Sustainability and environmental stewardship are major priorities of Ford & Ford. For over a century, we have lived and worked in this region that is home to Florida’s largest open-water estuary. On a personal level, we have experienced the arc of Tampa Bay’s decline and recovery through decades of growth, development, busts, and booms. In order that we might pass down to future generations the awe-inspiring natural habitats we love here in Florida and elsewhere around the world, we know that expertise and foresight are necessary to push our economy toward sustainable growth.
We know that the externalities of carbon emissions—runaway temperatures, sea-level rise, and ocean acidification—are not priced into the extraction, transportation, and consumption of carbon in the market. We know that this lack of pricing makes carbon artificially competitive and thereby distorts the behaviors of market actors—from the person filling up the tank of a family car to the commissioner approving the next carbon-based power plant.
We understand the heavy inertia in favor of the status quo in power generation and consumption. Yet we know what needs to be done. There is nothing left but to do it. To that end, we are one of the first law firms in Florida to join We Are Still In, a national group of cities, states, businesses, and universities representing more than 154 million Americans and $9.46 trillion of the U.S. economy committed to tackling climate change, promoting a clean energy future, and upholding the carbon reduction goals of the Paris Agreement.
We are combining the best practices of our firm and the private market decisions of our personal lives to contribute to the solutions our vulnerable coastal community needs. While some incumbent industries spend time and money attempting to capture legislative and regulatory bodies at the state and federal level, we believe that other firms can send market signals strong enough to overcome cash distortions of the public will. This firm will do what we have always done—lead toward progress by example. To do our part, Ford & Ford has committed to the following actions in support of America’s goals under the Paris Agreement:
- Renewable Energy Credits (RECs): RECs are the quantified and priced environmental benefits associated with the generation of 1MWh of renewable energy. Ford & Ford has committed to purchase RECs equivalent to 100% of our power consumption for firm operations every year from 2017 forward. Our voluntary purchases of RECs through the nonprofit Terrapass will fund the displacement of carbon emissions and the construction of the generation, storage, and transmission systems of the future. The purchase of RECs is a market signal representing our firm’s willingness-to-pay for generation of clean energy.
- Carbon Offsets: Through the nonprofit Cool Effect, Ford & Ford has committed to purchase enough carbon offsets to achieve net-zero carbon emissions from 2017 forward, including operations of the firm’s office and all transportation-related emissions for attorneys and staff. Carbon offsets help companies address the fact that not all emissions can be reduced to zero. For those emissions that are impossible to reduce, the purchase of offsets puts a company’s resources toward reducing carbon somewhere else—for example, by capturing and burning methane at landfills, by constructing new sources of clean energy generation such as wind farms, or by improving forest management to protect natural capture of carbon. Ford & Ford's carbon offsets support the development of wind energy in Costa Rica.
- Energy Demand Management: Ford & Ford recognizes that small behavioral shifts—when aggregated—can make a difference. We have programmed all computer hard drives and monitors to sleep after 30 minutes of inactivity. We also pay a premium over alternatives to ensure that only LED bulbs are installed in ceiling lights and lamps officewide. We are committed to purchasing only Energy Star certified appliances.
- Sustainable Supplies: The practice of law is highly computerized, but paper is nonetheless still necessary for what we do. Ford & Ford has committed to purchasing only Forest Stewardship Council certified paper containing 100% post-consumer recycled content for our standard in-house printing.
- Electric Transport: Ford & Ford attorneys closely follow developments in the electric vehicle industry. We are committed to leveraging the investment decisions and purchase decisions of our private lives in combination with the market choices of the firm to accelerate the decarbonization of transportation and commerce in the U.S.
Our firm is eager to advise you and your company regarding commercial/residential solar power development, commercial/residential battery storage, and land acquisition and permitting for electric vehicle infrastructure development. We invite you to read more about the backgrounds and experience of our attorneys to see how we can contribute our minds and our values toward helping your business stay competitive in the 21st century.