James & Wells attorneys embrace car-less day

Profession:James & Wells Intellectual Property

Buses, trains and good old-fashioned pedal and leg power helped innovative James & Wells Intellectual Property's attempt to go car-less to mark UN World Environment Day this month.

The firm has put a focus on becoming a more sustainable business. About 90 per cent of it staff usually drive to work, and the car-less day aimed to get everyone in the firm thinking about ways they can take individual and collective action to achieve their sustainability goals.

James & Wells has offices in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga and Christchurch, and between them, the staff saved about 500km of travel (about 100kg of greenhouse gas emissions and a lot of petrol cost) on the day.

Auckland-based partner Carrick Robinson, who rode to work, says having a Kokako chocolate brownie as an incentive seemed to work wonders on staff motivation.

"It's been a long time since I have been on my bike, and have to admit I found it really hard. But it was a great cause and it's certainly given me the motivation to do it again," he says.

The firm's data from the day shows 81 per cent of the Auckland office didn't bring their car in, taking out the inter-office challenge.

Those who couldn't leave their cars at home found a surprise waiting for them in their usual car park spot - a tree. A community based environmental education organisation called Kaipatiki Project and Environment Waikato donated the trees.

Staff at the Auckland office wrapped its office car in tape to force its team to think about alternative ways to travel to appointments, and the Hamilton office put a chain around its car.

"There was some clever thinking about how to get to and from work" Carrick...

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