Australia: Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers – Co2 Emissions Reduced
Last Updated: 27 January 2014

AusLSA is an alliance of 45 Australian law firms that choose to adopt sustainable practices. The Partners of Carroll & O'Dea Lawyers joined in 2012 with the goal of implementing environmentally friendly practices to reduce the firm's carbon footprint.

Legally Green, Carroll & O'Dea's environmental & sustainability committee was established, and the committee members have been working on improving the firm's benchmark reporting.

The table below provides a summary of Carroll & O'Dea's environmental profile for 2013. Our reduced Co2 consumption compares favourably with other AusLSA members. This achievement is due to active efforts to reduce power usage throughout the year, such as the introduction of smart desk power boards in all offices and workstations, and upgrading the office lighting to T2 standard.

Consumption 2013 Carroll & O'Dea Single State Two State Average All AusLSA
Total Co2 per head 2.80 3.04 4.0 5.03
Electricity per head 2.52 2.20 3.56 2.94
Paper KG per head 137 123 124 121
Flights/Travel .27 0.53 124 1.94

In 2013 the Partners embraced National Recycling Week and introduced paper saving initiatives, including double-sided printing and increasing the amount of bills sent electronically rather than by post. As well as teaming up with Oz Harvest, a not-for-profit organisation that rescues excess food and delivers it to people in need, to reduce the amount of food waste sent to landfill. In Australia 3.28 million tonnes of food is driven to landfill each year!

In 2014 the Partners at Carroll & O'Dea Lawyers will be implementing an electronic scanning initiative that will allow for storage and archive of all legal files. This new technology will provide file storage at a much lower cost, and these savings can eventually be passed on to clients. The Partners will also be looking to change to a new lighting system that offers a substantially more energy efficient model. These steps contribute to reducing the firm's carbon footprint overall.

The Legal Sector Environmental Insight Report just released highlighted a number of emerging trends these are:

  • The use of electricity remains the single largest source of emission however this is decreasing.
  • Paper use is also decreasing, there is evidence of significant difference between firms' paper consumption.
  • Indicating there is room for greater efficiency opportunities.
  • Emission from business travel, primarily flights, show signs of levelling off after previous steep increases.

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