LawFuel – Legal Announcements – DLA Piper today kicked off a four-week-long campaign to encourage sustainable travel and commuting among its approximately 8,000 employees worldwide. The TravelSMART campaign, running from 6 to 31 October 2008, will encourage all employees to use alternatives to business travel, such as web conferencing and telephone conferencing. These alternatives take less time than physical meetings and ultimately help to change the way in which people work for the better, supporting DLA Piper’s broader commitment to reduce its environmental impacts in the area of business travel. The campaign will also encourage more sustainable forms of commuting and travel, such as public transportation, cycling and walking.
DLA Piper’s 65 offices around the world will take part in the campaign and employees will be encouraged to carpool, walk, cycle and use public transport in order to get to work and to meetings. DLA Piper’s alliance partner in Australasia, DLA Phillips Fox, will also take part in the campaign.
As a result of considerable investment all DLA Piper offices now have access to IT alternatives to travel including audio-, video- and web-conferencing. These facilities will be encouraged as an alternative to physical meetings where possible. In addition, all offices will hold a “no travel challenge” lasting from one day to one week, during which time all non-client business travel will be strongly discouraged.
“The goal of TravelSMART is to raise awareness across the organization of the many different choices and alternatives people have for commuting and travel in their daily lives,” said Elaine Radford, Head of CSR for EMEA and Asia. “We want to educate our employees about the resources that are available, and provide opportunities for people to get involved in a meaningful way in DLA Piper’s sustainability and CSR efforts.”
In an internal DLA Piper survey to gauge awareness and participation in CSR activities in offices around the globe, almost all of the respondents – 94 per cent – said they were either moderately, very or extremely concerned about environmental issues and more than half said they didn’t hear enough about CSR activities in their office.
To ensure that all DLA Piper people have an opportunity to participate during the campaign and learn more about sustainable developments across the organization, a range of internal communications will be used during the campaign period.
TravelSMART is the second firm-wide campaign to be run by DLA Piper as part of its global commitment to reduce and manage the impact of its operations on the environment. The “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” campaign was held in April 2007 to encourage people to first minimize waste and then recycle where possible.
The Global Sustainability Initiative, DLA Piper’s business-wide plan to reduce its impact in the areas of energy, waste, business travel and procurement, was launched in January 2007.
“Every global company has a responsibility to minimize its environmental impacts and conduct business in a sustainable way,” said Francis B Burch, Jr, Chairman Elect of DLA Piper and joint CEO in the US. “This campaign reminds us that we must constantly strengthen our commitment to the environment and the communities we live in.”
In December 2007, DLA Piper became the first global legal services provider to achieve ISO 14001 certification across all its operations worldwide. The initiative focuses on reducing DLA Piper’s environmental impacts in the areas of energy, waste, business travel and procurement.
“Making DLA Piper a better, more environmentally sustainable organization is an important mission where everyone has a role to play,” said Nigel Knowles, joint CEO of DLA Piper. “Sustainability is
good for the planet and our local communities, but it’s also good for business. DLA Piper is proud to be a leader in the industry for sustainable business practices.”
The campaign follows the recent release of DLA Piper’s first CSR report – Thinking Differently – which captures CSR activities, including those in the area of sustainability, across the organization.