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    Edition: 4/5/09A                                                                Deleted: Draft
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                             AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION

               SECTION OF ENVIRONMENT, ENERGY, AND RESOURCES
                 STANDING COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

           CO-SPONSORED AND SUPPORTED BY (List other ABA groups here)

                        REPORT TO THE HOUSE OF DELEGATES

                                   RECOMMENDATION



1   RESOLVED, that the American Bar Association urges law firms and other law
2   organizations to use the Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources’ Model
3   Sustainability Policy and Implementation Guidelines for Law Organizations.
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                                        REPORT
1. Introduction

In August 2003, the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates endorsed “the
internationally accepted concept of sustainable development, as recognized by the United
Nations Conference on Environment Development and subsequent international
conferences: simultaneous achievement of environmental protection, economic
development, social development, and peace, at the same time, for present and future
generations.” The House of Delegates also agreed to “promote the principles of
sustainable development in relevant fields of law” and “encourage governments … as
well as businesses, nongovernmental organizations, and other entities, to promote
sustainable development, including by adopting and implementing appropriate measures
with respect to their own facilities and activities.”

In February 2008, the House of Delegates, recognizing the serious risks to human health
and well-being that are presented by climate change, urged “the United States
government to take a leadership role in addressing the issue of climate change through
legal, policy, financial, and educational mechanisms.” Thereafter, various law firms
sought a way to demonstrate a commitment to address climate change through their own
actions and operations. Consequently, the House of Delegates in February 2009 adopted
a resolution “urging law firms and other law organizations to adopt the ABA-EPA Law
Office Climate Challenge.” The Climate Challenge is a tool designed to encourage law
offices to take specific steps to conserve energy and resources, as well as reduce
emissions of greenhouse gases (which cause global climate change) and other pollutants.

Likewise, in the wake of the resolution on sustainable development, numerous law firms
and other law organizations have sought a flexible tool through which they could
demonstrate their commitment to addressing sustainable development (or sustainability)
in their own operations. As noted above, sustainability goes beyond climate change, and
encompasses the broad concept of economic, social and environmental responsibility—
the so-called triple bottom line. Firms have wanted a tool that would address the
sustainability concept as now being covered in the public sustainability reports of several
thousand companies worldwide. In short, sustainability is a concept being used by
modern large corporations that are the major clients of many ABA members. These
companies—these clients--are not only taking significant action on sustainability issues
themselves, but are looking to their suppliers and service providers to do the same.

To carry out the abovementioned resolutions, and meet the demands for such tools within
the legal community, the Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER), with
the assistance of the ABA Law Practice Management Section, the ABA Standing
Committee on Environmental Law and other groups (list them here), and a host of law
firms and sustainability experts, has developed the Model Sustainability Policy and
Implementation Guidelines for Law Organizations. This policy was adapted from a
similar sustainability policy which reflected the content of sustainability agreed upon by




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15 leading corporations. Law firms of various sizes have adopted and piloted this tool to
confirm its feasibility and value and help refine its content.

2. Overview of ABA Model Sustainability Policy and Implementation Guidelines for
Law Organizations

        A. Development of Model Policy and Implementation Guidelines

From the perspective of law organizations, which assume that peace and security are              Deleted: In its 2003 resolution on
                                                                                                 sustainable development, the House of
provided primarily by the government, sustainable development or sustainability entails          Delegates adopted “the internationally
meeting the “triple bottom line” of economic, social and environmental responsibility.           accepted concept of sustainable
                                                                                                 development, as recognized at the United
This is consistent with the meaning of the concept as adopted in the 2003 resolution             Nations Conference on Environment and
discussed earlier. Sustainable development is about fostering respect for people and             Development in 1992 and subsequent
                                                                                                 international conferences: simultaneous
other living things while at the same time wisely using and managing environmental and           achievement of environmental protection,
economic resources. It calls for a careful balancing that takes into account the interests of    economic development, social
                                                                                                 development, and peace, for present and
key stakeholders—employees, clients, suppliers, investors, governments, and others—the           future generations.”
very parties whose support is critical to the success of any organization.

As the House of Delegates understood in 2003, the difficult challenge of achieving
economic development while protecting the environment and improving conditions of
society could not be met by national and international governments alone. Since then,
many businesses, cities, non-governmental organizations, and academic institutions have
realized they have a role to play in the march toward sustainability. Taking a clue from
their clients, more recently, some law firms have begun to ask what sustainability means
to them. The Model Sustainability Policy and Implementation Guidelines were intended
to answer that question.

The Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources worked for two years with special
teams of ABA members from over 20 firms, with the co-sponsors of this resolution, and
with numerous other groups within the ABA to develop the model policy and guidelines.
The tool was vetted through an extensive review process, which included ongoing
oversight and support by the SEER Council and the Standing Committee on
Environmental Law, and discussion at three SEER section meetings. In addition, the
document was distributed for comment to the state bar associations and a broad range of
ABA groups, including those involved with ethics and professional responsibility, labor,
diversity, pro bono legal services, students, young lawyers, women and business. Website
resources and other tools of many of these groups were cited in the sustainability tool for
reference. (Before this submittal is finalized, additional text will be added here on the
eventual co-sponsorship and other involvement of these groups.) Nine large and small
law firms that were piloting the tools shared their progress and lessons at a workshop in
Chicago in April 2008, and their feedback prompted further improvements in the tool.
Several additional firms also piloted the revised tool after that.

        B. Demand for Model Policy and Implementation Guidelines

Business and industry have become increasingly engaged in sustainability, with growing
sophistication and more intensive commitment. As they do, it is both appropriate and necessary


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for their lawyers to do the same. The model policy and implementation guidelines respond to that
demand.

Attention to sustainability has been growing worldwide over the past few years.
General Electric introduced its Ecomagination initiative on clean technology and sustainability,
and Wal-Mart is pursuing its Sustainability 360 initiative and rolling it out to tens of thousands of
suppliers. Companies of all types and sizes have realized that a balanced focus on economic,
social and environmental issues within and outside the organization can improve their
competitive advantage through lower costs and improved efficiencies, improved recruitment and
employee satisfaction, better and more appealing products and services and an stronger overall
brand.

