ESG – Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance
As a medium sized law firm in Brunei, we are insignificant, relative to venture capitalists’ ability to shape fund managers’ investment policy. We do what we can within our capabilities.
As early as the start of CAS in 2009, although there was no legal requirement then, we opted not to use cheaper Freon R22 gassed air-conditioners but the more expensive Freon free R410A air conditioners for our offices. Many years later, R22 gassed refrigerators and air-conditioners were no longer sold. As inverter air conditioners became available in Brunei, the Panasonic distributor in Brunei changed our air conditioners to inverter units. Not because they would save us money by lowering our electricity bill (because electricity in Brunei can be said to be as cheap as our gasoline which is cheaper than bottled tap water), but to lower our environmental footprint on the Earth. As we had replaced our R410A Panasonic aircons installed not too long ago, we were given a comfortable length of time to pay for the new aircons. Further, our aircons are set at 25 Celsius instead of the commonly seen 18-20 Celsius, to lower electricity consumption.
To cut use of paper, all our toilets are equipped with bidet (anal spray) to cut down on the use of toilet paper. We are as paperless as possible on our work with the use of electronic mail and digital editing of drafts. Paper, binders and folders are recycled as normally possible.
We have converted our office lighting to high efficiency LEDs even though they cost more. Our staff bring their own cups and flasks to shops to lower the use of plastic and paper receptacles. When supplied to us, we wash, recycle and re-use plastic food take-away food receptacles. Use of tissue paper is discouraged, put on the table to catch the occasional sneezes and staff are encouraged to wash their hands with the taps and wash basins in every one of our 5 units of offices.
Our marker pens are re-fillable and we scan documents for our records instead of making photocopies to save trees.
Office electronics such as UPS are recycled. We are looking forward to be able to separate certain waste such as aerosols, chemical and toxic substances when such distinction is made in waste collection in Brunei.
We do our best to support the unemployment issues in Brunei by employing as many locals as possible.
Individually, we cannot save the planet but, we can do our part by making individual changes to combat climate change, by making our office more environmentally friendly such as exchanging single-use plastic cups and takeaway boxes for reusable containers and cutleries; recycling office waste and reusing papers as drafts; reducing energy consumption by turning of the lights after working hours; and choosing energy-saving air conditioners.
We do not purchase overseas for the cheapest version of what we need when we can source the exact same items in Brunei. Even at a slightly higher price, we make it a point to purchase locally so that we can provide food and services to the people, as well as, generate Brunei’s economy. The premium in higher prices can be reflected in our measurable CSR.
We are also involved in charitable causes, such as assisting the disabled, donate to animal charities, as well as assisting in helping the animals by donating to the veterinarian costs.
We are constantly aiming to be more transparent and mindful in the treatment of our employees, client relationships, and supplier chain interactions. Our lawyers may not be available to assist in the Law Society legal clinic; however, we do provide a link to provide Pro Bono services for those people who are not usually able to afford to pay for legal and/or law assistance.
We here at Cheok Advocates & Solicitors, are a law firm committed to playing our part to protect the Earth and be mindful about the issues of the environment, human resources and unemployment.
Together we can work together to combat the dual crises of climate and biodiversity.