Kirkland is committed to lessening its environmental impact and advocating green initiatives within the Firm. Our goal is to benefit our community and employees while setting the bar in our profession.
Kirkland achieved the U.S. Green Building Council's® LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System certification for its Chicago office, and it is currently pursuing certification for its Palo Alto office. The LEED green building certification program measures and rates the environmental performance of buildings and interior spaces in six categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and innovation in design process.
The LEED for Commercial Interiors (LEED CI) Rating System guided the build-out of Kirkland's Chicago and Palo Alto office interiors, influencing many of the sustainability initiatives listed below. The LEED system has helped Kirkland design and build healthy office environments in demonstration of the Firm's commitment to advancing sustainability goals and lessening its environmental impact.
We are committed to reducing paper use and recycling office supplies. Materials with recycled content, such as floor tile, carpet and furniture are utilized throughout our offices. By partnering with an IT asset recovery company, we dispose of computer equipment in a safe and secure manner. We also encourage employees to dispose of cell phones and batteries in an environmentally responsible fashion by providing collection bins in our office space.
In our LEED certified space, our waste streams were analyzed in accordance with LEED CI's Storage and Collection of Recyclables credit, and convenient collection areas have been provided to process plastic, paper, glass and other recyclable products.
In addition, the offices' use of materials with recycled content, such as furniture and furnishings, was guided by LEED CI's Recycled Content credit.
Environmentally Responsible Paper Products
All Kirkland offices procure paper made from recycled content or certified by the Forest Stewardship Council or the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. These organizations certify that paper has been produced from forests managed to promote conservation, water quality and biodiversity.
ENERGY STAR Qualified Office Equipment
The machines used throughout our offices eliminate wasted energy through energy-efficient designs and automatic entry into low-power mode when not in use. In our LEED-certified offices, ENERGY STAR Qualified equipment was installed in accordance with LEED CI's Optimize Energy Performance - Equipment and Appliances credit.
The office equipment, electronics and commercial food service equipment used throughout our offices eliminate wasted energy through energy-efficient design and automatic entry into low-power mode when not in use.
All personnel receive email tips offering suggestions for green office practices, and we invite employees to submit their green ideas to an eSuggestion Box. We have also created an internal website to educate Kirkland personnel about green initiatives and policies.
Many green-minded organizations have benefited from monetary support from the Kirkland & Ellis Foundation, including the Rainforest Alliance, The Nature Conservancy, the National Park Foundation and Keep America Beautiful.
Kirkland Green Day
Kirkland Green Day is an annual event held in the Firm's Chicago office. Representatives from external green organizations are invited to discuss their sustainable practices. The day also serves as an opportunity to educate employees about the Firm's green initiatives.
Law Firm Sustainability Network
Kirkland is a member of the Law Firm Sustainability Network, a nationwide group of law firms that meets to share ideas about internal sustainability practices. Group members study and discuss green projects implemented by each firm, and share best practices and ways to overcome challenges in the implementation of such practices. Kirkland is also one of several member firms to coordinate internal activities in recognition of Earth Hour and Earth Day.
ABA-EPA Law Office Climate Challenge Partner. Our Chicago office has been recognized as an ABA-EPA Law Office Climate Challenge Partner in two categories: Best Practices for Office Paper Management and ENERGY STAR. As a Best Paper Practices Partner, we commit to environmentally responsible paper management procedures. As an ENERGY STAR Partner, we commit to implement an energy management strategy to reduce electricity usage by at least 10 percent.
Chicago Data Center Efficiency Project. Working with Commonwealth Edison and Hawkeye Energy Solutions, Kirkland undertook measures to significantly improve the data center's energy efficiency by installing a monitoring system, upgrading the center's cooling system controls and merging existing uninterruptible power supply systems. The upgrades are expected to save Kirkland more than 1.6 million kilowatts annually, the equivalent of operating more than 100 average residential homes for one year. The project resulted in the most energy savings for a data center in Commonwealth Edison's 2012 "Smart Ideas for Your Business" program. ComEd noted, "No other law firm has undertaken such a substantial energy reduction initiative in ComEd's service territory to date."
Hines "Green Office." Our Chicago office also successfully completed the Hines "Green Office" Tenant Guide. Hines implemented this voluntary program to encourage sustainability within their tenant spaces worldwide.