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Law departments should encourage law firms to conserve and recycle

I felt I drove beyond my headlights when I included in my list of RFP criteria a law firm’s position on environmental protection (See my post of Feb. 6, 2007.). But the high beams went up when I read about Morrison & Foerster’s IT recycling programs. Anthony Hoke, the thousand-lawyer firm’s global technology purchasing/asset manager, provides in Law Tech. News, April 2007 at 39, some startling statistics about his firm’s conservation achievements.

Over the past four years, the firm has replaced all cathode-ray tube monitors with liquid crystal display (LCD) monitors. That substitution, among its many benefits, has saved roughly 619 megawatts of power each year. The law firm has consolidated its physical servers and has thereby saved an additional 830 megawatts a year. Those two programs save enough energy to power 136 US homes for a year!

A third achievement, through Redemtech, has been to recycle nearly 80,000 pounds of obsolete CPUs, monitors, keyboards and other hardware. They went to non-profit organizations (6%), were resold (65%), or were completely recycled (29%). As a fourth initiative, the firm remanufactures its printer toner cartridges. Last year, using Advantage Enterprises, the MoFo re-claimed 7.2 tons of empty toner cartridges from its US offices. This year the firm plans to standardize and enforce power conservation settings for printers, desktops, and notebooks.

Law departments should encourage similar efforts for themselves and in their law firms.

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