Gray Plant Mooty
Our Middle Name is Green
An early adopter of green initiatives, Gray Plant Mooty understands the importance of collective efforts to encourage responsible stewardship of environmental resources. The firm launched its Green Team in 2007, and continues its commitment to this endeavor with active participation by lawyers, paralegals, legal administrative assistants, and administrative staff.
The mission of the Green Team is to consider the firm’s carbon impact and attempt to reduce it, to make individuals aware of their own carbon impact and encourage its reduction, and to provide leadership on carbon-reduction issues. The Green Team works to raise awareness of issues relating to the environment and global climate change and to increase understanding of the environmental consequences of our choices.
The Green Team has encouraged the firm’s adoption of environmentally responsible practices that conserve energy, reduce waste, and recycle resources. The firm has invested in state-of-the-art video conferencing systems in all offices, allowing attorneys and staff to communicate with their colleagues without unnecessary travel, and has long been committed to subsidizing mass transit.
In May 2009, two GPM attorneys gave a MN CLE presentation entitled, "Life and the Law: Biking to Work." Principal John Brower says that advantages of biking include enjoying the ride and scenery, fitting exercise into a busy day, converting commuting time into exercise time, saving money compared to driving or taking the bus, and benefiting the environment by reducing congestion. Principal Mark Williamson says that biking is less stressful than driving and is great for the environment.
"Gray Plant Mooty’s commitment to the environment isn’t new,” said Tamara Hjelle Olsen. “GPM attorneys were active in establishing the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness in the 1970s and assisted in drafting the BWCA Wilderness Act of 1978, which enhanced protection for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Our attorneys also served on the legal team which defended the 1978 Act before the Federal Courts, including the United States Supreme Court. Firm attorneys have worked on a pro bono basis on behalf of the North Star Chapter of the Sierra Club since the 1970s. We’re pleased to make public in this new way our participation in keeping our communities and our world green.
Examples of other firm initiatives include:
- Distributing newsletters and alerts to clients and attorneys via email rather than hard copy
- Sending invitations electronically for most events, seminars, Webinars, and conferences
- Producing and distributing annual pro bono and diversity reports electronically
- Using extranet sites for storing, transporting, and sharing case-related documents and collaborative materials
- Posting articles on sustainability and conservation topics weekly on a “GPM Greenhouse” page on the firm’s intranet
- Providing electronic subscriptions for periodicals
- Handling benefits enrollment and other Human Resources documents online
- Replacing incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient products
- Recycling office paper, newspapers and journals, plastic, aluminum cans, and bottle caps
- Using flat panel monitors throughout the firm to reduce electricity consumption
- Virtualizing computer servers to reduce the need for additional physical servers, resulting in lower demand for electricity
- Implementing duplex printing capabilities
- Turning off lights, copiers/printers, and computers at the end of the day
Gray Plant Mooty embraces these and other green initiatives as it strives to raise awareness of the collective good that comes from making environmentally responsible decisions.