Sustainability at BBK | Bolt Burdon Kemp Sustainability at BBK | Bolt Burdon Kemp

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Sustainability at BBK

Many people today are actively trying to calculate and reduce their carbon footprint; from changing the trivial things like the cleaning agents they use in their homes to the utility companies they choose to use. While every individual intentionally living a lower carbon lifestyle helps the UK to achieve our goal of net zero by 2050, it also changes the society we live in by influencing others to do the same and proving that it is easier than it might seem on first reflection. This is even more important for businesses, which massively outstrip the average 12.7 tonnes of carbon per year produced by individuals. You often hear the phrases ‘environmentally sustainable supplier’ or ‘environmentally friendly products’ without an explanation of how the services you are receiving are helping the environment and reducing their carbon footprint.

I would like to outline how Bolt Burdon Kemp LLP is working towards being as environmentally sustainable as possible to help our planet and create a sustainable future for us all. Every small step we take, counts.

The term environmentally sustainable means that you find the balance between operating a business successfully and keeping the planet’s natural environment, preserving natural resources for the welfare of not only our generation but those in the future too.

Bolt Burdon Kemp’s office in London has been made as eco-friendly as possible from the choice of contractors to the materials and furniture.

The office has already won the OAS Development Award 2022 for the energy-efficient heating and cooling system, responsible sourcing of materials, LED automatic lighting, and natural ventilation. The office also has a ‘green roof’ meaning it has a layer of living plants put on top of it. This has many advantages at financial, environmental, and societal levels. A green roof supplies a rainwater barrier, cleanses the air, lowers the overall temperature of the surrounding environment, saves energy, and encourages biodiversity in the city. Green roofs are part of climate-proof building practices.

Additionally, did you know that being surrounded by greenery can help boost staff happiness levels? This is because having plants in the office has been proven to help reduce stress, increase productivity, clean the air, reduce noise levels, and boost creativity. This is why we have real plants on each floor of our office which while helps with our mood and reduce our carbon footprint.

How we manage waste as a business has a massive impact on the environment. Think about the last item you threw away, now imagine the resources that went into it – the raw materials grown or made, the energy, the water, the labour, the shipping etc. all to be thrown away or recycled. Our offices have both food compost and mixed recycling bins in use, which has meant that over 50% of our office waste is recycled every year which helps us conserve the planet’s precious resources.

We encourage all our staff to commute responsibly and have bicycle parking onsite for those who wish to use it, along with showering facilities for those who break a sweat. Cycling 1 mile produces an average of 150g CO2e, and using the underground produces around 68g CO2e per mile which when compared to 530g CO2e per mile for an average UK car is a substantial carbon saving. To further reduce carbon emissions, we have partnered with fully electric taxi and courier companies.

BBK always tries to reduce our paper emissions and encourages staff to look to the future, using innovative technologies, digital tools, and software, reducing the need to print out documents. The latest statistics have shown that the average office worker prints 10,000 sheets of paper each year which equates to 1 tree person in a world with around 3.4 billion office workers. It is estimated that around 62% of paper used is wasted or unnecessary, so by implementing paper-less options we can save around 2.1 billion trees worldwide, or around 80 in our own office.

We have recently partnered with Epson who supply us with their most eco-friendly printers currently on the market. They are heat-free and use 80% less energy than earlier models in addition to this we are linked with Print ReLeaf, who replant the trees we have used in printing at their plant sites, which helps to reduce and offset our carbon footprint and make us more environmentally sustainable. This is called carbon offsetting and is the most practical way to compensate for emissions that cannot be avoided.

BBK has pledged to only collaborate with suppliers who are actively providing eco-friendly, sustainable, and ethically friendly products and services; this includes ensuring our suppliers pay London Living wages.

Most of our suppliers are B Corp certified, with the toiletry products we supply staff on site being in recyclable packaging, plant-based and as eco-friendly as possible.

The office offers fresh fruit every week and our supplier has partnered with Ripple Africa who plant 3 fruit trees in Malawi every week for us to offset our carbon footprint, this has led to around 114 trees being planted last year.

We have spent a lot of time ensuring that our merchandise is as eco-friendly as possible, such as notebooks made of 100% recycled materials and bamboo pens. Our website has achieved the ‘Green Web Accreditation’ which means that our website’s hosting provider relies completely on renewable energy for power.

BBK are committed to reducing our carbon emissions even further. We have recently joined the Legal Sustainability Alliance, which has been helping UK law firms to accurately calculate their carbon footprint and support them in their commitment to achieving net zero emissions since 2007. BBK has put sustainability at the heart of our firm and is actively pursuing our goals to reduce our emissions.

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