James & Wells' attorneys come in from the cold on car free day
A thick blanket of snow wasn't enough to stop James & Wells Intellectual Property's Christchurch staff taking part in the firm's second Car Free Day to mark UN World Environment Day this month, while their colleagues around the country battled rain and wind.
Car Free Day gets everyone in the firm thinking about ways they can take individual and collective action to be more sustainable. About 90 per cent of James & Wells Intellectual Property's1 staff usually drive to work, so being asked to reconsider that journey without a car was a challenge.
While the winter storm tested the Christchurch team's motivation, the Auckland staff shrugged off mere rain to win the three individual achievement awards: Sebastien Aymeric won Best Public Transport Use for a 40 km round trip; Justin Sweetman's 40 km round trip won him Best Bike Ride, and Managing Partner Ian Finch captured the Best walking / Running title for his 15 km round trip.
Overall, the staff at James & Wells Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga and Christchurch offices saved more than 230km of vehicle travel (about 50kg of greenhouse gas emissions and a lot of petrol cost) on the day.
Auckland-based Senior Associate Jonathan Lucas heads the firm's Sustainable Business Committee. He says holding Car Free Day immediately following a public holiday, and wintry weather around the country, tested the willpower of staff and led to an emissions reduction which was down on the first Car Free Day last year.
"It is interesting to see how much our transport choices are often dictated by the weather. Particularly because scientists tell us increasing greenhouse gas emissions will cause more extreme weather events in New Zealand in the future."
Jonathan Lucas' own experience on Car Free Day in Auckland is typical of many Kiwis. He needed to drop his two young children off at day care on the way to work.
"With inclement weather and some hills to tackle, the journey was hard work. Our baby was warm and snug in her pram, while our toddler rode on his tricycle, although he still...