Lang Richert & Patch Leads Central Valley Law Firms in Growing Green.

It started with a simple decision to switch from buying bottled water to installing a filtered water system. Today Lang, Richert and Patch has adopted a series of environmentally friendly policies that led it to become the first private law firm based in the Central Valley to be recognized by the ABA as a Partner in their Climate Challenge program.

We have learned that going green today can mean saving green” said partner, Robert Patch II.  Lang, Richert and Patch has shown that you can reduce your carbon footprint without installing costly solar roofing shingles and wind turbines. Implementing greener paper management protocols and reducing energy-use are two economical ways to go-green.

Paper Management
Given the paper-intensive nature of practicing law, Lang, Richert & Patch has focused on adopting greener paper management. “Along with recycling over ninety percent of our mixed waste paper, we have adopted a policy to only use paper products that are made with at least 30% recycled content. We also encourage employees to print all internal documents double sided to reduce paper consumption,” said Rene Lastreto, a partner of Lang, Richert and Patch. By embracing green practices, Lang, Richert & Patch is making a commitment to lead the Central Valley as a steward of the environment and hopes that other law firms and other businesses will follow suit.

Reducing Energy Use
Small businesses pay more for energy than big businesses, and adopting green practices can dramatically reduce energy costs. Simple things like replacing traditional light bulbs, regularly servicing heating and air conditioning, or installing motion sensor lights can cut energy bills by 20% to 30%. Replacing office equipment? Make sure to get Energy Star compliant models with “sleep mode” to reduce energy when not in use. Green policies don’t have to be complex or burdensome. To get the attorneys and staff in your office to become more environmentally conscious, start with something simple: turn off the lights when you leave. This includes when you leave for lunch – a novel concept that eliminates hundreds of hours of unnecessary energy consumption every week.

Lang, Richert and Patch has already seen the intangible benefits of going green. For one it breeds loyalty. “Our employees appreciate our efforts – they want to work for companies who are socially responsible,” said Mr. Patch. The firm has also found greenness is a valuable tool for recruiting young, talented attorneys who have made it clear that environmental consciousness is a factor in their decision making. “In order to get the best and brightest recruits, we have to keep pace with the eco-friendly firms in the Bay Area and Los Angeles” said Mr. Patch. Moreover, sophisticated clients and large corporate clients, who already have green policies, expect their outside counsel to adopt environmentally friendly practices. Like their corporate clients, Lang, Richert and Patch is discovering that taking steps that are good for the environment can also be good for the bottom line.

It won’t be long before we will all drive to work in an energy efficient car, enter our environmentally-friendly “LEED”certified building, and transact business in a paperless environment. In the meantime, Central Valley law firms and other businesses should follow the leadership of Lang, Richert and Patch and implement environmentally friendly policies that can help business and save money.