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At Covington, we recognize the importance of sustainability. We therefore demonstrate our commitment to it in a variety of ways, including through the selection and design of our buildings and office space, our daily operations, our cultural initiatives, and our longstanding commitment to pro bono work.

We also demonstrate our commitment by counseling clients on ways they can improve their own sustainability efforts, including by making available to them a toolkit on our website that contains a range of information regarding measuring, reporting, and promoting sustainable practices.

Because we take a multi-faceted approach to sustainability, the initiatives we have developed to reduce our own carbon footprint take various forms, including energy conservation initiatives, internal campaigns to promote sustainable behavior, and widespread recycling programs.

And because we always are looking for ways to enhance our approach, we are committed to periodically reviewing our programs and, when appropriate, making changes to improve them, including by setting goals and targets for the future.

Below are representative examples of the activities in which we are engaged to reduce our carbon footprint and to promote and support sustainable practices in our offices around the world.

Sustainable Spaces

  • More than two-thirds of our lawyers and staff today work in LEED- and BREEAM-certified buildings, which means that the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of these buildings adheres to global green program certification criteria. As we continue to evolve our operations toward even greater sustainability, we expect this figure to increase to more than 80% by the end of 2021.
  • All of our offices use motion sensor-controlled lighting features, which automatically turn off when a space is not being used.
  • More than three-quarters of our lawyers and staff today work in buildings that have electric vehicle charging stations, bicycle storage facilities, and changing rooms that accommodate various forms of sustainable commuting. We expect this figure to increase to four-fifths by the end of 2021.
  • All of our offices are situated in locations that are accessible by public transportation.
  • All of the buildings in which we lease office space adhere to the government-mandated recycling programs to which they are subject.
  • When evaluating whether to lease office space, we consider the extent to which the building embraces “green” initiatives, including the use of renewable energy sources, and incorporate that into our decision-making process.

Daily Operations

  • All of our offices, including our conference centers, rely on reusable glass bottles in lieu of single-use plastic water bottles.
  • All of our offices have programs in place to recycle paper, plastic, glass, aluminum, and other biodegradable material.
  • Cafeteria and catering services in all of our offices incorporate locally sustainable food and produce in their offerings and engage in composting.
  • The default setting on all office printers is set to double-sided to minimize paper usage.
  • We have programs in place to recycle our computer equipment and other electronic gear through an IT asset recovery service.
     
    Some of these actions have been modified temporarily to accommodate public health requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cultural Initiatives

  • We engage in periodic internal programs to encourage and further promote sustainability, including through campaigns to reduce paper usage.
  • Each of our offices has implemented a recycling program that adheres to recommended norms for its respective geographic region.
  • Our employee health campaigns promote sustainable behavior by encouraging environmentally friendly commuting habits such as walking and cycling.

Pro Bono Activity

Forward-looking Commitments

  • Going forward, all paper that we purchase for use by default in our copiers and printers will be made from recycled content.
  • Going forward, all disposable cups, plates, and utensils that we purchase for use as “to go” items in cafeterias, break stations and similar areas will be made from recycled and/or biodegradable content.
  • We will instruct all office cafeteria and catering personnel to use non-disposable dishware and utensils by default and to use disposable items only when specifically requested.
  • We will develop a cross-office sustainability initiative, and in doing so appoint to it a group of leaders who will evaluate our activities and commitments from time to time, make recommendations to the firm for improvements, and develop and implement additional cultural initiatives to further enhance and support our sustainability efforts.