Green Initiative Committee

GreenLogoFirst announced by 2008-09 President Michael E. Brittain at the 2008 CMBA Annual Meeting, the Green Initiative Committee's (GIC) promotes efficient energy use and other environmentally responsible practices in law offices by rewarding innovation and commitment. The committee's work has positively impacted the environment, helped law offices reduce costs, and positioned the CMBA as a "green leader" among bar associations. This presentation discusses in more detail the role of the GIC and the requirements for certification.  We also invite you to check out the recent articles published in the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal are available in the "articles and more" tab as well.

Since it began, the GIC has worked on a comprehensive CMBA Green Initiative, the center stone of which is a Green Certification Program. The Green Certification program now includes two certification levels. See the "certification" tab for more information. The GIC also developed a Carbon Footprint Calculator for Legal Services Organizations.  Download your free copy today!

David Webster Greener Way to Work Day

Each year the GIC holds a luncheon as part of  David Webster's Greener Way to Work Day. The day encourages greener commutes, and the lunch recogonzies offices who have taken steps to become CMBA Green or Green+ Certified. This year's luncehon was held on September 23rd at noon at the CMBA. See the "events and award" tab for more information on the day and luncheon.

For more information on the Green Initiative, please contact: Rita Klein 

Green Initiative Committee:

Aaron O'Brien (Chair) Douglas McWilliams
Michelle Cook (Vice Chair) Dawn Mead
Sara Ravas Cooper Judith Walker Miles
Serena M. Coppula Meagan Moore
Mary Davis Louise H. Mosher
Danielle Doza Florence J. Murray
Katy Franz Kara Soppelsa
Sarah Gregg Howard Strain
Chris Hanwell Carter Strang
Ellen Maglicic Kramer Joseph Tarasco
Caitlin Elizabeth Lanning Dawn Tarka
Stephanie L. Lingle  
Jonathan McGory  


Event Subcommittee -- identify, create and promote events for not only our committee but the entire CMBA membership

Tech Czar -- handle all social media and identify "greener" ideas for law firm's technology areas

Green Initiative Proposal Subcommittee -- applying and submitting proposals for awards and recognitions and to help make the CMBA Green Committee a leader in our community

Green Awareness Subcommittee -- help foster understanding and awareness to others by managing green columns in the CMBA Bar Journal, submit green tips for use in the daily CMBA BarBriefs and create other communications deemed necessary

Membership -- focus on increasing membership to the green committee as well as increasing Green Certified Firms

Green Certification Criteria Sub-Committee -- to address certification criteria on an ongoing basis; to look at certified firm/office recognition

The CMBA will certify participating firms/offices as Green, in accordance with the criteria laid out below. All local law firms/offices employing one or more CMBA members are eligible to apply for CMBA Green Certification. To have your firm or office CMBA Green Certified, a firm/office contact or administrator must demonstrate, in writing, that the firm/office is in compliance with the established criteria. Certified firms/offices will be recognized by way of an annual certificate and online at the CMBA website.

Requests for 2014-2016 certification are being accepted. The Green Initiative Committee most recently welcomed new and renewing firms/offices on September 23, 2013  at the David Webster Greener Way to Work Day (see the events tab). Certified firms will be listed periodically in the CMBA Bar Journal and added to the list of certified firms below.

We encourage you to apply for CMBA Green Certification or Green + Certification using our online forms. Details for both levels are listed below.


Green Certification Criteria


A.)    Efforts to reduce per capita paper use (a commitment to 2 of the following 4 must be made): 

    1.     purchasing office paper with at least 30% recycled content. 
    2.     using double-sided copying and printing, at least for drafts and internal documents 
    3.     recycling discarded office paper 
    4.     purchasing office paper only from paper manufacturers with sustainable forestry management practices (click here to visit the American Forest & Paper Association for information on this type of paper manufacturer)

B.)    A commitment to reduce office energy use by 10% in the first year of certification (click here for tips on reducing energy usage [PDF])

C.)    The existence (or formation) of a firm/office program for recycling glass, plastic and e-waste products (toner cartridges, computers, etc.)

D.)    The existence (or formation) of a firm/office Green Committee or designated administrator to implement the program, interface with the CMBA, and generally encourage environmentally-responsible practices amongst staff. 

Green+ Certification Criteria


In addition to the standard Green level,  firms/offices that want to expand their sustainability practices can apply for Green+ Certification. This advance level requires firms to quantify their successes. Along with the standard recycling and energy savings requirements, one of the Green+ criteria requires a firm to document a 10% energy savings from a baseline year of its choosing and to demonstrate a continuing downward trend in usage after that (per capita)


50 firms/offices are currently certified. The list below was last updated April 2014. 