Public reporting on sustainability has exploded--from 200 reports in 1995 to 2,700 reports in
2007. The Global Reporting Initiative’s sustainability reporting guidelines are now being used by
over a third of those companies. Since its founding in 2000, the Global Compact, a UN-
sponsored set of principles for global corporate sustainability, has grown to over 5500 corporate
participants and other supporting stakeholders from more than 130 countries. The International
Organization on Standardization (ISO) has been working with hundreds of businesses, activist,
labor unions, and academics from all corners of the world to develop the ISO 26000 Guideline
Standard on social (and environmental) responsibility, due out in 2010.

Socially responsible investing (SRI) has surged 250% since 1995 and now exceeds $2 trillion in
the United States, accounting for one of every $10 of managed portfolio investments. SRI has
also burst on the scene in Western Europe and elsewhere. European and American mainstream
investment houses have been adopting new practices and methods for evaluating the financial
impacts of climate change and other environmental, social, and governance issues in their
investing and company analyses. More than 30 major banks have endorsed the Equator
Principles, committing to consider citizenship and sustainability when making major investment
decisions. The International Finance Corporation, the funding arm of the World Bank, now has a
set of sustainability management systems requirements it mandates for borrowers.

Standards on sustainable forestry, sustainable fishing, sustainable agriculture and green buildings,
to name a few areas, have abounded. Conferences on sustainability themes have sprung up
everywhere--even in Croatia, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Iceland, Palestine, Kenya, Chile,
and China.

The increased attention to the triple bottom line of sustainability is not just finding an audience
with business. Universities and cities have also engaged the concept. Founded a little over two         Deleted: rushed
years ago, the U.S.-based Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education             Deleted: to
now boasts 660 academic institutions as members. Over 1075 cities, towns, counties, and
their associations worldwide have joined ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, an
international association of local governments as well as national and regional local
government organizations that have made a commitment to sustainable development.

Given these and other developments, law firms and other law organizations have sought
tools to demonstrate a commitment to sustainability, not only to better align themselves
with major clients but also as a reflection of their personal values—their integrity;
financial prudence; appreciation for the environment; respect for employees,
communities and clients; and desire to help the unfortunate among us..



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As many law firms and other law organizations have recognized, the concept of
sustainability as reflected in the model policy is particularly relevant in difficult
economic times. Through this policy and implementation guidelines, law firms and other
law organizations can:
        Save costs and improve productivity through energy and paper reduction, e-
        communications in lieu of travel, enhanced employee relations and other efforts.
        Help maintain focus on standards of professional responsibility at times when the
        temptation to bend them is greatest.
        Underscore with their own personnel that a commitment to sustainability includes
        the responsibility of sustaining the financial viability of the firm while continuing to
        respond to the social and environmental expectations of key stakeholders.
        Demonstrate sensitivity to the growing struggles of the unfortunate in our society and
        offer innovative ideas on how to help.

In April 2008, in response to a growing wave of state bar organizations taking up the
issue of sustainability practices in law organizations, SEER formed a Multi-state Law
Sustainability Practices Forum to exchange information on the latest developments in this
field. Currently representatives from the state bars in Oregon, California, Pennsylvania,
and Texas are participating. Likely future representatives include the New York City and
Massachusetts bars, where sustainability programs have also been initiated.

        C. Overview of Policy and Implementation Guidelines

The Model Policy and Implementation Guidelines contain the following parts:

    •   Introduction and Background. This provides contextual information of the type
        presented above.

    •   Model Sustainability Policy. This one-page policy covers the economic, social
        and environmental elements that law firms have found practical and many firms
        are already following. The intention is that the model be adjusted by each
        endorsing law organization, producing a version of a commitment to
        sustainability’s triple bottom line that would best fit the organization’s own
        location, structure, nature, values and culture.

    •   Implementation Guidelines. The Guidelines provide suggestions on how a law
        organization might use the policy tool and make it an effective instrument for
        driving constructive change within the organization. Special guidance is provided
        on how the approach may be simplified for sole practitioners. Each endorsing law
        organization can implement its sustainability policy in its own practical way, in a
        way that is most suitable to its resources, location, structure, culture, and nature of
        operations, and services. It is not expected that the organization adopt all of the
        practices listed in the guidelines; indeed, other practices may be just as effective
        for the organization, if not more so. Also, given the breadth of the policy, it is
        expected that organizations will prioritize and pace their efforts toward
        implementation over time.



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   •   References. This was provided to aid those who seek more insight and help on
       various sustainability topics related to the practice of law. Especially helpful are
       the checklists of sustainability practices developed by the cities of Philadelphia
       and San Francisco and the state bar organizations from California, Oregon and
       Massachusetts. Other firms and resources may also provide good suggestions.

                Another useful reference is the Shared Ideas for Implementing the ABA
       Model Sustainability Policy and Implementation Guidelines provided on the
       SEER website. The Shared Ideas list, which is similar to the lists provided by the
       state bar organizations, is simply a web-based collection of ideas provided by
       pilot firms and others about what a law organization might do to implement
       various parts of the model policy. For example, ABA’s Climate Challenge
       program is included as one suggestion about how a law firm might show its
       commitment in the environmental area.

               This section also mentions ABA’s 1997 resolution encouraging alternative
       work schedules and the work-life balance guidance from the ABA’s General
       Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division. Other ABA groups mentioned include the
       Law Practice Management Section, the Commission on Homelessness & Poverty;
       Section of Labor and Employment Law; Advisory Council on Diversity;
       Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession; Center for
       Professional Responsibility; ETHICSearch Ethics Research Service; Standing
       Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service; the Center for Pro Bono; Section of
       Individual Rights and Responsibilities; and Center for Human Rights, among
       others. Each of these groups has expertise and perhaps tools that may prove
       useful to those law firms that want to focus on the group’s area in
       demonstrating their social responsibility under the policy they adopt. In fact,
       firms may want to consider participation in such groups in partial fulfillment
       of their policy commitments. Other useful tools cited are those developed by
       bar organizations from California, Oregon and Massachusetts; and the cities of
       Philadelphia and San Francisco.

