Lowndes: a Toitū carbonzero case study
With clients from across New Zealand and the world, corporate and commercial law firm Lowndes has a reputation for finding innovative solutions to unique challenges.
Since 2007, they have applied their expertise to reducing their own environmental footprint. Not surprisingly they’ve taken the challenge seriously, and had their achievements recognised at the 2019 Enviro-Mark Solutions* Awards, where they were named a finalist in the Excellence in Climate Action (small organisation) category.
*We have since rebranded to Toitū Envirocare
“It was and is very important to us that we are the first law firm in New Zealand to be certified carbonNZero”, says Lowndes’ Business Manager, Rachel Holland.
“It is important to us as a business and to all our staff on a personal level that we constantly endeavour to be part of the solution”.
Since gaining Toitū carbonzero certification (formerly carboNZero) in 2008, Lowndes has reduced their organisational carbon emissions by over 26 percent, a significant achievement for a business with an already small footprint.
The company have realised emissions reduction across all areas of the business, with particular impact through energy savings and decreased staff travel. Their relentless focus on efficiency and uptake of communication tech like video conferencing, have helped to make this possible.
Lowndes displays their Toitū carbonzero certification on their email footer and website, and has their certificate and awards proudly displayed in their Auckland reception. The company’s emissions reduction and environmental sustainability efforts are also now being noticed by their clients and suppliers.
“Although we have been a part of carboNZero since 2007 it has only really started to get uptake with mainstream business in recent times,” says Rachel.
“The fact that we have been leaders in the legal industry in this field for over a decade is definitely starting to turn heads.”
Now that they have addressed the low-hanging fruit, Lowndes getting creative to realise ongoing annual reductions. The management considering options including how to make their leases office building more carbon efficiencies, and getting their landlord on board to partner on lower-carbon options.
According to Rachel, Lowndes’ team of 25 are critically important in the company’s ongoing environmental drive and are tasked with identifying the one percent gains that all contribute to pushing the company’s emissions down further.
“The additional benefits of having the team feeling proud to be part of something that is focussed on planet and community, as well as profit and people, is immeasurable.”
Rachel considers Toitū Envirocare and the Toitū carbonzero programme to be invaluable in assisting Lowndes’ with its emission reduction efforts.
“Toitū Envirocare provides the framework for us to work within, to measure and monitor our emissions, as well as the expertise. Importantly they also provide a network of businesses to share ideas with”, she says.
“We would totally recommend Toitū Envirocare and its programmes to other law firms looking to reduce their emissions.”
Toitū carbonzero and Toitū carbonreduce certified organisations
Toitū Envirocare’s Toitū carbonzero and Toitū carbonreduce certifications are currently available in 17 countries and the certification marks are recognised in over 60 countries, making it ideal for companies working in global supply chains or exporting products. Both the Toitū carbonzero and Toitū carbonreduce certifications are accredited by the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ) and were the world’s first carbon certification programmes to be accredited under ISO 14065. Enviro-Mark Solutions also offer the only carbon neutral product certification to PAS 2050 outside of the UK.