Firms Green certified for 2014-16
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court

Firms Green certified for 2013-15
Brzytwa Quick & McCrystal, LLC
Budish, Solomon, Steiner & Peck, Ltd.
Cleveland Metroparks
Collins & Scanlon, LLP
John V. Heutsche Co., LPA
Jones Day
Lingle Legal Services, LLC
Major Legal Services, LLC
Murray & Murray Co., LPA
Schneider, Smeltz, Ranney & LaFond P.L.L.
U.S. Attorney's Office (Cleveland)
Veritext Legal Solutions

Firms Green+ certified for 2012-14
Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP
Squire Sanders (US) LLP
Tucker Ellis LLP

Firms Green certified for 2012-14
American Civil Liberties Union
Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP
Britton Smith Peters & Kalail Co., L.P.A.
Brouse McDowell
Cady Reporting Services, Inc.
City of Cleveland Department of Law
Cleveland Law Library Association
Department of Health & Human Services—Office of Medicare Hearings & Appeals
Dinn, Hochman & Potter, LLC
Frantz Ward LLP
Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority—Legal Affairs Division
Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP
Hickman & Lowder Co., L.P.A.
Icove Legal Group, Ltd.
Law Office of Richard J. Stahl III
The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland
Litigation Management, Inc.
McMahon DeGulis LLP
Mehler & Hagestrom Court Reporters
Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis
Mishkind Law Firm Co. L.P.A.
The Moskowitz Firm
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C
Ott & Associates Co., LPA
Porter Wright Morris & Arthur
Roetzel & Andress, LPA
Seeley, Savidge, Ebert & Gourash Co., LPA
Spangenberg, Shibley & Liber LLP
Thompson Hine LLP
Ulmer & Berne LLP
Walter | Haverfield LLP
Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co., L.P.A.

The Green Initiative Committee (GIC) will holds its 6th annual David Webster Greener Way to Work Day luncheon on Friday, October 10, 2014.  In addition to this traditional luncheon, the GIC is planning to promote a number of events October 6-10 and increase awareness of sustainability efforts and make it more of a Greener Way to Work Week this year. A full list of events and activities will be posted soon.

Historically, the Greener Way to Work Day has encouraged those at firms and offices in the Cleveland area to find greener ways to travel to work, whether by mass transit, biking or carpooling.  This year, we hope the week long focus will allow for some flexibility in finding the best day to commute green one or more days that week. 

Pledge to go Green

Greener Way to Work Week 2014 will feature a luncheon at the new CMBA facilities to recognize firms/offices who have taken steps to become CMBA Green or Green+ Certified. We were pleased to welcome a representative from Rid-All Green Partnership as our 2014 keynote speaker. 

For information on how to get your firm/office certified or to view a complete list of certified firms/office, click on the certification tab above.

For information on sponsoring the luncheon, contact Tressa Mazzocca. For information on tickets to the the luncheon, please contact the CMBA at 216-696-3525. 

About David B. Webster 
David Webster was CMBA president-elect, a Green Initiative Committee member, founder of the Clean Air Conservancy and partner with the firm Webster Dubyak & Weyls Co., LPA. David passed away in March 2009 after a brief illness.

Green Innovation Award

The annual luncheon also included the presentation of the CMBA Green Innovation Award, which recognizes a firm/office that has taken action toward sustainability that goes beyond the requirements for CMBA Green Certification.  

Green Innovation Award Winners
2013- Squire Sanders (US) LLP  (view entry)
2012 - Squire Sanders (US) LLP (view entry)
2011 - Roetzel & Andress, LPA
2010 - Tucker Ellis LLP

In 2011 and again in 2012, the luncheon included the reading and presentation of a Congressional Record proclamation in recognition of the David Webster Greener Way to Work Day.  

We thank our 2013 event sponsors for their support. 

Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP
Cady Reporting Services, Inc.
Calfee Halter & Griswold LLP
Cleveland Metroparks
Dubyak, Connick, Sammon, Thompson & Bloom, LLC
Jones Day
Squire Sanders (US) LLP
Tucker Ellis LLP
Walter | Haverfield LLP
Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co., L.P.A. 
Corporate Sponsors
BakerHostetler LLP
Cintas Document Management
Tucker Ellis LLP

Photos of the 2011 luncheon
Photos of the 2010 luncheon 

  The first David Webster "Greener Way to Work Day" was held on Sept. 25, 2009. Learn more about this day and David Webster.


