Thinking Green at Michelmores
As a society, we are increasingly aware of the impact we have on our environment. Businesses globally are trying to reduce their environmental impact and do their bit to tackle climate change, and Michelmores wants to be on the forefront of this progress.
Michelmores has set up a committee called Think Green. This committee comprises of employees across the Firm who work together to come up with ways in which the Firm can play its part in tackling climate change, and reducing our collective impact on the environment.
What we have done so far
Michelmores has worked with stationery suppliers to find products with reduced plastic, such as ring binders, and have worked hard to redistribute stationary before buying in new.
The café has played a big part in reducing the amount of plastic used and waste produced. All food wrapping is now from Vegware (plant based packaging) and single use take-away cups have been removed. A policy has been introduced to order food supplies without plastic wrapping where possible. Further, all coffee in the café is freshly ground so there are no plastic pods.
Finally, a big change has been the introduction of glass milk bottles across the Exeter office. Every year, 100,000 tonnes of plastic milk bottles are thrown away in the UK alone, so this small change can have a big impact if more widely adopted.
Michelmores is also working hard to encourage employees to go paperless. Although it is not currently possible as a law Firm to go completely paperless, there is a lot we can and are doing to reduce the amount of paper we use, such as making the most of the electronic systems we have in place.
Where we are headed
Michelmores plans to introduce new recycling centres across all their offices and remove under-desk bins to encourage the proper disposal of rubbish. These recycling centres will include a bin compartment for crisp packets and food wrappers which can now be recycled through specialist Firms.
There is also the aim to change our cleaning products to natural ones that don't have micro-plastics in (nor palm oil) and have bigger refill containers.
Finally, the Firm's ambition is that by the Michelmores 5k in 2020 we will be able to host an almost completely plastic free run, setting a great example for the community.
The Work We Do
Being in the Agricultural Litigation Team I have had the chance to learn more about sustainable agriculture and how the Firm promotes this to clients. In April Michelmores sponsored the Insects as Food and Feed Conference promoting agricultural innovation.
The Commercial & Regulatory Disputes team have partnered with Oxygen House to advise them on their real estate and construction projects to promote low carbon and sustainable buildings. You can read more about the partnership here.
The Corporate team have been involved in a merger between Goldtree and Natural Habitats Europe Africa which aims to drive the sustainable production of palm oil. They have also advised AgDevCo on an investment into a Malawian peanut processor supporting local farmers, read more here.
Across the Firm teams are increasingly working with sustainable and environmentally aware businesses and forming relationships with them which will help us reduce our environmental level on a wider scale as well as within the Firm.