Becoming an environmentally friendly organization should be everyone's responsibility, including your firm's senior management. Real and permanent change must be fostered by an agency-wide commitment.
Agency leadership should direct efforts, but all employees can make a difference by suggesting new programs and offering to take ownership of certain activities. For example, any person can recommend that the firm create a "task force" to explore ways to be greener, and offer to lead the group.
You can develop a task force that draws staffers from all practice areas. This group should meet regularly to help generate ideas - both big and small - through which the entire firm becomes a better steward of the environment.
For example, you can explore costs of using recycled paper only, encourage colleagues not to print out e-mails by including a request in your e-mail signature, and suggest that your firm replace fluorescent lights with LED bulbs.
The first step to a greener office is to lead by example. Start by not wasting paper and turning your computer off at the end of the day. These might seem like very small steps, but they can go a long way and even take on a contagious vibe among other members of the firm.
Steve Seeman is VP at Makovsky & Company.
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