committee columns

Green Initiative Committee columns published in the CMBA Bar Journal
October 2013 - "Classrooms to Corporations," by Joe Tarasco & Ted Theofrastous 
September 2013 - "A Greener Commute," A Collective Effort by Maureen Brennan
July/August 2013 - "The Dollars and Sense of Going Green" by Katy M. Franz
June 2013 - "The Benefits of a CMBA Green Certification" by Howard G. Strain
May 2013 - "Go Green! A Team We Can’t Afford to Let Lose," One Lawyer's Decision to Go Green by Aaron A. O'Brien
April 2013 -  "Promoting Firms to “Go Green,” Updates from the Green Initiative Committee by Maureen Brennan

recent Green News

Law Firm’s Solar Array Empowers Building and the Bottom Line The law firm of Murray & Murray Co. in Sandusky, at the recommendation of one of its partners, installed an array of 250-watt solar panels on its roof. The 494 panels collectively can supply 123.5 kilowatts, or about a third of the firm’s power needs. Click here to see the full story.

Cuyahoga County Installs Bike Racks Outside Three Public BuildingsSee the story on about how Cuyahoga County has installed 16 new bike racks outside the Justice Center and the Virgil E. Brown and Jane Edna Hunter buildings as part of a push for sustainability. Jennifer Scofield, coordinator of the county's Health Alliance, said the county has been working with various communities to improve the health of their citizens by promoting biking and walking.

Cleveland: Epicenter of the Environmental Movement?
See the story in CoolCleveland that talks about the turnaround of Cleveland and the recent efforts of EcoWatch.

Avon woman says rain barrel is way to go green (article

VIDEOS and photos

CMBA members can get free pick up for recycling electronics and computers through various providers. Click on the "resources" tab for more information.

Speaking of recycling computers, watch the videos below to learn more about green computing.

   CMBA and OneCommunity Recycling Drive 2011
Cavs Green Day 

Former GIC Chair Carter Strang and Joe Tarasco participated in the Cleveland Cavs' Green Day program where they displayed materials regarding the CMBA's Green Initiative and OneCommunity. 

  The first David Webster "Greener Way to Work Day" was held on Sept. 25, 2009. Learn more about this day and David Webster.


More Articles

Below are links to articles and other presentation information on green initiatives, best practices and more.

Title: “Greening’ Your Legal Practice” : Practical Steps to Responsible Environmental Stewardship
In an article for the DRI's Newsletter of the Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Committee, CMBA member Carter Strang writes about how "it is incumbent upon attorneys to help protect the earth because we are part of the problem." Click here for a PDF of the full article.

In the 2010 presentation entitled,  Greenhouse Gas Reporting and Carbon Footprints , Douglas A. McWilliams of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey L.L.P. discusses Carbon footprints—what they are, why/how to calculate, issues surrounding calculation, and helpful resources.  In addition, the GHG Monitoring Rule is reported on in detail.

Learn more about your Carbon Footprint with the Carbon Footprint Calculator for Legal Services Organizations.

Title:  Local Lawyer Comes to Defense of Sustainability
In an article from Cleveland Business Connects Magazine, author Lynne Meyer writes about Carter Strang of Tucker Ellis & West and how he developed the idea of the CMBA Green Initiative Committee, the Green Certification process for firms/companies and then the David Webster Greener Way to Work Day event. Click here for a PDF of the full article.

Title:  Law Firms Build a Case for Green: Recent Trends in Law Firm Sustainability Practices
CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) Law Firm Practice Group published this report in October 2010. A first in the commercial real estate services industry, the report covers sustainable strategies currently employed by law firms, including the specific practices of several CBRE clients on American Lawyer's Top 100 Law Firms list. The report specifically addresses the application and cost considerations of select sustainable strategies and considers the impacts of these and other trends in the context of the law firm industry's evolving real estate requirements. Click here to download the report.

Title:  How Green Is My Law Firm?
Rachel Loper and Robert Loper discuss environmental sustainability from the reasons to consider it to specific implementation procedures in their article entitled How Green Is My Law Firm? 

Title:  The green(er) law practice
In this article, authors Evelyne Michaut and Rob Watson suggest green practices for many aspects of legal firms, advice for firms at many different “shades of green”.

Title:  How green is my orange?
Author Andrew Martin examines the environmental costs of Pepsi Co.’s Tropicana with specific emphasis on global warming. 

Title:  New Energy Institute Targets Renewable Power, Storage and Efficiency
Case Western Reserve University’s Fall 2008 edition of Next Generation discusses the Great Lakes Institute for Energy Innovation at Case Western Reserve University and its efforts in developing “energy use strategies” while focusing on research and development, economic development, and education.  A fresh water wind project and Cleveland’s carbon footprint are also discussed.