The full model sustainability policy and implementation guidelines can be found on the
ABA Web site at http://www.abanet.org/environ/committees/climatechange/ .

The tool is designed for flexible use. Firms and other law organizations desiring to adopt
a public policy on only environmental or social aspects of sustainability may find those
parts of the tool useful for that purpose. Going forward, however, those firms that adopt
their own triple bottom line policy substantially similar to the model, develop a plan for
improving performance under it, and periodically report their progress will be recognized
as “sustainability leaders” through a posting on SEER’s Web site. Others using or
endorsing the policy will be cited as “sustainability supporters.”

Overall, the tool should allow law organizations to demonstrate in a meaningful way
what they are doing to be good organizational citizens. The adoption and implementation



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of the policy not only strengthens a firm’s reputation or “brand,” but should enhance its
efficiency, productivity and employee recruitment and retention. It will more closely
align the firm with the growing legions of current and potential clients who are now
embracing sustainability, thus enabling the firm to better understand and reflect the
values of such clients and provide more effective counsel. Moreover, the tool should
improve the firm’s appreciation for the critical social, environmental and economic issues
that lie ahead for society as a whole, and ultimately, for its clients and itself. Finally, the
adoption and implementation of the policy by many ABA members should show others
that the association, which has long supported sustainability, is willing to “walk the talk”
and enhance the reputation of the U.S. legal profession as a responsible, caring
contributor to the public good.


4. Conclusion

This resolution is timely and important to the ABA because more and more law
organizations and their clients recognize the importance of sustainable development and
are seeking concrete opportunities to show that they too are doing their part in addressing
this important concept. This resolution is necessary because, as the House of Delegates
recognized in its previous resolutions, this issue demands action and the legal profession
has a critical role to play.

                                       Respectfully submitted,


                                       Claudia Rast, Chair
                                       Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources

                                       Howard Kenison, Chair
                                       Standing Committee on Environmental Law



May 2009


                           GENERAL INFORMATION FORM




Submitting Entity: ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER); ABA
Standing Committee on Environmental Law

Submitted By: Claudia Rast, Chair, Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources;
Howard Kenison, Chair, Standing Committee on Environmental Law



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1.     Summary of Recommendation(s).
The American Bar Association urges law firms and other law organizations to
demonstrate their commitment to sustainability (the balance of economic, social and
environmental responsibility) through the use of the ABA Model Sustainability Policy
and Implementation Guidelines for Law Organizations.

2.     Approval by Submitting Entity.
Approved by the Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources Council on November
14, 2008. Approved by the Standing Committee on Environmental Law the week of
November 10, 2008.

3.      Has this or a similar recommendation been submitted to the House or Board
        previously?
A resolution on sustainable development in the practice of law was prepared by the Law
Practice Management Section and later modified by ABA administrative personnel for
the August 2008 House of Delegates meeting, but was tabled. The present proposal is
narrower in scope than the prior resolution, and more accurately focuses on the intent of
the model policy and guidelines. The accompanying report answers questions about the
prior resolution that were raised by the House of Delegates, namely, those related to the
economic, environmental and social scope of sustainability and the flexibility with which
firms may implement their own policy. The Climate Challenge program, which was also
originally covered by the 2008 resolution submittal, was resubmitted in a subsequent
resolution and was adopted by the House of Delegates in February 2009.

4.      What existing Association policies are relevant to this recommendation and how
        would they be affected by its adoption?
This resolution would further a series of resolutions adopted by the House of Delegates in
recent years. In 1993 the Association adopted a resolution supporting NAFTA and
procedures and institutions for the conduct of trade in North America. In 1995 the ABA
adopted a resolution promoting meaningful and effective involvement of all affected
stakeholders and interest through the public participation provisions of environmental
laws, international environmental agreements and treaties. In 2003 the Association
adopted a policy resolution reaffirming the ABA’s 1991 commitment to sustainable
development, and further encouraging governments, businesses and nongovernmental
entities to promote sustainable development and recognizing that good governance and
the rule of law are essential to achieving sustainable development. In August 2007, the
ABA adopted a resolution urging governments, businesses, nongovernmental
organizations and other organizations to integrate and consider Rule of Law Initiatives
with global environmental issues. A House of Delegates resolution of February 2009
endorsed the Climate Challenge tool, one optional way for firms to implement a key part
of the environmental provisions of the model policy. Other model policies and other tools
on diversity, pro bono work, law practices and other sustainability-related topics have
also been endorsed by the Board of Governors or House of Delegates over the years.




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5.      What urgency exists which requires action at this meeting of the House?
In the wake of the above mentioned resolutions, numerous law firms and other law
organizations sought flexible tools through which they could demonstrate their
commitment to addressing sustainable development (or sustainability) in their own
operations. In many cases, the organizations sought this not only as a reflection of their
personal values, but also to better align with major clients that were also undertaking
significant action in these areas and looking to their suppliers and service providers to do
the same. In response to the same demand, in 2008, the state bars in California and
Massachusetts adopted their own sustainability practices initiatives. In 2009, bar
organizations in Texas, Pennsylvania, Oregon, New York City and perhaps others are
also taking up the issue.

To carry out the ABA resolutions, and meet the demands for such tools within the legal
community, SEER developed the tool covered by the current resolution. Support for these
tools will enhance their visibility and credibility, and indicate a means by which law
organizations can act in furtherance of the resolutions described under Item 4 above.

Also, as further explained above and in the Frequently Asked Questions published with
the tool, sustainability entails the balance of economic, social and environmental
responsibility. It reminds us that in tough economic times like our society is now facing,
we have a responsibility to sustain the financial viability of our law organizations while
doing what we can to demonstrate social and environmental actions that help fulfill the
expectations of our stakeholders—our partners, employees, clients, suppliers,
communities, governments, and others. Indeed, during periods of economic stress, a
number of sustainability issues become of paramount importance, such as employee
relations, ethical compliance, waste and cost reduction (such as through energy
conservation, paper savings, e-communications in lieu of travel, etc.), assistance for the
unfortunate, and the counseling of clients on all these matters.


