A Firm-Wide Initiative
What better day to kick off a firm-wide “green” initiative than St. Patrick’s Day? On March 17, 2008, the firm launched “Gibbons Goes Green,” our platform for creating an environmentally conscious workplace. The Gibbons Goes Green program is designed to help employees and clients align values with best practices by, for example, using recyclable office supplies, promoting recycling throughout the firm, minimizing office waste, practicing better paper management, and promoting the use of sustainable and fair trade products whenever possible. Energy conservation is also a component of Gibbons Goes Green, which we achieve through innovative methods of regulating heating and air conditioning.

Environmental Leadership in the Business Community
Gibbons is classified as a partner in the American Bar Association’s Climate Challenge for Best Practices for Office Paper Management based on our implementation of best practices for office paper management, which include, but are not limited to, using paper that has at least 30 percent post-consumer recycled content, as well as recycling at least 90 percent of discarded mixed office paper. The firm is also classified as a partner in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WasteWise Program for our Newark office. As part of this partnership, Gibbons is also a member of the New Jersey WasteWise Business Network, through which we participate in biannual educational meetings to further learn how to reduce waste and save money; increase recycling and reduce disposal costs; and expand our purchase of recycled products. WasteWise partners have access to a wide variety of resources and networking opportunities, as well as technical assistance in developing, implementing, and improving program strategies.

Through Gibbons Goes Green, Gibbons is sending a clear signal to employees, suppliers, and clients that we are aware of the footprint each individual leaves on the environment. To ensure successful launch and implementation, the Gibbons Goes Green kick-off comprised educational workshops throughout the day for employees throughout our offices, covering topics that addressed “green” citizenship; “greening” your home; gardening; and community involvement. Post-launch, the firm has continued to host regularly scheduled conservation programs for employees, which provide tips on how to conserve energy and resources in their homes. Our firm’s monthly newsletter, the Gibbons Gazette (distributed via email, of course!) regularly includes helpful tips and resources and benchmarks the firm’s progress through the cycle of specific initiatives that serve as the program’s focus for a particular timeframe. Gibbons Goes Green addresses the following efforts:

  • Conserving Energy: The firm’s Building Management System offers tenants the ability to regulate and conserve heating and air conditioning. For instance, we are able to lower the temperature on different sides of the building at different times of the day, depending on the heat load. In addition, the windows of the firm’s Newark and New York offices are outfitted with a film that retains heat in the winter months and reflects UV rays in the summer. All firm offices feature energy efficient appliances. As office equipment—including computers, monitors, printers, copiers, and facsimile machines—wears out, the firm replaces them with more energy efficient equipment. All firm computers also have screen savers that are enforced by firm policy. Our lighting systems use automatic lighting controls, such as dimming systems that turn off lights in offices, hallways, restrooms, and conference rooms when they are not in use. In addition, when Gibbons moved into custom, modernized headquarters in Newark, we designed the offices to feature glass walls and doors with clear glass tops that allow natural light into the interior of the office. Gibbons will incorporate the use of glass fronts to increase natural light in its redesign of its other offices.

  • Recycling, Reusing, and Reducing: All the firm’s five offices have recycling programs in place, which are managed by the building landlords for each office. The program includes the recycling of paper; plastic, aluminum, and glass; printer cartridges; and PDA and cell phone devices. We have placed recycling receptacles throughout the firm, including in every pantry, supply room, copy room, and administrative department on each of our six floors in the Newark, NJ headquarters. One receptacle in each designated location is clearly labeled “Paper Only” and the other “Glass, Plastic, Aluminum Only.” Also, every employee workspace features a blue recycling receptacle. Shredding bins for confidential materials are located in strategic areas throughout all firm offices. The documents that are picked up by the shredding company are then shredded, baled, and recycled back to the pulp mills. Wherever possible, the firm chooses recycled materials for its supplies, in particular office supplies containing at least 30 percent post-consumer waste, recycled content. Gibbons also has a policy of reusing, selling, or donating used office furniture, supplies, and computers. During the move and renovation of our Trenton office, for example, we had much of the furniture restored to new condition for personal use by our employees there. We also donate used binders to local schools.

    Gibbons is additionally working to reduce consumption in various areas. For example, we in order to drastically reduce our reliance on bottled water, we installed water filtration systems in every pantry and in the kitchen, encourage people to bring in their own reusable water bottles, and discontinued serving bottled water during client meetings and conferences, instead serving filtered water in glass pitchers. Our paper reduction efforts include the implementation of ADP iPayStatements, paperless paychecks for all employees. Through ADP, our payroll provider, we are able to offer access to earnings statements and W2 forms 24 hours per day, seven days a week.

  • Environmentally Friendly Suppliers: Gibbons met with all the firm’s suppliers in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania to ensure that they have environmentally friendly policies and practices. As we begin relationships with new suppliers, we strongly evaluate the environmental considerations of their business practices before we engage. In addition, all vendors utilized for the 2007 redesign of the firm’s Newark office were selected based on a number of factors, one of which was their environmental policies. All items and building materials (including ceiling tiles, window treatments, etc.) chosen for this office were selected based on criteria that included their environmental impact.