7 Ways Solicitors Can Be More Sustainable Quickly!

Sustainable Solicitors
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The Importance of Sustainable Solicitors

Let’s face it, sustainability is no longer a nice-to-have. It’s a must-have. Especially in the legal profession.

Why? Well, sustainable solicitors lead the charge in a critical transformation.

We’re talking about change not just within their offices, but also inspiring it in clients they serve.

The Role of Solicitors in Sustainability

Solicitors hold a unique place in society, making critical decisions daily. Their influence extends far and wide. So, imagine the impact if they all focused on being more sustainable. Huge, right?

Yet, sustainability in law isn’t fully realised. Many still follow old practices, ignoring sustainability.

It’s not just about using recycled paper or switching off lights (though those matter). It’s about being a model of eco-conscious operations. To show clients, peers, and the world that law can be green.

The environmental impact of law practice can be significant. From the energy used in offices to the paper wasted in documentation. From travel emissions to outdated, inefficient systems.

But don’t worry, it’s not all doom and gloom. There’s potential to be more sustainable. Better waste management, energy-efficient technology, and virtual meetings are just the start.

We promise it’s not as hard as it sounds. And, guess what? The payoff is massive.

How can the legal sector drive sustainability?

7 Ways Solicitors Can Be More Sustainable

1. Go Paperless

Let’s begin with an obvious, yet often ignored, strategy – going paperless. Legal professions are infamous for their heavy paper use. But in our digital age, there’s no real need for it. You can maintain client records, contracts, and case notes digitally.

How? Use secure cloud-based storage platforms like Google Drive or Dropbox. For legal documents, consider services like Docusign or Adobe Sign. They’re secure, efficient, and cut down massively on paper use.

Imagine the impact. Fewer trees chopped, reduced energy in paper production, and lower carbon emissions from paper transport. Your office also becomes clutter-free. And you’ll find documents faster. Now, isn’t that refreshing?

2. Implement Energy Efficient Practices

From lighting to electronics, energy use is a significant part of a solicitor’s carbon footprint. Making a switch to energy-efficient practices is the next big leap.

Swap your office lights with LEDs. They last longer and consume less energy. Encourage employees to shut down computers when not in use. Invest in Energy Star-rated appliances. And why not consider renewable energy suppliers for your office?

Each step reduces your carbon footprint and electricity bill. It’s a clear win-win!

3. Digitise Your Communication

Let’s face it, traditional mail is outdated. And, environmentally taxing. Consider digitising your communications.

Use emails, collaborative platforms like Slack or Microsoft Teams, and video conferencing tools. You’ll save on paper, postal emissions, and even travel emissions for local meetings.

The impact? More efficiency, less waste, and a huge reduction in your environmental footprint. Plus, you can connect with clients and colleagues anytime, anywhere!

4. Promote Remote Work

We’ve learned remote work is possible, thanks to recent global events. And, it’s incredibly eco-friendly.

By promoting remote work, you reduce commuting emissions and office energy use. Use project management tools like Asana or Trello, and stay connected with tools like Zoom.

Imagine fewer cars on the road, lower office bills, and a happy workforce enjoying work-life balance. Sustainability truly begins at home!

5. Sustainable Procurement

Whether it’s stationery or office furniture, what you buy impacts the planet. Adopt sustainable procurement. Choose suppliers that prioritise sustainability.

Look for eco-friendly products. Check the sustainability practices of your suppliers. Your choices can promote greener supply chains.

You’re not only reducing your environmental impact but also supporting other sustainable businesses. That’s a ripple effect you’d love to create!

6. Educate Your Team

Being a sustainable solicitor isn’t a one-person job. It’s a collective effort. Educate your team about the importance of sustainability.

Run regular training sessions. Share sustainability tips. Promote sustainability as a part of your company culture. The more your team is informed, the more they can contribute.

Building a green team means greater innovation in sustainability practices. It’s not just your firm getting greener, it’s your people too!

7. Opt for Green Travel

Last, but not least, consider green travel options. Solicitors often need to travel for client meetings or court sessions.

Whenever possible, use public transport, cycle, or walk. For unavoidable long-distance travel, opt for airlines with carbon offset programs. You could even install EV charging stations at your office for electric vehicles.

It cuts down on emissions and promotes a healthier lifestyle. As a sustainable solicitor, you’ll be paving the way for eco-conscious transportation in your community!

