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Practising not preaching – law firm Adams & Adams on its own sustainability journey

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Practising not preaching – law firm Adams & Adams on its own sustainability journey

29th August 2013

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With the earth’s resources fast depleting at a rate that is currently not feasibly replenished, it is up to all businesses to take sustainable action and make big changes.  This is all the more important when considering the considerable growth and development across the African continent at the moment.

With more than fifteen offices in African cities, the law firm Adams and Adams is actively working on its own sustainable journey.

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This of course includes, as is possible, a focus on the firm’s product and service offerings in its fields of expertise.  Adams & Adams is a leading South African law firm, founded in 1908.  The firm specialises in intellectual property law, is the largest intellectual property law practice in the southern hemisphere and also provides general commercial legal services.

The onus is on businesses, amongst other things, to implement measures which reduce their carbon footprint.  “The firm is committed to respecting and embracing the wellbeing of the earth and all of its people, with a particular focus on Africa,” says Charne Le Roux, partner at Adams & Adams and responsible for its sustainability initiatives.

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Le Roux says Adams & Adams implements responsible practices for the conservation of energy and water and the reduction of waste; whilst minimizing and thus preventing behaviour that contradicts these pursuits.  “At the same time, we continually seek further ways to continue educating employees and communities on being environmentally responsible.  This sustainable reach also extends to the regular upliftment of communities through the firm’s social responsibility initiatives.”

The approach of Adams and Adams is one grounded in sound and current business practices, whilst always keeping an intent eye on the future.  It is by no means a new focus for the partners of the firm, but certainly became a ratified major focus during 2012.  “I am proud to say that the firm doesn’t regard itself as a fast-follower but rather a leader in fulfilling the needs of our clients by practicing sound, bottom line-changing sustainable practices, including pending regulatory developments that could have far-reaching implications for business, including proposed changes within energy regulation and the development of a domestic carbon tax, to name but a few.”

Adams and Adams is putting its money where it matters and is believed to be the first law firm in the country to encompass all its sustainable initiatives into a formal annual report.  The report for the past financial year is available on the firm’s website at http://www.adamsadams.com/index.php/expertise/green__environmental_law/sustainability_report__-_february_2013/.  Le Roux says of the report: “The thinking is that our business approach, which is of course affected by rising energy costs, non-renewable resources and a continuous change in client expectations, must evolve to reduce our electricity use, paper consumption and business travel.   Whether in financial, human, socio-economic or any inter-connected context, a business’ sustainability is also now tangible and measurable.   We believe our 2012 report goes a long way in showing our dedication to this process, which not only reduces pollution, but has a direct cost saving. “

For more information, contact Charne le Roux, partner at Adams & Adams charne.leroux@adamsadams.com or Cape Town office tel 021 418 8560

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