Taking a sustainable pathway is an intellectual choice

Profession:James & Wells Intellectual Property

A Sustainable Business Network Case Study on James and Wells Intellectual Property.

How sustainability is an integral part of the organisation

While James & Wells have performed well around the economic and social pillars of sustainability, they are currently developing a vision and strategy which will see them lowering the environmental impact of their firm, thereby raising their commitment to long term sustainability. Integral to this strategy is to achieve long term profits while simultaneously ensuring they impact only positively on staff, the community and the environment. As a service provider, the intention is to reduce the carbon footprint of all office functions.


"Having made the decision to become a more sustainable business, we wanted to mark the start of our journey with something a bit different. We decided that a car-free day would be a suitable statement that would get the attention of staff and hopefully others in our immediate community. Staff in our sustainable business committee came up with the ideas of putting tape around the office car (an idea toned down from the initial suggestion of removing its wheels!), and putting signs on trees in all our car park spaces saying "car-free day". I think it has had a positive impact on staff and their view of various transport options. I know I have since started using Auckland trains to get into the city for meetings, and have found it wonderful not having to worry about (or pay for) parking.

When we decided to become more sustainable, we didn't want to go into it half-hearted, which is why we decided to get CEMARS certified, join SBN and the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development. Joining the SBN and then entering the awards has been fantastic, and the learning we have enjoyed as a result is huge. The committee has now just completed our first sustainable business plan, which has been presented to the partners for approval." Simon Rowell, Partner, James & Wells Intellectual Property1

Actions and results

James & Wells are commencing their journey to increased sustainability, implementing a series of initiatives aimed at improved environmental performance. One example of this was the firm's first 'Car Free Day', held this year, which resulted in a saving of 500km of travel - approximately 100kg of greenhouse gas emissions. Other examples include the use of video conferencing in all offices to reduce domestic travel; a move to paperless a office in...

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