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WLG | impact

September 25, 2021 12:00am
Committee: Corporate Social Responsibility Forum
Host Firm: World Law Group

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World Law Group's first network-wide Corporate Social Responsibility initiative took place at the end of September and the beginning of October. Our member firms organized a variety of projects centered around our environmental theme. Read a brief synopsis of the many projects.

Arias (Costa Rica)

Arias organized the planting of more than 50 native trees at a strategic location meant to protect one of the most important rivers in San Jose. Over 20 participants contributed to the project.

AZB & Partners (India)

AZB & Partners in collaboration with Akshay Patra Foundation and Hope Oncology Clinic held a series of free vaccination clinics across Delhi. The firm sped past its 10,000 vaccine milestone and ended up vaccinating 12,000 people - a vast majority of whom received their first shot! AZB sponsored the vaccines and Akshay Patra Foundation (NGO Partners) provided a free ration kit to each vaccinated person (as an incentive to get vaccinated), helped with volunteers, and provided security at about 15-16 vaccination clinics. HOPE Oncology Clinic was the Hospital Partner whose dedicated medical team administered the vaccinations. Many other initiatives were also taken by firm partners to help transport stranded migrants to their hometowns and to procure and distribute oxygen concentrators and other such lifesaving equipment where needed, including home care kits for COVID-affected persons.

AZB & Partners also initiated a project plan to build an environmentally-friendly workplace. Some of the initiatives undertaken include using recycled paper for making paper pads & pencils, replacing plastic with glass bottles, using automatic sensor lights and taps in the washrooms to lower the usage of electricity and water, optimizing the use of natural light by keeping blinds/shades open, minimizing the use of printers and creating a green zone at the firm's office.

Bae, Kim & Lee LLC (South Korea)

Bae, Kim & Lee (BKL) is providing free legal advice for ‘Backpackers Planet (“BP”),’ a recently established eco-friendly camping/backpacking online platform that aims to promote fair and sustainable tourism by utilizing unused land and promoting coexistence with local communities.

Lawyers from BKL and Dongcheon Foundation* are advising BP on its legal issues to help this ambitious organization grow. This project is part of the “Social Economy Organizations Accelerating Program”, a newly launched project by BKL and Dongcheon, which seeks out socio-economic startups/organizations with growth potential and provides pro bono legal services to them for one year.

*Dongcheon Foundation: A public interest foundation, established by BKL, offers pro bono and legal aid services for the socially disadvantaged, minorities and public-interest organizations.

Bahas, Gramatidis & Partners (Greece)

Bahas, Gramatidis & Partners of Greece partnered with Arete Fund in the United States to design a fundraising campaign to replant 80,000 olive trees that were destroyed by the devastating fires of 2021. The campaign is expected to raise almost USD 750,000. The firm is handling all related Greek legal matters pro bono.

Bruchou, Fernández Madero & Lombardi Abogados (Argentina)

“Bruchou Sustainability Week” was a 5-day challenge during which members of the firm carried out environmentally-friendly tasks such as commuting by bike or foot; recycling; cleaning public parks; reducing plastic consumption, hardcopy printing, and electricity use; and starting a vegetable garden at home, amongst others.

Chandler MHM Limited (Thailand)

Chandler MHM has partnered with a rural school in need to assist in the creation of a school orchard/garden. The vegetables and fruits will supplement the school's lunch program and students will be able to take the excess home to their families. As the garden will be taken care of by the students on an ongoing basis, it will have a meaningful, long-term impact on the community and the land.

CMS Netherlands (The Netherlands)

On September 29th, a group of eight CMS Netherlands employees participated in an event of Dutch charity NL Cares as part of WLG | impact Week. Titled "Olympische Sportdag" (Olympic Sports Day), the event aimed to introduce children of low-income families to a large variety of different sports. Many of these children live in a situation where practicing a sport is often not possible due to financial or other reasons. The day turned out to be very rainy, but this did not spoil the fun as the team had a great time being active with the children, who managed to get hands-on with several sports. The event was not only a great experience for the children, but also very satisfying for firm participants.

CMS Russia (Russia)

CMS Russia organized an internal webinar on responsible business with a famous Russian eco-activist and eco-blogger speaker, @alex4planet (named Best Eco-blogger 2021 by National Geographic Russia), who shared nine ways to live more sustainably. During the webinar, the firm announced a series of future responsible business breakfasts.