6.     Status of Legislation. (If applicable.)
Not applicable.

7.      Cost to the Association. (Both direct and indirect costs.)
The tool that would be endorsed by this resolution is already described and promoted on
the ABA Web site, which includes a list of participating law organizations. This
resolution will not impose costs on the Association beyond those already being incurred,
except for the minor administrative effort of posting additional names of law
organizations on the Association Web site.

8.      Disclosure of Interest. (If applicable.)
The cosponsoring entities hold an active interest in and engage in activities that will
foster sustainable development and address climate change generally, such as CLE
programming, provision of ABA activities information to governments, NGOs and
others, and development of policy resolutions. No individual associated with this
resolution will benefit personally from adoption of this resolution.



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9.     Referrals.
The tool which this resolution endorses is already widely known and accepted within the
Association. It has been reviewed extensively by the SEER Council, the Standing
Committee on Environmental Law and the Law Practice Management Section. In April
2008, in addition, the model sustainability policy tool was also circulated to
representatives of the ABA Sections of Business Law, Labor and Employment Law; the
ABA Law Student Division; and Young Lawyers Division; the ABA Standing
Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility; the ABA Standing Committee on
Pro Bono & Public Service; the ABA Commissions on Race & Ethnic Diversity in the
Profession, and on Women in the Profession; the ABA Centers for Human Rights and
Professional Responsibility; and various state bar associations.

10.    Contact Person. (Prior to the meeting.)

Claudia Rast, Chair, ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, Pear Sperling
Eggan & Daniels PC, Ann Arbor, MI, phone: (734) 665-8788; email: crast@psedlaw.com

11.    Contact Person. (Who will present the report to the House.)

R. Kinnan Golemon, Section Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates, K G Strategies
LLC, Austin, TX, phone: (512) 479-9707; email: KG@KGSTRATEGIES.COM

Sheila Slocum Hollis, Section Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates, Duane Morris
LLP, Washington, DC, phone: (202) 776-7810; email: sshollis@duanemorris.com

Claudia Rast, Chair, ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER), Pear
Sperling Eggan & Daniels PC, Ann Arbor, MI, phone: (734) 665-8788; email:
crast@psedlaw.com

William R. Blackburn, Co-chair, Committee of Climate Change, Sustainable
Development and Ecosystems, William Blackburn Consulting, Ltd. 1647 Bernay Lane,
Long Grove, IL, phone: (847) 530-4014; email: WRB@WBlackburnConsulting.com




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                               EXECUTIVE SUMMARY



1. Summary of the Recommendation

This recommendation urges law firms and other law organizations to demonstrate their
commitment to sustainability (the balance of economic, social and environmental
responsibility) through the use of the SEER Model Sustainability Policy and
Implementation Guidelines for Law Organizations.

2. Summary of the Issue Which the Recommendation Addresses:

The House of Delegates has adopted resolutions urging law organizations to support
sustainable development in their own facilities and activities (2003), and urging support
for the rule of law as a basis for environmental protection and sustainable development
(2003, 2007). In the wake of these resolutions, numerous law firms and other law
organizations sought flexible tools through which they could demonstrate their
commitment to addressing sustainable development (or sustainability) in their own
operations. In many cases, the organizations sought this not only as a reflection of their
personal values, but also to better align with major clients that were also undertaking
significant action in these areas and looking to their suppliers and service providers to do
the same.

3. Explanation of How the Proposed Policy Position Will Address the Issue:

To carry out these resolutions, and meet the demands for such tools within the legal
community, SEER developed the tool covered by the current resolution. This
recommendation provides a means by which law organizations can take specific steps in
furtherance of resolutions previously adopted by the House of Delegates.

4. Summary of Any Minority Views or Opposition Which Have Been Identified:

A resolution on sustainable development in the practice of law was prepared by the Law
Practice Management Section and later modified by ABA Administrative personnel for
the August 2008 House of Delegates meeting, but was tabled. The present proposal is
narrower in scope than the prior resolution, and more accurately focuses on the intent of
the model policy and guidelines. The accompanying report answers questions about the
prior resolution that were raised by the House of Delegates, namely, those related to the
economic, environmental and social scope of sustainability and the flexibility with which
firms may implement their own policy.




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                          March 25, 2009, Rev. 12: Final
            ABA Model Sustainability Policy and Implementation Guidelines
                              For Law Organizations
 (Note: This model policy and guidelines have been approved by the ABA Section of Environment, Energy and Resources
(SEER) and are supported by the ABA Standing Committee on Environment Law as well as the Law Practice Management
Section. It will be submitted to the ABA House of Delegates with a recommendation for approval at the August 2009 ABA
                                                       meeting. )
      __________________________________________________________________________

                                           Overview of Contents

This Model Sustainability Policy and Implementation Guideline can be found on the ABA Web site at
http://www.abanet.org/environ/committees/climatechange/ . This tool shows how sustainable development
relates to lawyers and their individual firms, corporate law departments, and other law organizations (“firms”).
It is designed to allow such entities to demonstrate in a meaningful way what they are doing to be good
organizational citizens in fulfilling the economic, social and environmental responsibilities that sustainability
entails.

This tool contains the following parts:

    A. Background; Frequently Asked Questions. This provides background information on the
       sustainability concept, on why and how this imitative was developed, and on how it relates to other
       ABA initiatives.

    B. Model Sustainability Policy. This is a one-page policy that covers the economic, social and
       environmental elements that law firms have found practical and many firms are already following. It
       was based on the elements of sustainability now embraced by leading corporations, non-governmental
       organizations and standards-setting bodies. The intention is that the model be adjusted by each
       endorsing law organization, producing a version of a commitment to sustainability’s Triple Bottom Line
       of economic, social and environmental responsibility that best fits the organization’s own location,
       structure, nature, values and culture.

