Bond Dickinson LLP is the first law firm to become an ambassador for the right Waste, right Place campaign, a national initiative aimed at raising awareness of the Duty of Care for waste amongst UK businesses.
Managed by the Environmental Services Association (ESA), the campaign was launched in April 2016 following damning evidence of widespread non-compliance with Duty of Care legislation for waste, and mounting costs on local authorities and private landowners for tackling fly-tipping.
Recent research has revealed that 56% of UK businesses are not complying with the law, despite recent changes to Sentencing Guidelines and the removal of the £5,000 maximum fine in the Magistrates Court. In October 2016 Starbucks lost an appeal against the penalties imposed on conviction of four counts of breaching the duty of care in respect of waste bags left outside two London stores: the company was ordered to pay fines totalling £175,000 for offences that would have been subject to a maximum total of £20,000 before the changes.
Bond Dickinson is the first law firm to become an ambassador for the campaign. To achieve this status the firm successfully demonstrated that it embraces the principles set by the campaign, that it has strong policy and waste management practices in place and that it is committed to promoting best practice when it comes to duty of care.
Sarah Holmes, Legal Director and Vice Chair of the Chartered Institute of Waste Management South West Centre Council, said: "We have pledged our support to the right Waste, right Place campaign because as a major UK business employing more than 1,200 people, we recognise both the environmental footprint we leave behind on a daily basis and our ability to actively support clients across the UK on best practice in governance and compliance to minimise costs and risks, protect their brands and maximise opportunities for sustainable practices.
"Becoming an ambassador for this campaign demonstrates our commitment to continually challenge ourselves to raise our standards when it comes to sustainability and the quality of the services we provide. We look forward to working with the ESA and other ambassadors – some of whom are also our clients – to drive the best practice in sustainability in the business community."
Sam Corp, Head of Regulation at the ESA, commented: “We are delighted that Bond Dickinson has become a right Waste, right Place ambassador – as the first law firm. This demonstrates that businesses, local authorities and others are recognising how serious an issue Duty of Care compliance is. We are looking forward to working with Bond Dickinson to raise awareness of Duty of Care and to many more organisations signing up to the programme in the near future.”
Bond Dickinson is also working in close collaboration with the Legal Sustainability Alliance to establish protocols for the measurement and reduction of CO2 emissions and adopt environmentally sustainable practices. The firm is currently working towards achieving the new ISO 14001 accreditation, the international standard for environmental management systems. It is already making great strides, having reduced Carbon Dioxide emissions per employee by 21% since 2013, a figure that is expected to rise to 30% by 2020.