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg (Montréal - Canada)

Davies has a tradition of having its students plan and participate in various events in support of charitable organizations. This year, a total of 38 students teamed up to come up with a creative idea that would allow them to give back to the community. Together, they pledged to spend a combined 100 hours cleaning several public parks, beaches, and outdoor spaces. Throughout the summer, the students worked together (and apart) to reach, and eventually surpass, the goal. As such, Davies was pleased to make a donation to their chosen organization, RAVEN (Respecting Aboriginal Values & Environmental Needs), a charitable organization that provides financial resources to assist Aboriginal nations in Canada to resist industrial development on their traditional lands in ways which address climate change and other ecological sustainability challenges.

ENSafrica (South Africa)

ENSafrica raised awareness among its employees around environmental issues. The firm's campaign raised funds which will be donated to environmentally-focused organizations in South Africa and Mauritius, and encouraged everyone to plant trees and clean their local communities. The event helped focus attention on the environment and promote the importance of conserving employees' local communities.

Faegre Drinker (Illinois - U.S.A.)

Faegre Drinker encouraged all of its lawyers and staff to purchase pollinator plants to help bees and birds by reimbursing the costs of purchases made during WLG | impact week. One of the firm's environmental lawyers provided information explaining how pollinator plants are essential to maintaining and populating healthy bee communities, as well as instructions for planting.

Formosa Transnational (Taiwan)

Formosa Transnational (FT) hosted a free forum open to the public focusing on CSR issues, “Implementation and Practice of Corporate Social Responsibility in Taiwan–Legal Regime and Status Quo," as one in a series of WLG | impact activities.

FT invited experts, including well-experienced attorneys, CSR report consultants, scholars, and CSR advocates to participate.

The forum was divided into and presented in two sessions: The first session analyzed Taiwan’s current legal framework for CSR, explained how Taiwan businesses promulgate and implement CSR strategies as models, and identified international regulations and standards related to CSR that are worthy of reference and study. In the second, two CSR report consultants shared observations and viewpoints regarding their services and experiences at the forefront of CSR in Taiwan.

Gianni & Origoni (Italy)

Gianni & Origoni used a mobile app to track the firm's physical activity such as walking, cycling, and running. All members of the firm were encouraged to exercise on a specific day. Over 330 people participated and accounted for almost 3,000km! All of the steps and kilometers were counted and converted into money which will be donated to a local charity that helps children with disabilities.

Goodmans LLP (Ontario - Canada)

Goodmans LABB (Legal Advice for Black Businesses) aims to help Black-owned businesses that face many systemic barriers in their start-up processes that may limit their ultimate success. Throughout 2021, Goodmans has helped numerous Black businesses in a variety of sectors, providing free legal services across the firm’s multiple practice areas. For its contribution to this project, Goodmans helped environmentally-focused companies become established and grow, including an advanced renewable energy start-up developing solutions for the housing and automotive industry.

Greenberg Glusker (California - U.S.A.)

Greenberg Glusker signed up with the Coalition of Clean Air and took a pledge for its Clean Air Day in California. It’s their 4th Annual California Clean Air Day and employees of the firm took simple actions to help clear the air in their community. Participants took actions such as planting trees, telecommuting, walking or biking to work, carpooling, and cleaning or changing home air filters.

Gross Brown (Paraguay)

Gross Brown initiated a multi-pronged project plan. First, the firm joined together to clean up the local park Costanera de Asunción. Second, a new recycling policy was instituted at the firm to ensure all recyclable waste is disposed of properly. Gross Brown also started encouraging members of the firm to carpool or bike to work on the last Friday of each month to reduce carbon emissions. Finally, the firm organized an annual collection of clothes to donate to people in need.

Guyer & Regules (Uruguay)

Guyer & Regules launched a new waste management program: all personal paper bins were removed from offices and waste disposal stations were placed in key locations on each floor that allow everyone to dispose of waste in a correct and segregated manner. With the help of a specialized waste disposal company, the firm can ensure and track that all compostable and recyclable materials are taken to plants that can re-use them thus helping to reduce the disposal of waste in the municipal dump. A group of firm volunteers took a training course on how to correctly dispose of recyclable materials, food, and waste.

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP (Texas - U.S.A.)

Hunton Andrews Kurth hosted a week-long electronics recycling campaign. The firm had collection boxes placed at each of its offices. As some are not currently going into the office due to the pandemic, Hunton Andrews Kurth also shared information about places in their employees' local communities that offer electronics drop-off and recycling.

