Gadens recognises that our enduring success requires economic growth that both protects and promotes social equity and ecological sustainability. Our sustainability program encompasses this philosophy in the four spheres in which we operate including our workplace, the marketplace, the community and the environment.
Within each of these spheres we aim to achieve the following sustainable outcomes:
1. Workplace – engaging with all of our people to create an environment that promotes individuality and diversity while instilling pride in the firm and its collective values.
2. Marketplace – consistent excellence in our delivery of legal advice and services, focused on commercial solutions for our clients.
3. Community – interacting with the wider community and promoting emerging arts, youth initiatives, community projects and providing pro bono legal services.
4. Environment – minimising our impact on the environment and taking responsibility for our environmental footprint.
Many of the programs and initiatives that make up our sustainability program have developed organically over several decades, such as our support for the arts which has grown and evolved since the 1960s. More recently we have joined the Australian Legal Sector Alliance and have committed to publicly reporting on our sustainability initiatives.
Examples of our current initiatives include:
Greener Gadens – We have been running the Greener Gadens program since 2005. Involving all levels of staff, the program has helped bring about improved environmental awareness, management and performance across the firm. Examples of successful initiatives include sourcing our energy from renewable resources, switching to locally sourced, recycled stock paper and the incorporation of energy efficient materials and design principles into our major office refurbishment.
Arts program - We have had an enduring relationship with the arts world which we continue to nurture. Beyond offering traditional forms of corporate support to the arts, our approach is based on a philosophy of creative engagement. Examples of this include the display of artwork created by our summer clerks in our foyer, our ‘Poetry in Action’ program and our sponsorship of the National Arts School and AbaF.
Pro Bono – We maintain a range of pro bono interests, including membership of PILCH and public interest litigation.
Oz Harvest – We provide left over food to Oz Harvest. Every year Australians throw out 3 million tonnes of food worth $5.2 billion. Poverty causes 60,000 low-income families to go without at least one meal every day, and 2 million people rely on food relief at some point every year.
United Way – We run a closely co-ordinated community involvement program with United Way. The program involves corporate assistance in addition to voluntary help and donations by salary deduction from our staff which is matched by the partners.
Women's Legal Service – Gadens Brisbane supports Women’s Legal Service in Queensland, a community legal service that provides free legal advice and information to women, particularly victims of domestic violence and broken relationships. As well as a commitment to donating $75,000 over the next three years, Gadens recently hosted a reception in its Brisbane office to generate further corporate support for this worthy cause and donated a host of computers to assist with the Centre’s service delivery.
Reconciliation Action Plan 2012 – Our first RAP summarises our commitment to reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, highlighting our efforts to date and guiding our future intentions.
Click here to download Gadens RAP April 2012.
Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan 2013 - 2014 - This Innovate RAP reflects our focus on working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders to test and trial approaches to continue to build relationships, and to continue to create opportunities to help ‘close the gap’. It summarises our ongoing commitment to reconciliation, highlighting our successes to date and the innovative activities planned for the year ahead.
Click here to download our Innovate RAP 2013 - 2014.
We will continue to build on our foundations and strive to continually improve our delivery of sustainable outcomes for all stakeholders in our business.
Gadens staff who visited the Watarrka country near Kings Canyon, in Central Australia unveiled a song they wrote for the local school. The song was designed to evoke a sense of school pride, as a way of further encouraging local children's school attendance.