The Executive Committee of the Oregon State Bar’s Sustainable Future Section awarded Stahancyk, Kent & Hook P.C. the 2015 Sustainable Law Office Leadership Award.
Each year the section recognizes a law office that has demonstrated leadership in law office sustainability, this year focusing on the office that has made the most meaningful efforts to implement food scrap composting.
Although composting is just one part of creating a sustainable future for our planet, it’s one Stahancyk, Kent & Hook P.C. has been practicing for nearly 10 years. “Sharing meals, where we get our food, and feeding our staff has been part of our identity since our founding in 1986, and positioned us to be early leaders in sustainability,” says SK&H President and Senior Shareholder Jody L. Stahancyk. “For over 20 years, SK&H has maintained an in-house kitchen and chef in its Portland office that feeds a staff of over 40 people, and any clients and experts who happen to be onsite. We soon recognized the impact of food waste—the Portland office currently generates an estimated 45-65 pounds of compost per week—and took on the responsibility of leading our attorneys and staff in implementing a sustainable disposal system. That is to say, we were talking about compost long before “Portlandia.”
SK&H President and Senior Shareholder Jody L. Stahancyk was raised on a Central Oregon ranch, where she learned early on that food scraps did not go in the garbage. They went to feed the animals, or were composted and put back into the earth. That upbringing is reflected in the composting system SK&H has implemented across five offices in Bend, Astoria, Prineville, Portland, and Vancouver, Washington. Each office is equipped with bins clearly labeled for compost, recycling, and trash, as well as biodegradable compost bags. The City of Portland picks up these scraps from our Portland office to be used as fertilizer. Additionally, our offices avoid disposable eating utensils, plates, and pop cans, and instead use glasses, real silverware, bowls, and plates.
Outside of composting, SK&H minimizes waste by being a paperless law firm. This helps us reduce paper waste and saves resources. “The steps we take to ensure our offices, attorneys and staff use sustainable waste management practices are a testament to our leadership in environmental responsibility. Our efforts have made a difference and continue to do so as our firm grows, and our attorneys and staff become more active in their duty as stewards of the earth.”
Accepting the award on the firm’s behalf was Senior Shareholder Brad Miller.