Green Ribbon Committee

Has your firm already signed onto the ABA Climate Challenge, EPA's WasteWise Program, PBA Plus Program or the Greater Philadelphia Green Business Program? If so, let us know and we'll grandfather your firm as a participant in the Philadelphia Bar's sustainability pledge.

Upcoming Events:

  • Green Ribbon Committee Meeting

    2nd Annual Round Table Breakfast

    Where: Montgomery McCracken,
    123 South Broad Street, 28th Floor,
    Philadelphia, PA 19102
    When: Tuesday, September 10, 2013, 8:30 a.m.

Recent Events:

  • Donate Sneakers at May 19 5K Run/Walk

    The Philadelphia Bar Association’s Green Ribbon Committee is partnering
    with Community Recycling/ShoeBox Recycling for sneaker donations at
    this year’s 5k Run/Walk to benefit the Support Center for Child Advocates.

    100% of the proceeds from your sneaker donations will go to the SCCA.

    Simply bring any unwanted sneakers to the event on Sunday, May 19 and
    drop them off in one of the collection boxes. For shoes that can be
    repurposed, consider putting a note and your e-mail address into one of
    the shoes to track their trek via ShoeBox Recycling’s SoleMate program.

    E-mail us at with any questions.

    event photoevent photo

    Race Donation Results: Along with Shoebox Recycling, we collected 78 lbs. of sneakers and shoes at the Bar's Annual 5k on May 19, 2013, resulting in a $100 donation to the Support Center for Child Advocates. Special thanks to Berner Klaw & Watson and Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads for pre-race collections, as well as to Frank Cervone, SCCA Executive Director; former Bar Chancellor Jane Dalton; and Bar Race Co-Chair, Eric Marzluf, for donations on race day. Eric wins for the heaviest single pair of shoes!

  • TreeVitalize Tree Planting

    Where: Graduate Hospital West Tree Tenders
    c/o 22nd & Bainbridge Streets (church parking lot)
    Philadelphia, PA 19146
    When: Saturday, November 10, 2012, 10 a.m.
    Details: The Green Ribbon Committee invites Bar Association members and their families to participate in a Saturday, November 10 tree planting event with the Graduate Hospital West Tree Tenders. We will meet at 22nd & Bainbridge Streets at 10 a.m.
    Volunteers are asked to bring round-head and square-head shovels, picks, sledgehammers, work gloves, a wheelbarrow and brooms if possible; however, no equipment or experience is needed, and significant others and families are welcome! For more information or to RSVP, contact Matt Olesh at
  • Green Ribbon Roundtable

    Sharing Success Stories on Sustainability
    September 12, 2012
    The Green Ribbon Committee will host a roundtable discussion with eco-conscious firm representatives over breakfast on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 8:30 a.m. at Montgomery McCracken, 123 South Broad Street, 28th Floor. Everyone is welcome to attend. Please RSVP to the GRC by sending an e-mail to

    Download the Event Flyer

  • The Green Ribbon Committee encourages representatives from all Philadelphia firms to sign up for a free event promoting green power and the EPA's green energy challenge, which is being hosted by the Academy of Natural Sciences and the Clean Air Council. Come to the Academy of Natural Sciences on Wednesday, Aug. 8 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. to find out the benefits of purchasing green energy and how you and your firm can help Philadelphia become the greenest city in America. Meet EPA Green Power Partners and providers of green energy to discuss the importance of clean energy investments. A reception with refreshments starts at 6 p.m. RSVP to Thurman Brendlinger at or 216-567-4004, Ext. 104 by Aug. 7.
  • Green Ribbon Committee Meeting

    On Tuesday, April 10th, the Green Ribbon Committee – courtesy of member Al Ryan, Assistant General Counsel, Exelon Business Services Company – hosted a tour of the PECO Green Roof and lunch immediately thereafter. This event was open to Philadelphia Bar Association members only and lunch will be provided courtesy of the Philadelphia Bar Association.
  • TreeVitalize Tree Planting

    Where: Graduate Hospital West Tree Tenders
    c/o 22nd & Bainbridge Streets (church parking lot)
    Philadelphia, PA 19146
    When: Saturday, April 21, 2012, 10 a.m.
  • Philadelphia Legal Secretaries Association monthly Lunch-N-Learn: Latest and Greatest Green Initiative Practices

    Where: Pepper Hamilton LLP
    Scott Conference Room, 30th Floor
    When: Tuesday, December 13, 2011, 12:30 p.m.
  • TreeVitalize Tree Planting

    Where: Graduate Hospital West Tree Tenders
    c/o 22nd & Bainbridge Streets (church parking lot)
    Philadelphia, PA 19146
    When: Saturday, November 19, 2011, 10 a.m.
    Details:A large contingent of Fox Rothschild -- one of the initial signers of the Bar's Green Ribbon Sustainability Pledge -- associates supported this annual charitable event and green initiative.
  • The Road to Green: Cost-Saving Sustainability Tips for Legal Departments and Law Firms of All Sizes

