In conjunction with the launch of our sustainability program, we set out to bring our recycling program into compliance with our building's recycling policies. We met with an external recycling consultant to identify areas where we needed to improve and presented the issue to the relevant partners. We put together a proposal with pricing for proper recycling bins and signage along with a plan for placement of the new bins and a draft email announcement to the firm to announce the changes. For the signage, we contracted an external designer to create signage that makes it clear what goes into recycling bins. We also drafted a one-pager to be included with welcome materials for new employees. The challenge here was that employees were used to the convenience of throwing away trash by their desks - but management saw it was important to make sure that only paper was being disposed of in deskside bins and that all other trash and recycling go to communal areas. After obtaining the proper approvals, we were able to successfully deploy an updated and compliant recycling program.
Our new remote work environment posed a significant issue to our firm's economics - getting crucial work related materials to our attorneys. This lead to a sharp increase in FedEx expenditures - a good portion of which we couldn't bill to clients. After seeing this trend for several months, we began to see a need for a policy that would limit and discourage the use of expensive shipping methods. After seeking input from our CFO, Finance/Accounting department, Practice Management department, and Managing Partners, we deployed a policy for FedEx that emphasizes being more cost-conscious with our decisions to ship materials. The policy requires that an accurate calculation of estimated shipping costs be done in order to facilitate internal review and approval before a label is produced. There was some resistance to the implementation because the administrative and paralegal staff bore the burden of enforcing the policy - but it became easier to do as people got more used to the idea of keeping an eye on costs and making sure that we are only shipping necessary materials.