Sustainability is central to the firm’s corporate social responsibility program. As active corporate citizens, our sustainability efforts inform virtually every aspect of our firm’s relationship with its people, our communities, and our responsibility in maintaining the long-term viability of both.
As a values-driven business, we prioritize making the world a better place. We are proud to be an integral part of the communities in which we work and live, and for more than three decades our attorneys and staff have generously shared their compassion, time and legal experience to help those around us. We improve access to justice, advance diversity and inclusion, promote environmental sustainability and support community initiatives at the local level and beyond.
We focus our sustainability efforts on developing ambitious and quantifiable environmental, social and governance standards, and we are committed to making a positive impact through our work with our people, our environment and the way we run our firm.
We recognize our responsibility in taking care of the natural environment and resources we all share, and we are committed to minimizing the impact our firm has on the environment. Our environmental footprint strategy seeks to address greenhouse gas emissions and waste across our operations as we strive to continually strengthen our environmental practices. We aim to lower our direct and indirect emissions through improved and more efficient energy consumption, environmentally friendly travel policies, and reducing the waste that we send to landfills.
We put people at the center of everything we do and we strive to empower our people to improve their lives and reach their full potential. We believe that genuine organizational inclusion fosters a more diverse workforce where diverse voices are heard, ideas are considered, bold thinking is valued and people can grow to their fullest potential. Through training, education, and opportunity, we have cultivated a culture where we strive for a firm where everyone can come to work as their authentic self, and where “covering” is not part of being successful at our firm. We are committed to supporting and sustaining the holistic well-being of our attorneys and staff and, through our pro bono and community efforts we strive to enhance the well-being of others in our community.
Our commitment to responsible governance reflects our culture of operational excellence, high professional and ethical standards, and responsible business practices. Our strategic vision recognizes, that integrity, respect, collaboration and inclusion are the values against which our decisions are weighed. Our leadership has developed goals and processes to measure our commitment and to ensure that we retain our focus. That includes a standing agenda item for our board on diversity and inclusion, and a regular review of succession planning and leadership development. These commitments demonstrate our intent to lead responsibly in any environment.
Our Efforts to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
We are committed to achieving energy performance improvement across our business by continually conserving energy, reducing consumption and waste, and promoting recycling in our office. Among many implemented steps, we:
- Use a secure electronic filing system, meaningfully reducing the need for any paper files
- Reduced our energy consumption significantly by moving to a more virtualized server infrastructure
- Converted our lighting to low voltage LED lighting, and added motion sensors to reduce energy use during recent construction projects
- Installed low-flow aerators for kitchen and bathroom sinks
- Installed flow controlled water utilities in toilet flush systems
- Invested in energy-efficient appliances and computers, and continue to manage our purchases to improve our energy performance
- Implemented double-sided printing and copying as defaults
- Replaced all single-use bottled water with water pitchers for all meetings
- Implemented a composting program for all in-office food waste, soiled containers and paper, and disposable food products to significantly reduce what is sent to the landfill
- Promote alternative transportation through our Divvy bike program and secure bike parking
- Monitor our energy use and our direct greenhouse gas emissions, and strive to make year-on-year reductions
- Are implementing firm-wide policies to minimize the impact of business travel
- Manage the purchase of good and services, and seek to use them more sustainably
- Ensure that environmental conditions are taken into account in relation to our property and facilities management
NGE Sustainability Committee
NGE’s Sustainability Committee oversees the firm’s practices designed to reduce our footprint on the environment, and through education and interactive events, seeks to continually raise awareness of our environmental impacts, the methods to reduce them, and improve our energy performance. We strongly believe that sustainable practices are necessary for a better future and are proud to be among the leaders in promoting sustainable practices in the legal industry.
We were among the first firms to join the EPA and ABA’s Climate Challenge conforming to requirements of paper use, waste management and energy conservation under the EPA’s Energy Star Program. In addition, NGE has taken a leadership role in the legal industry as a member of the Law Firm Sustainability Network (LFSN), sharing its vision with other green law firms to improve the entire industry’s sustainable practices. We participate in LFSN’s American Legal Industry Sustainability Standard (ALISS), a web-based tool that serves both as a roadmap of best practices and an objective measure of a firm’s sustainability efforts. In 2021, we joined the EPA's Green Power Partnership and its mission to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help to protect our planet. Through this partnership, NGE committed to buy 100 percent of its energy needs from green power sources. In 2022, we partnered with Collective Resource, Inc., a woman-owned compost and food scrap pickup service, to compost in-office food waste, soiled containers and paper, and all NGE disposable food products.