    When: Thursday, June 2, 2011 at 4 p.m.
    Where: Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market St., 10 Floor Board Room
    More: The Green Ribbon Committee also invites you to join us after our meeting for dinner to support the St. Christopher's Foundation for Children Dine In/Help Out effort to bring affordable, healthy, farm-fresh food into North Philadelphia, one of the hungriest neighborhoods in America and among the 10 poorest places in the country. Our Dine In/Help Out will be held at Bistro 7, located at 7 N. 3rd Street. The restaurant has graciously donated our Dine In space for the evening.
  • Riverbend Environmental Education Center Day of Service – Tree Planting (04/29/2011)

    The Philadelphia Bar Association's Green Ribbon Committee is proud to announce its participation in an upcoming tree planting event at Riverbend Environmental Center. Also sponsoring the event are Exelon Corporation and Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads. Located on the 30 acre natural setting, Riverbend provides environmental education programs to children ranging in age from two to thirteen and living in southeastern Pennsylvania.
    Riverbend Environmental Education Center
    1950 Spring Mll Road
    Gladwyne, PA 19035
    Friday, April 29, 2011, 1-4 p.m.

    For more information about Riverbend click here.

    View Philadelphia Bar Reporter Article Here

Message from the 2010 Chancellor:

We have all heard about the potential effects of global warming on our environment. But few among us have given serious thought to how this trend impacts us locally – and professionally. The legal profession often sees itself as unrelated to environmental issues. But we are very connected.

In my address to our membership in December, I emphasized that our agenda this year will call on us to think beyond where we are today. It will set a course that gives us the best possible chance to take control of our futures.

To this end, we are undertaking a new initiative – one that I have been inspired by my children to pursue: minimizing our impact on the environment by taking the Philadelphia Bar Association and our legal community “green.”

The range of information and discourse shared at our Bar Leadership Retreat last month framed this threshold issue. At that gathering, Kevin J. Coyle, vice president for education and training at the National Wildlife Federation, shared his candid insights on the practice of law in a clean energy economy.

According to the NWF, the global temperature has increased more than one full percentage point since 1860 – 0.6 percent just in the last 25 years. This trend is alarming and should serve as a catalyst to action. For a large metropolitan legal community that employs thousands, a reduction in our collective carbon footprint can make a measurable difference. 

As a first step of our green initiative, I have created a Green Ribbon Task Force co-chaired by Michael Hayes of Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads, LLP and Kim Jessum of Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP. This group will first determine how the Philadelphia Bar Association itself can better reduce waste to decrease its carbon footprint, both in its internal operations and its external member support. The Task Force will then come up with recommendations on voluntary green standards tailored to each segment of our bar. 

If a legal employer complies with those goals applicable to institutions of a particular size, it will be invited to post a designation that it has met the Bar Association’s green standards for legal practices. This will ideally encourage transactional lawyers to look at how they document deals and closings, litigators to scour the litigation process – especially in discovery, the rules of court, and hearing preparations – and every other class of attorney to evaluate how they can revamp all aspects of their operations with “green” in mind, from waste reduction practices to marketing, human resources and beyond.

Regardless of size, any law office – whether a private firm, nonprofit or government agency, or law school clinic – can take steps to reduce energy use and waste, thus creating less to be disposed of in landfills and less demand for energy production with its environmental impacts. 

Strategies range from simple paper recycling to comprehensive replacement of lighting and HVAC systems. While some strategies are more realistically available to building owners, tenants also have numerous options for savings. 
Once we have proven successful with our personal and law office efforts, we will bring our proposals to the judiciary and ask them to join us by including pertinent recommendations in their case management and trial preparation orders. If there are rules that are causing waste, we will open appropriate dialogue with the courts on what can be done to change them. 

Our legal community uses enormous amounts of resources. But such heavy use is inconsistent with a sustainable future in which adequate, healthy resources are preserved for future generations. Land use, forestry, and air and water quality are all adversely affected.

By minimizing its impact on the environment, our legal community also will reap savings – in the costs of heating, cooling, lighting, equipment operation and purchase of supplies, among other areas. Your public profile will shine brighter as well.

To get started, I offer some suggestions taken from Coyle’s presentation: reduce paper and electricity usage and fully commit to recycling; buy “green” products; and minimize your travel impact and offset unavoidable carbon emissions with deliberate “green-friendly” actions. The amount of carbon emitted per person in the United States is 5.6 tons, nearly 4.5 tons more than the world average. It is a staggering figure we must reduce.

Even without waiting for the recommendations, we can all make a difference immediately. Challenge what you are doing in discovery and in drafting briefs. Can you and your opponents agree on a single set of exhibits, so the same documents are not entered repeatedly as different exhibits? Can adversaries stipulate exhibits or trial exhibits to avoid duplication? If each of us cuts only a few pages in each deposition or transaction, the cumulative effective will be incredible.

As I said in December, our 2010 agenda is unapologetically bold. But while our “green” goals are ambitious, we must commit to better our planet by joining together as one Philadelphia legal community and leading on a national scale. We are not only obligated to set an example as respected members of society, but as mothers, fathers and grandparents.

The time for us to perform our own “pro bono service to the environment” is now.

Scott F. Cooper, a partner with Blank Rome LLP, is Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association. His e-mail address is