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Tonkon Torp Earns Gold Certification for Sustainability Efforts

March 16, 2015
Thanks to the leadership efforts of Tonkon Torp’s Sustainability Committee, the firm achieved Sustainability at Work’s gold certification. The certification recognizes the firm’s commitment to helping make Portland one of the cleanest, most sustainable cities in the country. Tonkon Torp earned this honor by verifying a large number of internal actions and facility features that benefit the local economy, community and environment. According to feedback from the Sustainability at Work Advisor, who conducted an on-site visit, Tonkon Torp has implemented more sustainability actions than 95% of applicants.

Sustainability Committee chair Kimberlee Stafford shares, “We’re so pleased to be a gold certified Sustainability at Work organization. Each member of the Tonkon Torp firm takes actions every day that contribute to our firm’s overall success in meeting our commitment to identifying and implementing sustainable practices.”

Notable Tonkon Torp sustainability achievements are:

• Firm members’ leadership roles in sustainable organizations such as Oregon Lawyers for a Sustainable Future, the Oregon State Bar Sustainable Future Section, and SCRAP;
• The firm’s donate/reuse/recycle program for electronics, furnishings, equipment and supplies;
• The transition to electronic filing and the resulting reduction in paper use;
• Office-wide use of durable plates, glassware and cutlery in place of disposable dishware;
• Tonkon Torp attorney participation in the Multnomah County Advisory Committee on Sustainability and Innovation, which promotes policies to support sustainable economic development and sustainable internal government operations;
• Service on the national editorial advisory board of Sustainability: The Journal of Record.

Tonkon Torp’s internal Sustainability Committee, formed in 1999, has continuously moved the firm toward comprehensive sustainable business practices. A formally adopted Sustainability Policy includes commitments to ongoing education of attorneys and staff as well as explicit policies regarding purchasing, energy use and carbon reduction, business travel and commuting, waste reduction and use of green building materials in office space improvements. Attorney Max Miller, a founding member of the firm’s Sustainability Committee and of Oregon Lawyers for a Sustainable Future, last year was honored by the Oregon State Bar with the President’s Sustainability Award in recognition of his “significant contributions to the goal of sustainability in the legal profession in Oregon.” Max previously was recognized by the Sustainable Future Section with a Sustainable Leadership Award in 2011.

Sustainability at Work offers comprehensive, free resources and expertise for Portland organizations seeking to create a more sustainable workplace. These services are tailored to help each business conserve resources, improve efficiency, save money and provide a healthy and quality workspace for employees. Sustainability at Work provides certification that is valid for three years and which recognizes and promotes the work of businesses that have taken comprehensive and concrete actions to reduce carbon emissions.