PBA Section on Environmental and Energy Law Creates PLUS Program To Highlight Green Initiatives in PA’s Legal Community

May 25, 2010 – Press Releases

Philadelphia, PA – Law firms throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania now have the opportunity to publicly demonstrate their commitment to sustainability, thanks to the efforts of the Environmental and Energy Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) and Section Chair Philip L. Hinerman, a partner at Fox Rothschild LLP.

The PBA recently approved the Pennsylvania Lawyers United for Sustainability (PLUS) Program, a voluntary and self-monitoring program through which law firms and attorneys annually pledge to create and maintain sustainable practices in their business operations.

"Initiatives such as the PLUS Program have the potential to strengthen the reputation of firms and help them increase their efficiency, productivity and employee recruitment and retention," said Hinerman. "More importantly, it can also help align law firms with the growing number of clients and prospects that are embracing sustainable practices in a meaningful way and want their law firms to do the same."

Hinerman currently serves as Fox Rothschild's first Chief Sustainability Partner and is charged with overseeing the implementation of the firm's green initiatives throughout its national network of 15 offices.

The PLUS Program is the first Pennsylvania bar sustainability program. It follows law firm sustainability programs created by bar associations in California, Michigan, Oregon and Massachusetts. To participate, firms complete a pledge form in which they commit to specific examples of law practices that are more sustainable. The guidelines, developed with input from the Law Practice Management Section, address the topics of energy savings, paper reduction, recycling and waste reduction, transportation and sustainable purchasing.

The pledge form is available on the PBA web site (www.pabar.org ), and attorneys and firms are encouraged to advertise their participation in the PLUS Program.

"We are thrilled to see this initiative reach fruition," said Hinerman. "We began work on this in 2009 when the Section formed a committee to develop a sustainability program, and the PLUS Program was born from those efforts."