    C. Implementation Guidelines. The Guidelines provide suggestions on how a firm might use the policy
       and make it an effective instrument for driving constructive change within the organization. Special
       guidance is provided on how the approach may be simplified for sole practitioners. In order to qualify
       as a Law Sustainability Leader under this program, a firm must develop its own plan for implementing
       its sustainability policy. The resources mentioned in the References section of this document can be
       used to help identify measures to be taken. Among the more useful tools cited are those developed by
       various ABA sections; bar organizations from California, Oregon and Massachusetts; and the cities of
       Philadelphia and San Francisco. In addition, a document entitled Shared Ideas for Implementing the
       ABA Model Sustainability Policy and Implementation Guidelines is provided on the SEER website.
       This posting is a periodically updated collection of practices used by various law firms and other
       service-type organizations to fulfill their economic, social and environmental responsibilities. Bear in
       mind some listed practices will likely be inappropriate for some firms, and none of the practices are
       required to be included in the plan. The purpose of the list is simply to stimulate ideas for the plan.

    D. References. This is provided to help those who seek more insight and help on various sustainability
       topics related to the practice of law. It mentions other ABA tools and groups, those from a number of
       state bar organizations, as well as other resources.

The policy tool is designed for flexible use. Firms and other law organizations desiring to adopt a public policy
on only environmental or social aspects of sustainability may find those parts of the tool useful for that purpose.
However, firms that support a Triple Bottom Line policy substantially similar to the model will be publicly
recognized as Law Sustainability Supporters on SEER’s website. Those that adopt their own Triple Bottom
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Line policy substantially similar to the model, develop a plan for improving performance under their policy and
periodically report their progress will be recognized as Law Sustainability Leaders.

__________________________________________________________________________________________



                           A. Background: Frequently Asked Questions


1. Why should a law firm or other law organization adopt the model sustainability policy
initiative, especially during tough economic times?
As further explained in the answer to question 6, below, sustainability entails the balance of economic,
social and environmental responsibility. It reminds us that in tough economic times, we have a
responsibility to sustain the financial viability of our law organization while doing what we can to
demonstrate social and environmental actions that help fulfill the expectations of our stakeholders—
our partners, employees, clients, suppliers, communities, governments, and others. Indeed, during
periods of economic stress, a number of sustainability issues become of paramount importance, such as
employee relations, ethical compliance, waste and cost reduction (such as through energy
conservation, paper savings, e-communications in lieu of travel, etc.), assistance for the unfortunate,
and the counseling of clients on all these matters. As reported in the Wall Street Journal (Mar.20,
2009), some major firms are coping with a drop-off of business by paying their lawyers a reduced
salary to perform public service.

Whether in good times or bad, the adoption and implementation of the policy should not only strengthen a
firm’s reputation or “brand,” but its efficiency, productivity and employee recruitment and retention. It will
more closely align the firm with the growing legions of current and potential clients who are now embracing the
Triple Bottom Line of sustainability. Such alignment should enable the firm to better understand and reflect the
values of such clients and provide more effective counsel. Moreover, the tool should improve the firm’s
appreciation for the critical social, environmental and economic issues that lie ahead for society as a whole, and
ultimately, for its clients and itself. Finally, the adoption and implementation of the policy by many ABA
members should show others that the association, which has long supported sustainability, is willing to “walk
the talk” and enhance the reputation of the US legal profession as a responsible, caring contributor to the public
good.

2. Why is the ABA involved in this initiative?

Sustainability is not new to the ABA. As far back as 1992, the association made a commitment to sustainable
development, reaffirming that commitment in a formal resolution adopted in August 2003. A year before the
resolution, ABA President Robert Hirshon wrote Secretary of State Colin Powell expressing the ABA’s desire
that the US support the ideas of domestic good governance and the application of the rule of law in negotiations
at the then-upcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. Indeed, as noted in the
report supporting the 2003 resolution:
         “Laws and effective governance are central to sustainable development. Because governance is based
         largely on law, sustainable development raises profound challenges—and opportunities—for the rule of
         law and for lawyers.”
The report went on to say:
         “Applying sustainable development from a legal perspective means understanding, developing, and
         applying legal mechanisms that are relevant to the complex relationships among economic, social, and
         environmental priorities. This suggests a cross sectional approach…that integrates a variety of legal
         specialties, including environmental, labor, property, tax, corporate, finance, international trade, and risk
         management.”

                                                                                                                    2
                                                                                                        TAB M

The model sustainability policy offers firms a way to reflect the ABA’s commitment to sustainability in their
own operations—to “walk the talk.” In so doing, endorsing firms will no doubt be drawing on and showcasing a
range of ABA initiatives and policies they are using, such as those dealing with the environment, diversity, pro-
bono services, and ethics.

3. My law firm would like to adopt the model sustainability policy program. What do we have
to do?

Firms that support the model sustainability policy or a substantial equivalent addressing the Triple Bottom Line
of economic, social and environmental responsibility, and communicate that to SEER’s Committee on Climate
Change, Sustainable Development and Ecosystems (CCSDE) will be listed on SEER’s website as Law
Sustainability Supporters. Firms that adopt such a policy, develop a plan to implement the policy, and
periodically report their progress every few years to CCSDE will be shown as Law Sustainability Leaders on the
website.

4. Why was the model sustainability policy program developed?

The policy initiative was developed to give practical effect to the resolutions on sustainability previously
adopted by the ABA and to show that the legal profession was willing to share leadership in the march toward
sustainability with corporations, NGOs, governments and other sectors of society that have already embraced
the Triple Bottom Line of economic, social and environmental responsibility. It responded to law firms that
wanted a vehicle by which they could demonstrate their commitment to sustainability to their corporate clients
and communities.

5. How was the sustainability policy initiative developed? Who was involved?

The model policy and guidelines were developed by SEER’s Committee on Climate Change, Sustainable
Development and Ecosystems (CCSDE) working for two years with a special team of ABA members from over
20 firms; with the SEER Council, the Law Practice Management Section and the Standing Committee on
Environmental Law (SCEL); and with numerous other groups within the ABA. Sustainability practices tools
developed by bar organizations in California, Oregon, and Massachusetts and the cities of Philadelphia and San
Francisco are cited in the References section.

As a starting point, the CCSDE group used another model sustainability policy, one accepted by 16 major
companies in a study commissioned by The Conference Board, a leading US business association. That model
was modified by the working team through nine rounds of comments and revisions to make it suitable for law
organizations.

