Making Sustainability a Priority for Attorneys and Staff at Panitch Schwarze

The attorneys and staff at Panitch Schwarze Belisario & Nadel are committed to making the future of our clients, colleagues and families the cause of the present.

In doing so, the firm has taken on several projects in its efforts to minimize environmental impact. In 2017 the intellectual property law firm moved into a smaller office space and set up a telecommuting plan that allows for attorney work flexibility, efficiency in the office, and maximum value for clients. The new office space offers natural lighting and lights that are programmed with auto shut-offs when no movement is detected in the area.

The firm also successfully implemented an office sharing schedule for the attorneys. Shared offices are equipped with one phone with extensions for both attorneys that share the office. Universal docking stations are used to allow for flexibility when attorneys need to switch offices. Since the office is also paperless, there is less need for office supplies and a higher need for efficient technology. For example, the firm utilizes electronic signatures so there is no need for pages to be signed and scanned.

While attorneys are always available for face-to-face meeting with clients, the firm uses the videoconferencing service Zoom for client meetings that may not need in person interaction, thus saving on time and travel.

Although the firm is “paper-lite” (all electronic files office), electronics such as monitors and broken keyboards are recycled along with items such as batteries. Employees are also supplied with BPA-free reusable water cups and an office water filtration system.

The firm significantly stepped up its recycling program in 2020 with the implementation of recycling services provided by TerraCycle. TerraCycle is an innovative recycling company that has become a global leader in recycling hard-to-recycle materials.

The firm set up specialized recycling bins provided by TerraCycle in their Philadelphia kitchen. Not only does the firm provide recycling for commonly used office materials but also collects items used at home.

The wide arrange of items recycled by the firm are:

  • Brita Products: All Brita-brand filters, dispensers, bottles, filter packaging.
  • Razors: All brands of blades and razors, both the systems and disposable units, cartridge units, replaceable heads and packaging.
  • Coffee pods and Keurig® K-Cup Pods: All brands of coffee pods and K-cups. (The great thing is that the K-cups do not have to be emptied!)
  • Snack Bags: Multi-pack snack plastic bags, individual or regular sized chip or snack bags.
  • Pens, Pencils and Markers: All brands of pens, pen caps, mechanical and wooden pencils, highlighters, markers, marker caps, permanent markers, and permanent marker caps.
  • Kitchen and Party Items: All items or packaging from single-use cups (i.e. Styrofoam, paper, plastic), plates, storage containers, plastic utensils, wrapping paper, ribbons, bows, tissue paper, napkins, garlands, noise makers, party favors, punch bowls, balloons, and confetti.
  • Straws: All paper or plastic straws.

Once the boxes are full, they are mailed out to Terracycle. According to Firm Administrator Krista Hart, “TerraCycle is doing something I have never seen before; they are reusing, upcycling, and recycling items deemed waste instead letting it sit in a landfill. And they make it easy to participate in the program. They send boxes with instructions or mailing labels so it is easy to mail the items in when filled.” 

If you are interested in learning how to implement your own recycling program visit and let us know if we can answer any questions.

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