It was perfect timing with COP26 making the headlines this week, to have received an invitation to sign the Mediator's Green Pledge on behalf of Hunt ADR Limited.
The Mediator's Green pledge has been developed by The World Mediators Alliance on Climate Change and is the second pledge we have signed relating to Climate Change, the first being the Greener Arbitrations Pledge back in 2019.
It is important to see we are not just paying lip service to these pledges. As the UKs largest arbitration service provider by volume, and as a leading mediation service provider and trainer of mediators, we announced in 2019 that we will engage in carbon offsetting for any flights we take in relation to mediation and arbitration services. We also encourage the use of online tools for dispute resolution and training (though we appreciate of course that even online tools leave a significant carbon footprint). Our vehicle of choice for offsetting is the Trees for Life charity in the Scottish Highlands.
With more than 100 mediators, arbitrators, adjudicators and members of training faculty on our books, we have notified everyone of our commitment to greener mediation and are encouraging all our mediators to sign the pledge.
What does the Pledge promise?
As a mediator committed to ensuring that I minimise the impact on the environment of every mediation I am involved in, I will ensure that, wherever possible:
If screen sharing/video technology is appropriate, accessible and acceptable to all concerned, I will encourage its use in all aspects of my mediation practice;
At all times during the mediation process, I will consider the most environmentally friendly way to travel if travel is necessary;
I will offset the carbon emissions of any flights I make to and from mediations while recognising that this is not in any way a substitute for avoiding flying and will only fly when it is necessary to do so;
At all times during the mediation process I will only correspond through electronic means, unless hard copy correspondence is expressly required in the circumstances, while recognising that electronic communication itself is carbon emitting and should be limited to what is necessary;
I will not request hard copies of documents to be provided to me unless there is a special need to do so and I will discourage the use of hard copy documents generally;
I will encourage parties and their advisers to consider the necessity of participants attending mediation in person if that attendance involves significant travel and is not necessary;
Wherever possible, I will encourage parties and their advisers to consider the most environmentally friendly venue for their mediation. At mediation venues, in rooms in which I am mediating I will encourage, wherever possible, an environmentally friendly approach to the use of consumables (for example the avoidance of single-use plastic) and the use of energy (for example reviewing the level of air conditioning and heating);
I will consider the appropriateness of travelling to, and my mode of travel to and from, conferences and other events and wherever possible will encourage and use live streaming/remote participation options;
I will take steps to reduce the environmental impact of my office/workplace; and
I will seek to raise awareness of this pledge, for example by referring to it on my website and/or email footer.
As well as being signatories to both pledges we continue to support foodbanks across the UK & Ireland and encourage all readers to donate to their local foodbank. Any donation is welcome and can make a huge difference to the lives of individuals and families.