CMBA Green Certification

Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s “Green” Initiative/Recognition Program

The creation of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (CMBA) Green Initiative and Green Initiative Committee (GIC) was first announced by 2008-09 President Michael E. Brittain at the 2008 CMBA Annual Meeting. The purpose of the GIC is to promote environmentally responsible programs (“green practices”) for adoption by law firms, small law offices/solo practitioners and the CMBA itself. The CMBA Green Initiative Committee will endeavor to promote its own suggested Green Practices to Cleveland firms in an effort to lessen the cumulative effects on the environment.


Provide a certification program recognizing law firms who work to promote environmentally responsible programs. Honored law firms will be “Green Certified” on an annual basis, with the issuance of a CMBA certification.

Areas Targeted

Paper Management and Use

  1. Purchase office paper with at least 30% recycled content.
  2. Recycle discarded office paper.
  3. Use double-sided copying and printing at least for drafts and internal documents.
  4. Purchase office paper only from paper manufacturers with sustainable forestry management practices.

Energy Use

  1. Law Firm/Office Certification of Compliance (ABA/EPA “Energy Star” program) – Initial year of certification is based on a commitment to the reduction of firm/office energy use by 10% (over a 12-month period). Successive years—certification is based on actual attainment of a reduction.
  2. Suggested energy reduction activities:
    1. Turn off lights, computers, copiers, printers, and other equipment when not in use.
    2. Replace incandescent or halogen lamps with compact fluorescents (CFT).
    3. Use daylighting as much as possible, instead of lights.
  3. Enable power-down management software on networked computers. Make sure screensavers are used.
  4. Upgrade the ambient fluorescent lighting system by replacing the T12 lamps with more energy-efficient T8 or T5 systems and upgrade exit signs to use light-emitting diode (LED) lamps.
  5. Use automatic lighting controls such as dimming systems that reduce light when natural daylight is available; and occupancy and motion sensors for, among other things, conference rooms, kitchens, storage rooms, and restrooms. Consider occupancy sensors that power down computer equipment, task lights, and other plug load equipment.
  6. Educate cleaning crews to shut off miscellaneous items such as office lights, coffee pots, and other equipment when not used.
  7. Recycling of Cans, Bottles, Plastic and e-waste – suggested activities include:
  • 1. Law Firm/Office certification of the existence of a program for the recycling of cans, bottles, plastic and e-waste

  • 2. Identify Law Firm/Office Green Committee or Administrator

  • 3. CMBA to lead by example and meet law firm/office challenge

  • 4. Promote “green” practices at firms/offices, in our personal lives, and in the community at large