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In recent years, sustainability officers have been hired by corporations and universities, foundations and government agencies to manage their relationships with the environment on many levels - ecological, social, economic, policy and political, and governmental.

But law firms? No.

Until now.

The international law firm Nixon Peabody LLP today announced the appointment of a chief sustainability officer. Carolyn Kaplan, an attorney in the firm's energy and environmental practice, will serve in the new role.

Nixon Peabody is the first in the legal industry to establish such a position, although many of the firm's clients and global industries have done so as part of corporate commitments to sustainability.

"This new position reflects our commitment to implement sustainable principles at every opportunity in our firm. We are supporting the commitment to sustainable practices that our clients are adopting and implementing," said Harry P. Trueheart III, chairman and managing partner of Nixon Peabody.

"I'm proud to serve in this new role at Nixon Peabody," said Kaplan. "In addition to improving our own performance, I believe we can assist our clients to achieve their business goals while attaining the best environmental result."

In her new role, Kaplan will work closely with Nixon Peabody's operations director to further reduce the firm's carbon footprint and implement internal green initiatives, as well as to look for opportunities to partner with clients and potential clients on joint sustainability activities.

While serving as chief sustainability officer, Kaplan will continue her legal practice in energy, environmental and land use law. Kaplan also co-chairs the firm's Renewable Energy Team and has assisted clients on a variety of renewable energy projects, including the siting of land-based and offshore wind facilities.

Nixon Peabody has been fostering sustainable business practices. Earlier this year, the firm announced the opening of its first green office in San Francisco which is a model of sustainable design, green building techniques, and a healthy work environment.

The office has been certified by the U.S. Green Building Council under the program for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, LEED, making Nixon Peabody the first law firm in the United States to be LEED certified in the category of Commercial Interiors.

In the coming months, other Nixon Peabody offices will also pursue LEED-certification.

All of the firm's offices are implementing sustainability programs, adopting waste minimization practices, switching to eco-friendly building materials and cleaning products, and identifying other ways to reduce the firm's carbon footprint.

With 700 attorneys collaborating across 25 major practice areas in 17 office locations, Nixon Peabody is one of the largest law firms in the United States and is recognized by American Lawyer Media as a "Global 100" firm.

Nixon Peabody has been recognized by FORTUNE magazine as one of its "100 Best Companies To Work For" in 2007 for the second consecutive year. The firm has also been named to the Human Rights Campaign's 2007 "Best Places To Work For GLBT Equality" list.


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