Social and Environmental Policy Statement
As a forward-thinking firm, we believe that we have a responsibility to minimise any negative environmental impact of our activities as much as possible and to maximise any positive improvements which we can offer to the environment of those around us.
Minimising negative environmental impact:
In order to do this, we have implemented the following “Green practices”:
- We recycle all paper and office waste where possible, including the recycling of confidential shredded waste
- We re-use paper where possible
- Instead of sending Christmas cards, we collectively donate to charity.
- We recycle ink cartridges and toners
- We use reusable, washable towels
- We discourage the use of disposable crockery and cutlery by having plenty of reusable items available on the premises.
- All staff and email recipients are encouraged to minimise printing (using double sided printing where possible). We have introduced a print command so that the default is to only print the first page of any document. The installation of dual desk screens has also caused a reduction in printing.
- Wherever possible, documents are communicated and stored electronically.
- All electrical equipment. such as personal computers, laptops and photocopiers are turned off when not in use.
- We have installed energy-efficient light bulbs where possible and any room lighting and air-conditioning is turned off when not in use.
- We encourage the use of tele- and video-conferencing to reduce business travel.
- Office equipment and furniture that is no longer required, and still in good condition, is donated to a local charity or social enterprise
All staff are made aware of this "Green Practice" and encouraged to contribute to our desire to be environmentally friendly.
Maximising positive environmental impact
We recognise that people are at the heart of our business. We have a diverse workforce with expertise from a wide range of commercial and technical areas. We are an equal opportunities employer with partners and staff coming from a range of ethnicities, sexual orientation and cultural backgrounds. The firm accommodates a variety of religious and family commitments and we encourage our people to work together with mutual respect as we believe this provides a culture within which we can develop. We were one of the first firms to sign up to IP Inclusive, a profession-wide initiative to encourage encourage, embrace and sustain a more diverse workforce. More information can be found here: http://www.ipinclusive.org.uk/about.html
We focus on recruiting and retaining outstanding individuals in all positions at all levels and provide a stimulating environment for all staff. We have monthly meetings where every member of staff has an equal say and all ideas, suggestions and issues can be aired and resolved.
The firm contributes to the Benevolent Societies of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) and of the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (ITMA) and to fundraising events of each Institute. However, we have very diverse interests and therefore have chosen not to adopt as a firm specific charities beyond the Benevolent Societies within the profession.
We are however happy to facilitate charitable collections by our staff on an informal basis and staff are allowed, within the firm, to seek sponsorship or funds to support their favourite charities and causes. Recent causes have included Breast Cancer Care, Hospice in the Weald, Kent Air Ambulance.
Our partners and staff undertake many voluntary activities within our own professions. We write a monthly column for the local publications regarding recent cases law. We also provide seminars and webinars each year explaining the most important cases, and circulate updates for the benefit of clients and other professionals, both in the UK and overseas.
We assist in clinics run by CIPA providing free IP advice to inventors on their ideas and inventions. In addition, provide new clients with the first 30-40 minutes of advice free of charge to advise which forms of IP may be available for a new idea and how to go about securing protection. This service provides access to high quality advice which might otherwise be unaffordable.
We believe that new technology can be used to improve people's lives and we hope that, by helping those who are lacking the funds or the relevant knowledge, we can assist and encourage the development of such improvements.