful to avoid food waste and to reduce, reuse and recycle whenever possible (examples include using beeswax wrappers instead of cling film and sending candle ends to be recycled in Devon). The team works closely with Facilities to ensure practices are as sustainable as possible, e.g. using eco-friendly cleaning products.
Our wider approach to sustainability and corporate social responsibility
We work alongside our clients on environmentally friendly initiatives. For example, as part of our work for the London Wildlife Trust, a team of 13 volunteers recently took part in a conservation day at the Camley Street nature reserve.
We continue to participate in the Legal Sector Alliance Group, having won the Legal Sector Alliance Award in Environmental Responsibility in 2010.
As part of our 2018 Environmental Awareness Week, we provided reusable coffee cups to all staff members and are phasing out single-use plastics throughout the firm.
More generally, the firm is fully committed to promoting CSR. For more information on our CSR programme, please click here.
Looking to the future
Whilst great progress has already been made at Travers Smith to help protect the environment, the firm recognises that sustainability must be an ongoing objective in order to have a real environmental impact.
We are fully committed to meeting this challenge and actively encourage all members of the Travers Smith team to join us in meeting our goals.
For further details on Travers Smith's environmental initiatives, please contact one of our key contacts below or our Head of Facilities, Paul Mullis.