For years, McCown & Evans staff have looked for ways to be green. It has been an ongoing conversation within the firm that gained momentum as we have been able to make changes that we all see. We are doing our best to adopt smart and responsible ways to cut back on wasteful practices within our business. Along the way we have received recognition for these efforts.
Recognition Received for Our Green Practices
Carbon Footprint Award
In 2010, we were awarded the Carbon Footprint Award by the Pyramid Center for outstanding achievement in reducing carbon footprint in the areas of waste reduction, conservation and transportation.
In 2013 we were the first business immigration law firm in San Francisco to receive SF Green Business recognition. The San Francisco Department of the Environment performed a rigorous review of our business with a particular focus on our purchasing, use, and disposal practices. They determined that we contribute to sustainability in the following areas: pollution prevention, waste management, conservation practices, water and waste water management and energy efficiency. They also determined that we continue to push limits and look for new ways to uphold all of our pledges to waste reduction, conservation, and alternative transportation.
CoolCalifornia Climate Leader
In 2016 we were chosen as one of only 11 CoolCalifornia Climate Leader award winners. The CoolCalifornia Small Business Award Program was implemented in 2009 and it recognizes California businesses for their voluntary efforts in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, promoting climate friendly practices, and integrating sustainability throughout our operations.
Examples of Our Green Practices
- We have gone paperless for all new cases. Case preparation is completed electronically.
- We use ENERGY STAR certified office equipment.
- We use motion sensor energy efficient lighting.
- We use 100% green cleaning products.
- We use recycled toners.
- We participate in the Commuter Check program to support our staff in using public transportation. We have 100% staff participation, which helps us eliminate tremendous greenhouse gas emissions and saves us potential fuel costs.
- We have eradicated junk mail delivery and have significantly reduced paper use by the following means:
- Gathering client information/documents electronically rather than in hard copy.
- Storing scans of government filings rather than making photocopies.
- Printing double-sided whenever printing is mandatory.
- Electronic archiving (vs. physical storage) of client files.
- Using online case management tools.
- Buying only 100% post-consumer recycled paper.
- Using scratch paper for printing.
- Sending news to clients via electronic newsletters vs. mailing a paper newsletter.
- Sending out client holiday wishes electronically instead of ordering printed cards and mailing them.
Our Current Goals for Improvement
- Community involvement
- Attend Green Festival Expo to get ideas/inspirations from other businesses.
- Create green focused events for staff to all participate in such as a Coastal Cleanup day and other volunteering opportunity.
- Holiday Gift drive: gift wrapping with reusable materials (no more store-bought holiday gift wrapping paper).
- Keep up Green Board in kitchen, update regularly, educate staff on latest and greatest efforts and commitments.
- Communicate to clients about our green efforts/awards through:
- Updated website
- Twitter account
- Add in Green business logo to email signature or elsewhere
- Ask our partnering companies to send us invoices electronically, thereby reducing incoming mail (Xerox, TPX, Jetset Messengers, translators etc.).
- Office improvement
- Kitchen improvements
- Stop ordering canned bubble water and get SodaStream or similar machine.
- Food order changes: consolidate ordering to a single source; order milk in glass so container can be reused as water jug or vase etc.; get milk refilled locally.
- Reuse paper bags.
- Discontinue using paper towels and stick to dish cloths.
- Food labeling in fridge to be used with a reusable system and not Avery label stickers.
- Start ordering eco-friendly refillable pens.
- Use dry-erase boards for notes, updates, reminders on cases, instead of notebooks, notepads along with refillable whiteboard markers.
- Donate unwanted, used but still good office supplies to SCRAP, a non-profit in SF who help out teachers, schools, and artists with office supplies donations.
- Kitchen improvements