Solicitors sustainability toolkit

Sustainability Toolkit For Solicitors

This toolkit is specifically designed for solicitors, offering a comprehensive guide to enhancing sustainability in your operations. Let’s dive into what’s inside:

Sustainability Action Plan Template: Don’t know where to start? This template is your first step. It helps you identify areas for improvement and set realistic sustainability goals. With a clear action plan, your sustainability journey becomes easier and more effective.

Sustainability Policy Template: A sustainability policy communicates your commitment to eco-friendly practices. This template guides you through creating a robust policy. It sets the tone for your team and clients about your dedication as a sustainable solicitor.

Sustainable Supplier Assessment Template: Your suppliers play a crucial role in your sustainability journey. This template helps assess their eco-credentials. It ensures you’re working with suppliers that share your green values.

Waste Audit Template: Waste reduction is a huge part of sustainability. This template helps you audit your waste production, guiding you on how to reduce, reuse, and recycle effectively.

Employee Sustainability Pledge Template: This template is a great way to engage your team. It invites them to make personal sustainability pledges, fostering a green culture within your firm.

Download Toolkit

Solicitors Found These Helpful

While you’re here, why not check out our other resources tailored for different business types? You might find some inspiration or learn something new! Here are a few you might like:

Sustainable Accountants: Find out how accountants are going green, and see if you can apply their methods in your practice.

Sustainable Estate Agents: Estate agents have unique ways of being sustainable. Their ideas might spark your imagination too.

Sustainable Vets: From managing medical waste to eco-friendly practices, vets are rocking sustainability. Check it out!

Feel free to explore. You might be surprised at what you find!

“Solicitors can integrate sustainability into legal practices by advising clients on environmental regulations, supporting sustainable business practices, and promoting social responsibility.” – Law Society of England and Wales

The Challenges for Solicitors & Solutions

Moving towards a sustainable solicitors’ practice is not without its challenges. The main hurdles typically involve cost, resistance to change, and the fear of decreased productivity.

Implementing green initiatives often involves an upfront investment. There’s a misconception that sustainability could lead to reduced efficiency or additional workload. In addition, not everyone is open to change, which can be a major stumbling block.

Potential Solutions

Fortunately, the potential benefits of sustainable practices far outweigh these challenges. For the issue of cost, many green initiatives actually lead to cost savings in the long run. For instance, reducing paper use can significantly decrease office expenses. Energy-efficient appliances may have higher upfront costs, but they save money by reducing energy bills.

As for resistance to change, awareness and education are key. Providing information about the importance of sustainability and how it can benefit the firm can foster a more receptive environment.

The fear of reduced productivity can be tackled by gradual implementation. Instead of a complete overhaul, try introducing changes step-by-step, allowing staff to adapt at a manageable pace.

Case Studies – Solicitors Sustainability

Let’s look at some real-life examples of sustainable solicitors’ practices:

1. Slaughter and May is a leading example of sustainable law firms. Their recycling program and energy efficiency measures have significantly reduced their carbon footprint.

2. DLA Piper, an international law firm, has a strong commitment to sustainability. Their offices worldwide follow environmentally friendly practices, including waste reduction and energy conservation.

Impressive Stats

Here are a couple of impressive stats that show the growing trend of sustainability in the legal sector:

1. In Europe, the Legal Sustainability Alliance’s 2022 report showed LSA member Shoosmiths has a target for its operations to achieve net zero by 2025

2. In the USA, according to the American Bar Association, 72% of law firms reported taking steps towards becoming more sustainable. This shows a significant shift towards sustainable solicitors’ practices.


In essence, becoming a sustainable solicitor’s practice is not just good for the planet, it’s also great for business. You can reduce costs, boost your reputation, and ensure a more resilient and innovative firm.

It might seem daunting at first, but remember, small changes make a big difference. So, why not start today? Our toolkit is a fantastic resource to get you started.

Sustainable Solicitors FAQ

Q: What are the benefits of a sustainable solicitors’ practice?

A: Sustainability in a solicitors’ practice can lead to cost savings, improved reputation, and enhanced resilience and innovation.

Q: How can I make my solicitors’ practice more sustainable?

A: You can implement measures such as going paperless, conserving energy, encouraging green commuting, sourcing ethical suppliers, and more.

Q: Is it expensive to make a solicitors’ practice sustainable?

A: There can be upfront costs. However, sustainable practices often lead to long-term savings, such as reduced energy bills and less paper waste.

Q: What if my staff are resistant to change?

A: Education and awareness can help. Discuss the benefits of sustainability with your team and introduce changes gradually.

Q: Where can I find resources to help me make my practice more sustainable?

A: Our free toolkit provides a range of templates and guides to help you enhance sustainability in your operations.

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