The tool was vetted through an extensive review process, which included ongoing oversight and support by the
SEER Council and SCEL and review at three SEER section meetings. In addition, the document was distributed
for comment to the state bar associations and a broad range of ABA groups, including those involved with
ethics, labor, diversity, pro bono legal services, students, young lawyers, and women. The following law firms
piloted the tool:
          •   Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP
          •   Berg Hill Greenleaf & Ruscitti LLP
          •   Giarmarco, Mullins & Horton
          •   Holland + Knight
          •   Levenfeld Pearlstein, LLC
          •   Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox, LLP
          •   McMahon DeGulis, LLP
          •   Robinson & Cole LLP
          •   Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP

                                                                                                                 3
                                                                                                          TAB M

          •   Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt
          •   Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, LLP
Many of these firms shared their progress and lessons at a workshop in Chicago in April 2008, and their
feedback prompted further improvements to the tool.

6. I thought sustainability was about environmental issues. If so, why does this initiative also
cover matters related to economic, staff, community, philanthropic and ethical topics?

Environmental responsibility is just one aspect of sustainability as it applies to organizations, the other being
social and economic. Together, these three aspects are commonly referred to as the “Triple Bottom Line” of
organizational responsibility. Philanthropic initiatives, employee safety and development, diversity, legal and
ethical compliance and other topics covered by the model policy for law organizations are consistent with the
scope of sustainability as covered by the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Reporting Guidelines,
currently used by three-fourths of the world’s largest companies as the framework for their public sustainability
reports. (Such reporting by the 100 top US companies has doubled from 37 % in 2005 to 74% in 2008.) The
social and environmental content of the model policy are also consistent with the topics addressed in the new
ISO 26000 guideline standard on social responsibility due out in 2010, which is intended to apply to
organizations of all types and sizes. The model policy also very closely tracks one that was accepted by 16
leading North American companies as a reflection of the scope of organizational sustainability. (See The
Conference Board, Going Green: Corporate Commitment to Citizenship and Sustainability Issues Takes on a
Greater Role, Executive Action Series no. 260, p. 7).

Moreover, the scope of the model policy is consistent with the vision of sustainable development already
acknowledged by the House of Delegates (HOD) of the ABA. In its 2003 resolution on sustainable
development, the HOD adopted “the internationally accepted concept of sustainable development, as recognized
at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992 and subsequent international
conferences: simultaneous achievement of environmental protection, economic development, social
development, and peace, for present and future generations.”

7. How does this initiative relate to other ABA environmental and social programs concerning
law firm practices, such as the Climate Challenge, and ABA’s pro bono, ethical and diversity
programs?

The model sustainability policy tool serves as an umbrella which can sweep in many other ABA
groups and initiatives. For example, a number of firms that piloted the model policy are using the
ABA-EPA Climate Challenge initiative, which was endorsed by the ABA House of Delegates in its
February 2009 resolution, to help address their commitment to environmental responsibility. The
policy tool is also intended to be consistent with and support the ABA’s initiatives on diversity, pro
bono legal services, business development, and professional responsibility, among other areas. It can
serve as a vehicle through which firms can showcase their work in these many areas. See the section
on References, below, which provides further information on these other ABA programs and groups.

8. If my firm adopts the model policy tool, will we be expected to make changes in it if the tool
later changes?
Given the extensive review process that led to the development of the policy tool, it is not anticipated
that the tool will change in any significant way in the future. Of course, new ideas for implementation
will be added as firms and ABA and state bar groups contribute them. In any event, firms designated
as sustainability leaders are not expected to adopt the policy verbatim or to absolutely adhere to the
guidelines, and therefore will not lose their status even if adjustments are made to the tool later.

__________________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                                                    4
                                                                                                        TAB M

                                    B. Model Sustainability Policy
Vision: It is in the best interests of our law organization and society as a whole that our organization move
along the path to sustainability, that is, the so-called Triple Bottom Line of social, economic and environmental
responsibility. To that end, we will strive to achieve the following vision of performance, publicly communicate
this commitment, and periodically report our progress and challenges in fulfilling it:

1. Economic success: the wise use of financial resources
  a. Organization’s Economic Prosperity. Our organization will be positioned to survive and prosper
      economically.
  b. Community’s Economic Prosperity. We will help our community survive and prosper economically
      through the taxes, salaries, and suppliers we pay, and through our civic and philanthropic efforts.
2. Social responsibility: respect for people
  a. Respect for Employees. We will treat our employees in a respectful, fair, non-exploitative way, especially
      with regard to compensation and benefits; promotion; training; open, constructive dialogue with
      management; involvement in decision-making; working conditions that are safe, healthy and non-
      coercive; right of privacy; employment-termination practices; and encouraging wellness and work-life
      balance.
  b. Diversity, Fair Hiring Practices. We will promote diversity and use hiring practices that are fair,
      responsible, non-discriminatory, and non-exploitative for our employees, management board, and
      suppliers.
  c. Responsible Governance; Professional Courtesy. We will manage our risks properly, use our economic
      power responsibly, and operate our organization in a way that is ethical and legal. We will treat with due
      respect others who are involved with us in the discussion of legal issues and resolution of legal claims.
  d. Dealing With Clients. We acknowledge that our primary legal and ethical duty is to serve our clients
      honestly and effectively. We will compete fairly for their business, respect their privacy and
      confidentiality, and provide them efficient and effective services under the conditions we promise.
  e. Awareness and Advice. We will help raise the awareness of our employees about sustainability issues in
      the primary fields of our legal practice, and include consideration of such issues in the advice we provide
      our clients.
  f. Well-being of Stakeholders. We will work collaboratively with our communities and other stakeholders
      to enhance the well-being of others through pro bono services, other voluntary efforts, philanthropy,
      and/or other ways.
3. Environmental responsibility: respect for life; the wise management and use of natural resources
  a. Resource and Energy Conservation. We will conserve our use of natural resources and energy to the extent
      practicable.
  b. Waste and Pollution Prevention and Management. We will reduce to the extent practicable the quantity
      and degree of hazard of the wastes we generate from our operations, and handle them in a safe, legal, and
      responsible way to minimize their environmental effects. We will also reduce to the extent practicable the
      direct and indirect emissions of greenhouse gases and other harmful air pollutants from our operations and
      travel.
  c. Reduction of Supply Chain Impacts. We will work with others in our supply chain to help ensure adverse
      environmental impacts and risks associated with our operations are reduced and properly controlled, and
      environmental benefits optimized.
  ________________________________________________________________________________________