The Green Committee is happy to provide information for resources and providers to assist you in your efforts to be green.  If you have others we should consider, please contact Rita Klein at the CMBA. 

More Biking Information NOACA's countywide trail maps. These are mostly ratings for general roadways, with difficulty ratings.

Metroparks has recently put together a smart-phone (and desktop) routing app for navigating bike (and other) trails: 
Green_City_Blue_Lake  Courtesy of Green City Blue Lake, this site provides links and maps for favorite bike trails. Enjoy. 
Cady Reporting 

Cady Reporting Services, Inc., has served the legal community in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio since 1979, providing a full range of court reporting services and has been green certified by the CMBA. Cady Reporting  understands that our business practices have a direct impact on the environment. One example of its green technology and service is eBriefs, where text and video testimony exist in one easy place. Learn more about eBriefs 

Solid Waste Management District  The Cuyahoga County Solid Waste Management District is one of 52 solid waste management districts created by Ohio’s counties following the passage of the Ohio Solid Waste Disposal Act in 1988.  This law required districts to prepare and implement plans to reduce the amount of waste disposed in Ohio’s landfills by increasing recycling and waste reduction activities statewide. The District works to support environmentally-sustainable and economical solid waste management practices within the communities, institutions and businesses of Cuyahoga County.  The District offers many services designed to increase recycling programs and opportunities, divert waste from landfills, promote environmental awareness, and support local recycling-based businesses.
 RTA   When an employer enrolls in RTA’s Commuter Advantage program, riders enjoy their green ride to work, while keeping more green in their wallets. The Commuter Advantage is a pre-tax transportation benefit program whereby employees save money, time, and get a guaranteed ride home. All a firm has to do is offer this program thru a direct payroll deduction or FSA. No Federal, FICA, or State taxes can touch these monies thereby saving an average of $350 per year on commuting costs.

Ready to Ride is a program designed to help prospective riders find out what exactly it would take for them to ride. Based on a questionnaire they fill out, they are presented with a starter kit which contains a trip plan, two five-day work-week passes, and a contact at RTA who is their dedicated personal transit assistant that guides them through their new experience.

If your firm/office does not have a transportation benefit program in place, RTA can guide you through the process. If your firm has a program in place, all you have to do is complete a short questionnaire. Yes, it’s that easy. Your contact is Jim Frick, Sales Director, 216-702-7402.  Click here to see full details on these program .

RTA offers bike shelters. Bike shelters are at two West side rapid stations so they can leave their bikes when traveling downtown. Shelters are at Triskett and West 117th Street stations. More info.

Each year, more than 50,000 riders board RTA buses and trains with their bicycle, as part of RTA’s Rack-N-Roll program. The program, now 10 years old, includes a two-bicycle rack on the front of every bus in the fleet, as well as bike racks at most rail stations and customer facilities. Combining a bike ride with public transit is a great 1-2 punch for the environment.



RET3 provide "Green Computing" as an environmentally friendly and cost-effective way for your to donate used computer equipment. In the spring of 2011, the CMBA Green Initiative Committee joined with OneCommunity and RET3 Job Corp. Inc. for its Green Computing Program. Through this program unwanted computers and other e-waste is donated and then refurbished for distribution to Northeast Ohio schools.  As of August 15, 2011, RET3 Job Corp is coordinating all Green Computing Program inquiries, requests, donations and pickups.  Please contact Ken Kovatch at RET3 Job Corps for assistance 216-361-9991 x100. They do the pick up, you get the tax benefit. For more information, visit


The EcoRewards Commercial Recycling Program was designed to specifically address the needs of the business recycling customer by taking a comprehensive consultative approach to helping customers maximize their waste diversion and cost savings. From your desk, to the curb, to the recycling mill and back, we are a proven and trusted Full Circle Recycler that will design, support, and optimize a successful program for your company. This is a program of AbitibiBowater -- the largest manufacturer of newsprint and commercial printing papers in the world with over 40 grades of paper made with recycled paper fiber content. For more visit

green and yellow bin 

The Paper Retriever Program offers a community based fund raising recycling service to non-profit organizations such as schools, churches and civic organizations. With over 24,000 containers, this program provides a huge economy of scale that has allowed us to offer a very competitive commercial recycling program. In 2006, the Paper Retriever® program paid nearly $5.0 million to schools, churches & non-profit organizations. This is a program of AbitibiBowater, a world class recycling partner who knows how to return maximum value to our customers from their recycling streams. For more information, contact Denise Piotrowski at (216) 961-3900 or visit