Green Initiative Committee

The Green Initiative Committee (GIC) promotes efficient energy use and other environmentally responsible practices in the legal profession.

The committee's work positively impacts the environment, helps law offices reduce costs, adds value to client service, and has positioned the CMBA as a "green leader" among bar associations. 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 in 2008, 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. Applying for the two-year certification recognition is simple. See the "certification" tab for more information. The GIC also developed a Carbon Footprint Calculator for Legal Services Organizations. Download your free copy today!

For more information on the Green Initiative, please contact Rita Klein at (216) 539-3713.

The committee meets as needed. The upcoming 2016 dates are March 21 and May 16.


Michelle Cook
Cady Reporting Services, Inc.

Katy M. Franz
Vice Chair
Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP


Committee Members:
Antoinette T. Bacon, United States Attorney's Office
David Brown, Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co., LPA
Sara Ravas Cooper, Walter | Haverfield LLP
Chris Hanwell, Cady Reporting Services, Inc.
John A. Heer, Walter | Haverfield LLP
Caitlin Lanning
Judith Walker Miles, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office
Florence J. Murray, Murray & Murray Co., LPA
Heidi Gorovitz Robertson, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law
Jeffery A. Schiffman, Western Reserve Land Conservancy
Kara Soppelsa, Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co., LPA
Carter E. Strang, Tucker Ellis LLP
Dawn M. Tarka, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority
Mary Ann Watts, Elk & Elk

Get Green Certified

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 2016-2018 certification are being accepted. The Green Initiative Committee will recognize new and renewing firms/offices at the David Webster Greener Way to Work Day luncheon each September. 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. For more information, contact Rita Klein at (216) 539-3713.

Greener Way to Work Week

The Green Initiative Committee (GIC) was pleased to host its 2015 Greener Way to Work Week September 28 - October 2. The week encouraged finding greener ways to commute to work one or more days that week. The GIC ended the week with its annual luncheon on Friday, October 2.

Find a greener commute one or more days of Greener Way to Work Week. Please let us know you are participating by filling out our online form. We don't share your information, we just try to track participation.

Join the conversation and share your photos on social media (#GreenCMBA) and email any commute photos to Rita Klein.


Green Sustainability Award

At our 2015 luncheon, we announced changes to the award offered through the committee. Starting in 2016, the Green Initiative Committee will announce the first recipient of the newly renamed "Green Sustainability Award." Changes to the award include:

  • Award will honor an individual, not a firm
  • Recipient can be a lawyer or non-lawyer
  • There may be more than one recipient if candidates are deemed worthy of the honor
  • Recipient(s) will be a CMBA member or an employee of a CMBA Green Certified firm/office

Award Criteria:

The award will recognize an individual who:

  1. demonstrates leadership by promoting efficient energy use and other environmentally responsible practices;
  2. used a unique approach to green practices; and
  3. implemented a green technique that is adaptable or adoptable by others.

Nominations for the award can be emailed to Rita Klein. Nominations will remain open until further notice.

Award History:

From 2010-2013 the Green Initiative Committee presented the CMBA Green Innovation Award, which recognized a firm/office that had taken action toward sustainability that goes beyond the requirements for CMBA Green Certification. Those past recipients were:

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

Greener Way to Work Luncheon

The 2015 luncheon welcomed special guest presenter, Colby Sattler of the Western Reserve Land Conservancy who shared information about Reforest Our City. The GIC also formally recognized the firms/offices who are CMBA Green and Green+ Certified.

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.

About David B. Webster
The luncheon honors the memory of David Webster. David 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.

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

2015 luncheon photos
2014 luncheon photos
2013 luncheon photos
2012 luncheon photos
2011 luncheon photos 
2010 luncheon photos 

Green Family Fun Day

The Green Initiative Committee hosted its first Green Family Fun Day on Saturday, June 13, 2015 at 10 a.m. at the CMBA Conference Center. This FREE event, including complimentary:
  • Movie showing of The Lorax
  • Pizza
  • Popcorn
  • Games
  • Prizes

We thank all of you for coming with your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews and friends for fun, food and learning! Resources were provided for greening your family's lifestyle and - as we are reminded by The Lorax - to help protect our environment.

Movie Synopsis:

This animated adventure follows the journey of a boy as he searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world. (Rated PG)

Thank you to our sponsors

  • Cady Reporting Services
  • Thomson Reuters
  • Century Federal Credit Union
  • Avalon Document Services
  • Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co., L.P.A.
  • Shea Photography

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