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                                                                                                           TAB M

                                     C. Implementation Guidelines
(1) Flexible Implementation. Each law organization should implement its sustainability policy in a practical
way, in a way that is most suitable to its resources, location, structure, culture, and nature of operations, and
services. The resources mentioned in the References section of this document (see below) can be used to help
identify measures to be taken. In addition, a document entitled Shared Ideas for Implementing the ABA Model
Sustainability Policy and Implementation Guidelines is provided on the SEER website. It is not expected that
the organization adopt all of the practices listed there; indeed, other practices may be just as effective for the
organization, if not more so. Also, given the breadth of the policy, it is expected that organizations will
prioritize and pace their efforts toward implementation over time.

(2) Systematic Approach. A simple management system approach, though not essential, may prove helpful in
fulfilling the policy. This entails a sequential process of planning, implementing the plan, reporting and
evaluating performance, adjusting the approach, and periodically repeating these steps for continual
improvement. Here are some more specific steps that may be worth considering, too, especially for larger
organizations:
  (a) Secure Buy-in. Discuss with employees what you are trying to accomplish by adopting this sustainability
  initiative and why you think the organization should do it; secure employee buy-in.
  (b) Adopt and Post Policy. Adopt and sign the model sustainability policy, or one substantially like it that
  covers the Triple Bottom Line of social, economic and environmental responsibility. Post it in one or more
  prominent places in your office area.
  (c) List with ABA: Notify the ABA Climate Change, Sustainable Development and Ecosystems (CCSDE)
  Committee within the Section on Environment, Energy and Resources (SEER), and ask that your organization
  be listed on the ABA website as one that has adopted the model policy or a substantial equivalent.
  (d) Appoint Coordinator, Support Group. Identify a sustainability coordinator to oversee your
  implementation of the policy, and track and report progress. A small steering committee of key supporting
  managers may be useful for providing guidance, oversight and policy decisions.
  (e) Assess Status. Assess the current status of your organization’s fulfillment of its adopted policy. In this
  regard, it may be helpful to review the ABA and state bar tools and other resources mentioned in the
  References section, below, as well as the Shared Ideas for Implementing the ABA Model Sustainability Policy
  and Implementation Guidelines provided on the SEER website. Other firms and resources may also provide
  useful suggestions.
  (f) Create Plan with Goals. Establish a plan for implementing the sustainability policy in a way that makes
  sense for the organization. One way to do this is to have teams propose the objectives, metrics, and goals, and
  then a leadership group can select the priorities and spread them across a number of years so that progress is
  steady but not overwhelming. Employees should be encouraged to suggest ideas for improvements, too. Part
  of the plan may involve reviewing and updating existing policies and procedures. Large organizations will
  need to resolve what they want to adopt as firm-wide initiatives or goals, while still leaving local offices with
  enough flexibility to address local conditions. Some firms create a list of optional actions and assign points to
  them, then set levels of recognition for individual offices based on points achieved.
  (g) Identify Implementation Leaders. Assign people within the organization to lead the implementation of
  each key objective or goal. An implementation team may also be useful in some cases.
  (h) Evaluate and Report Progress. Starting one year after implementation, annually evaluate and report
  progress and challenges. Report internally first, then publicly. This is most credibly done when noteworthy
  achievements and best practices are conveyed along with a description of challenges, shortcomings, and plans
  for further improvement. Sometimes firms find it easiest to pull together information on their environmental,
  pro bono, diversity and other sustainability topics that has already been published in a variety of documents.
  A public report may also take the form of a brochure or other publication for clients. Or it may entail posting
  a simple progress report on the websites of the organization and the ABA. You may contact the CCSDE
  Committee at the ABA to arrange for posting.
  (i) Recognize Achievements. Celebrate success; recognize exceptional performance; have some fun.
  (j) Adjust and Repeat Process. Adjust the objectives as appropriate, and repeat the process for continual
  improvement. Eventually meld the process into the organization’s regular business planning. Make this part
  of the organization’s culture.

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                                                                                                           TAB M

  (k) Tell Others. Share your experience with others outside the organization (clients, new recruits, other law
  organizations, communities, media, etc.); inspire others to pursue sustainability.

(3) Sole Practitioners. A simplified version of the policy can be adopted by very small law organizations, even
sole practitioners. In the case of the latter, irrelevant provisions in the model policy, such as those on
employees, can be eliminated. A sole practitioner’s progress report might, for example, cover paper reduction
and recycling practices as well as energy conservation achieved though the use of compact fluorescent bulbs,
using conference calls in place of travel, converting to a high fuel efficiency vehicle and purchasing carbon
offsets for air travel. The report could also talk about the preference and use of green hotels and fairtrade coffee.
Social matters might include continuing legal education, pro bono legal services and other voluntary community
work, and donations. The progress report could be published in a simple self-published single-page brochure or
posted on the lawyer’s website.

_________________________________________________________________________________



                                                D. References
0. General
  a. The Sustainability Handbook—The Complete Management Guide to Achieving Social, Economic and
    Environmental Responsibility (Environmental Law Institute, 2007), (covers sustainability programs at large
     and small companies, NGOs, universities, and local governments).
  b. Guidance on public sustainability reporting and ideas for performance measurements may be found at the
     Global Reporting Initiative website, at www.globalreporting.org/. A law organization may declare its report
     to be a GRI report if it reports performance on 10 GRI indicators, including at least one each under the
     economic, social and environmental categories, respectively.
  c The International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 26000 Guideline Standard on Social
     Responsibility, applicable to organizations of all types and sizes, at
     http://isotc.iso.org/livelink/livelink/fetch/2000/2122/830949/3934883/3935096/home.html?nodeid=4451259
     &vernum=0
  d. Rachael Loper and Robert Loper, “How Green is My Law Firm,” White Paper for The Legal Marketing
     Association, Nov. 2008, available at http://www.legalmarketing.org and
    http://www.carltonfields.com/files/upload/Going%20Green%20-%20FINAL%5B1%5D.pdf .

