39 BACK TO NAVIGATION RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY AND CARBON OFFSETS 2017 AusLSA Member Performance To further mitigate carbon emissions, some firms may elect to purchase a percentage of their electricity as renewable (or ‘Green’) energy, or may purchase carbon ‘offsets’. Some member firms purchase a combination of both of these. While in 2016 we had twenty-five percent of our member firms purchase some form of renewable energy or offset, this year that number has reduced to fifteen percent. The reduction in renewable (or ‘green’) energy purchases may be attributable to the volatility in the business electricity market, where in some cases it is now becoming more cost effective to purchase voluntary carbon offsets rather than renewable energy from the supplier. This year four firms chose to purchase voluntary carbon offsets to compensate for greenhouse gas emissions from their operations. Three of these firms use the National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS) to calculate their emissions and purchase matching voluntary carbon offsets. Those firms who take the additional step of becoming certified as ‘Carbon Neutral’ in line with the National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS), must undertake deeper analysis of their impacts and will generally purchase a higher number of carbon offsets than are calculated using AusLSA’s methodology. GREEN POWER AND OFFSETS All firms C02 -e GREEN POWER AND OFFSETS as a % of Total Emissions 35,000 30,000 25,000 20,000 15,000 10,000 5,000 0 30,160 30,352 19,932 12,259 2017 2016 2015 2014 2014 30.0 25.0 20.0 15.0 10.0 5.0 0.0 2015 2016 2017 20.4 14.2 21.7 21.0 Note: the data values in these charts have been restated from previous years, the reasons for which are stated above. 2017 AusLSA Member Performance RECYCLING AND WASTE MANAGEMENT 100% 96% 61% 86% 4% 39% 13% Available Available Available Available Not Available Not Available Not Available COMINGLES RECYCLING ORGANICS RECYCLING E-WASTE RECYCLING PAPER & CARDBOARD RECYCLING AusLSA report tracks the availability of recycling services provided in law firm offices including • paper and cardboard, • comingles (plastic, glass and metal), • organics and • e-waste (including computers, printers, phones and other communications equipment). Participation rates in 2017 maintained their very high levels in all recycling categories. • paper recycling is universally available in all offices from our reporting law firm members - this figure has been at one hundred percent since 2013. • comingles recycling was stable this year at ninety-six percent of offices however 6 firms reported that one of their offices did not provide this service • organic recycling increased again this year from fifty-two percent to sixty one percent of facilities and • E-waste recycling availability was relatively stable this year being undertaken by 86 percent of firms down from eighty-nine percent last year. While there has been a general trend of improvement since AusLSA reporting commenced in 2010 these improvements are showing signs of plateauing at a fairly high level. The high standard can be attributed to combination of: • better and more accessible recycling services by service providers together with • a greater commitment by law firms, in partnership with building managers, to implement their own recycling systems and contracts.