Makarim & Taira S. (Indonesia)

Makarim & Taira S. proudly presented A Fruitful Impact: Growing Stronger Together, a program in which the firm initiated the environmentally-friendly activity of planting and growing fruit together. The firm sent a fruit plant to each of its employees and the homes of members of the firm’s partner organization, the Indonesian Down Syndrome Association (ISDI), for them to grow. Members of ISDI were asked to join this program because they have been an important part of the firm over the years. The program kicked off on the 17th of August 2021, as part of the celebration of the 76th Independence Day of the Republic of Indonesia. In line with the national theme for Indonesian Independence Day this year, A Strong Indonesia, A Growing Indonesia, the firm believes that the act of caring for the environment represents love for the country. Fruit plant recipients were asked to photograph themselves with the plant on the first day they received it and on October the 2nd, more than a month later, which marked the end of WLG | impact week. The firm rewarded employees and ISDI members whose plants grew the best. Makarim & Taira hopes that everyone enjoys the fruitful impact for many years to come.

Miller & Martin PLLC (Georgia - U.S.A.)

Miller & Martin has undertaken a planting project whereby tree seedlings are provided to interested members of the firm for them to plant in a location of their choice. The resulting trees will not only help keep our air clean but also provide a source of shelter for animals and prevent erosion.

MinterEllison (Australia)

MinterEllison held a virtual panel discussion to profile and raise awareness of two of the firm's community partners who embrace Indigenous knowledge and land management to deliver positive outcomes for the environment and ESG more broadly.

Payet, Rey, Cauvi, Pérez Abogados (Peru)

Payet, Rey, Cauvi, Pérez Abogados has helped the parish of Shilla in Ancash (since 2020) in obtaining the required licenses for the operation of huts (refugios) in the Huascaran National Park, which are built and managed by the parish to provide lodging for tourists. The profits from the huts are used to support the needs of the local community. The firm became aware of the inadequate housing conditions of the inhabitants of Shilla and organized a fundraising campaign to help the parish to restore the roofs of the elderly living in this area. The area, which is close to the snow-capped mountain of Pariacaca, frequently experiences low temperatures and constant rains due to climate change, greatly affecting the health of its inhabitants. The initiative was a success, and the firm far exceeded its internal fundraising goal to restore the roofs of the most affected elderly people in Shilla.

Pellerano Nadal (Dominican Republic)

Pellerano Nadal participated in WLG | impact by spending World Beach Day cleaning beaches in the Dominican Republic along with the Minister of the Environment, Orlando J. Mera.

PLMJ (Portugal)

PLMJ supported the local community by creating a set of workshops to combat legal illiteracy in local communities. These workshops take place monthly and address topics such as “Debts, rights, and duties of the consumer", “Lease and related rights”, "Labor and Social Security”, and many more. The program was organized in conjunction with Passa Sabi, an association of residents of the Rego neighborhood in Lisbon, near PLMJ´s headquarters, that engages in cultural, social, economic, and sporting activities. The organization, which partners regularly with PLMJ, works with children, young people and adults in order to promote the sustainability of the community and to preserve and disseminate the culture of the residents. Its mission is to organize activities, projects, and initiatives that aim to bring the community together around issues at the heart of the neighborhood. This initiative created a space to talk about, clarify and clear up any doubts that people in the community may have about different matters relating to laws, rights, and duties that will help them in their daily lives.

Santamarina + Steta (Mexico)

Santamarina + Steta worked with non-profit Construyendo Comumidades Integrales AC (Building Integral Communities) which builds houses and schools for the economically disadvantaged in Mexico. The firm financed the materials for the construction of a house and a group of 50 firm employees and their family members contributed a total of 450 hours to help with the build.

Setterwalls (Sweden)

Employees from all of Setterwalls' offices participated in the WLG | impact by collecting clothing and shoes for local charity funds including Skåne Stadsmission, Stockholms Stadsmission and Göteborgs Stadsmission. As winter and cold weather are approaching, the donations will make a difference to children and adults in need. Setterwalls also made a financial contribution to the charity funds and their important work in supporting our local communities. The firm's contribution aimed to make an impact both socially and environmentally.

Shearn Delamore & Co. (Malaysia)

Shearn Delamore & Co. launched its new program of eco-friendly practices within the firm. The policies include new waste management and energy-saving practices. The firm also ceased its process of sending hard copy accounting documents to clients and subscribed to additional IT platforms to help minimize the need for printing and paper storage.