1. Economic success: the wise use of financial resources
  a. Organization’s Economic Prosperity
    (1) Practice tips on starting and running a law firm from the ABA General Practice, Solo and Small Firm
    Division, at www.abanet.org/genpractice/resources/startafirm.html
    (2) Law Practice Management Section, at https://www.abanet.org/lpm/home.shtml

  a. Community’s Economic Prosperity

2. Social responsibility: respect for people
  a. Respect for Employees
     (1) Work-life balance guidance from the ABA General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division, at
     www.abanet.org/genpractice/resources/life.html
     (2) ABA House of Delegates Resolution 111A (Feb. 3, 1997), promoting the use of alternative work
     schedules, at www.abanet.org/environ/about/resolutions/alternativeworkschedules.shtml

  b. Diversity, Fair Hiring Practices
     (1) Molly McDonough, “Demanding Diversity—Corporate Pressure Is Changing the Racial Mix at Some
     Law Firms,” ABA Journal, vol. 91(March 2005).
     (2) Diversity in the Workplace: A Statement of Principle, at www.acc.com/gcadvocate/diversitystmt.html
     (3) ABA Section on Labor and Employment Law, at www.abanet.org/labor/
                                                                                                                   7
                                                                                                      TAB M

    (4) ABA Center for Ethnic and Racial Diversity, at http://www.abanet.org/diversity/
    (5) ABA Advisory Council on Diversity, at www.abanet.org/leadership/diversity.html
    (6) ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession, at www.abanet.org/minorities

  c. Responsible Governance; Professional Courtesy.
     (1) ABA Center for Professional Responsibility, at www.abanet.org/cpr
     (2) ABA ETHICSearch Ethics Research Service, at www.abanet.org/cpr/ethicsearch/

  d. Dealing With Clients
     ABA Center for Professional Responsibility, at www.abanet.org/cpr

  e. Awareness and Advice

  f. Well-being of Stakeholders
     (1) ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service; the Center for Pro Bono, at
     www.abanet.org/legalservices/probono/ ; for pro bono volunteer opportunities, see
     http://www.abanet.org/legalservices/probono/volunteer.html
     (2) ABA Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, at www.abanet.org/irr
     (3) ABA Center for Human Rights, at www.abanet.org/humanrights/home.html

3. Environmental responsibility: respect for life; the wise management and use of natural resources
    (1) Oregon Lawyers for a Sustainable Future, Law Office (Environmental) Sustainability Tools, at
    www.earthleaders.org/olsf/office_practices
    (4) Janine Robben, “The Case for Sustainability,” Oregon State Bar Bulletin, Feb./Mar. 2007, pp.17-23, at
    http://www.osbar.org/publications/bulletin/07febmar/sustainability.html
    (5) ABA Section on Environment, Energy and Resources, at www.abanet.org/environ/
    (6) State Bar of California Lawyers Eco-Pledge and Law Office Sustainability Policy and Guidelines
    (practices), adopted by the California State Bar Board of Governors, Oct.3, 2008, at
    http://www.calbar.ca.gov/state/calbar/calbar_generic.jsp?cid=10145&n=93041 and
    http://www.calbar.ca.gov/state/calbar/calbar_generic.jsp?cid=10144&n=93887
    (7) Massachusetts State Bar Association Lawyers Eco-Challenge and Green Guidelines (including pledge,
    green guidelines and other resources) , Jan. 8, 2008, at http://www.massbar.org/about-the-
    mba/initiatives/lawyers-eco-challenge
    (8) The Greater Philadelphia Green Business Commitment—Tenant Checklist and Owner Checklist, at
    http://www.phillygreenbiz.com/the-checklist
    (9) San Francisco Green Business Program checklists, at http://sfgreenbiz.org/how.htm#step3

  a. Resource and Energy Conservation
    (1) ABA-EPA Office Climate Challenge Program, at
    www.abanet.org/environ/climatechallenge/home.shtml , and February 2009 ABA House of Delegates
    resolution supporting it.
    (2) ABA-EPA Law Office Guide to Energy Efficiency, at
    www.abanet.org/environ/climatechallenge/lawofficeguide.pdf
    (3) Working 9 to 5 on Climate Change: An Office Guide, by S. del Pino and P. Bhatia (WRI), at
    www.safeclimate.net/business/measuring/WRI_CO2Guide.pdf
    (4) The Carbon Trust Carbon Footprint Calculator for Small and Medium-sized Businesses, at
    http://www.carbontrust.co.uk/solutions/CarbonFootprinting/FootprintCalculators.htm
    (5) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program of the US Green Building Council, at
    www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CategoryID=19
    (6) US Department of Energy’s Energy Star™ certification program for energy-efficient equipment, at
    www.energystar.gov/

  b. Waste and Pollution Prevention and Management

  c. Reduction of Supply Chain Impacts
                                                                                                                8
                                                                                              TAB M

(1) CERES Green Hotel Initiative (best practice checklists and other tools), at www.ceres.org/,
then search hotel.
(2) Oregon Lawyers for a Sustainable Future, Law Office (Environmental) Sustainability Tools, at
www.earthleaders.org/olsf/office_practices (includes checklists for tenant improvements and office
building managers)
(3) State Bar of California Model Law Office Sustainability Guidelines (includes guidance on green
meetings and the use of sustainable service providers), at
http://www.calbar.ca.gov/state/calbar/calbar_generic.jsp?cid=10145&n=93041
(4) Massachusetts State Bar Association Lawyers Eco-Challenge (includes guidance on environmentally
conscious purchases), at http://www.massbar.org/about-the-mba/initiatives/lawyers-eco-challenge
(5) The Greater Philadelphia Green Business Commitment—Tenant Checklist and Owner Checklist
(Section III on Operations and Procurement), at http://www.phillygreenbiz.com/the-checklist




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