Soltysinski Kawecki & Szlezak (Poland)

Soltysinski Kawecki & Szlezak’s associates recorded the number of steps they took over nine days. This program encouraged colleagues to be physically active and walk to work instead of driving. Everyone who took a minimum of 10,000 steps a day was given two plants to help with air quality. The three people who won the competition with the most steps also received a three-month top-up on their public transport tickets. In total, all participants took 4,376,958 steps!!! And our office turned green with 74 new plants.

Sorainen (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania)

Sorainen held a Digital Waste seminar in cooperation with Let’s Do It World. The program taught participants about digital waste - what it is, why it's important to address, how to clean it up, and how to prevent it. Firm colleagues also took part in a car-free initiative on World Car Free Day.

Soulier Avocats (France)

Soulier held a river cleaning session with an association called Nettoyons Lyon (literally “Let’s clean up Lyon”) - https://www.nettoyons-lyon.org/). The firm partnered with this association whose goal is to organize the collection and retrieval of abandoned waste in public or natural spaces, as well as to raise awareness for more eco-friendly behavior. Part of the team joined up with three members of the association at a spot by the Rhône River near Soulier's Lyon office. After a 30-minute briefing on how the different types of waste we all produce impact the environment, participants received safety instructions and then got to work!

SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan (Philippines)

SyCipLaw conducted a webinar on solid waste management practices, “TrashTalk: A Webinar on SWM Best Practices at Home and at Work”. The webinar provided information to SyCipLaw lawyers and staff, as well as other tenants of the firm's building on the X-Trash Challenge in which SyCip is participating. The X Trash Challenge aims to reduce waste by collecting recyclable trash in exchange for environmental points. Each environmental point accumulated by a participating company is used to purchase food for underprivileged communities in and around Metro Manila.

Taylor Wessing (Germany)

Taylor Wessing believes that everyone shares responsibility for the future of our planet and the well-being of future generations. The firm aims to reduce its corporate carbon footprint and increase health promotion and employee motivation with environmental protection and social issues. Since September 2021, everyone at Taylor Wessing Germany has been able to measure the reduction of his/her personal ecological footprint via an app which encourages individuals to increasingly rely on climate-neutral travel and, where possible, to do without a car or a plane. In addition, the firm supports a reforestation project via the app and it is part of an internal competition in which emissions saved are converted into donations for nature conservation organizations. This is an ongoing initiative which will continue in 2022.

TozziniFreire (Brazil)

TozziniFreire created a booklet compiling eco-friendly practices that firm employees have adopted at home including ideas about waste, energy, and water reduction habits. See the resulting Sustainable Living Guide here, which the firm published on Brazilian Amazon Day.

Vaish Associates (India)

Vaish worked through its Charitable trust, Vaish Associates Public Welfare Trust, at a site near Jaunapur village, near Delhi, where there is a cluster of jhuggies (shanty homes). Migrant laborers from all over the country live there with their families in makeshift huts. The firm completed three projects in this village. The firm made simple mattresses from foam scraps for the villagers' homes. Vaish's foam manufacturing clients donated the materials. Firm associates contributed plastic bottles which were made into stools. Finally, they constructed low-cost toilets to instill hygienic habits and save them from various ailments they would otherwise be prone to.

VILAF (Vietnam)

VILAF participated in WLG | impact through a three-part activity. The first part focused on going green in the office wherein VILAF engaged in various ways to practice the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, and recycle) to be more environmentally friendly. The second part is a yearly initiative to support charity organizations that work with local children and elderly citizens in need - this year VILAF cooperated with hospitals needing additional medical equipment and supplies due to the COVID crisis. Lastly, in coordination with the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, the firm held a blood drive. With Vietnam still battling a number of COVID cases, hospitals are in dire need of blood donations.

World Law Group

World Law Group Staff Team members paired up with family and friends to dispose of trash at beaches, parks and other public areas in their communities.

Zhong Lun Law Firm (China)

Zhong Lun encouraged its employees to walk to work or reach at least 10,000 steps a day. The combined steps were converted to money that will be “donated” to a campaign organized by Tencent, one of the largest internet companies and also a client of the firm, for its education charity fund. Firm lawyers are also actively participating in the environmental protection activities of SEE Conservation (http://conservation.en.see.org.cn/).