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The Legal Newswire - International law firm Nixon Peabody LLP announces the appointment of a Chief Sustainability Officer. Carolyn S. 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.

Ms. Kaplan has almost two decades of experience with environmental protection and renewable energy projects. She counsels her clients on an array of issues that impact development projects and facilities, including environmental impact review, wetlands, tidelands licensing, storm water, water supply, land use, and hazardous waste site assessment and remediation. Ms. Kaplan 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. In her role as Chief Sustainability Officer, she 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. The firm hopes that all of its personnel will become involved to identify innovative ways to improve the sustainability of its own activities and to advise clients in this rapidly growing sector. While serving as Chief Sustainability Officer, Ms. Kaplan will continue her legal practice in energy, environmental and land use law.

“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. “Although many law firms have separate practices that occasionally serve sustainable clients needs, at Nixon Peabody, we combine our legal experience, thought leadership, and good citizenship to serve our clients as very few other law firms can. With Carolyn serving as Chief Sustainability Officer, we intend to take our firm wide green initiative to the next level.”

For years, Nixon Peabody has been taking important steps towards 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 United States Green Building Council under the program for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) making Nixon Peabody the first law firm in the U.S. to be LEED-certified in the category of "Commercial Interiors." The category includes all pre-existing office buildings and commercial space. In the coming months, other Nixon Peabody offices will also pursue LEED-certification. By establishing this position, the firm can achieve even greater progress. For example, 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.

“I’m proud to serve in this new role at Nixon Peabody,” said Ms. 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. I will be working with our attorneys and staff to identify sustainability efforts already underway within the firm, and to help develop plans to drive these efforts forward firm wide.”

Ms. Kaplan is an active member of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), serving on AWEA’s Siting Committee and Offshore Wind Working Group. She is active in the New England Environmental Business Council (EBC) and served as a co-chair of the EBC’s public policy committee. Ms. Kaplan has moderated and served on numerous panels involving renewable energy topics and she has published several articles on wind energy. She co-authors the renewable energy section of the biannual report for the American Bar Association’s section of Public Utility, Communications and Transportation Law (PUCAT). Ms. Kaplan received her J.D., cum laude, from Boston College Law School and she earned her B.A. from Cornell University.

About Nixon Peabody

Nixon Peabody LLP is one of the largest law firms in the United States and is recognized by American Lawyer Media as a "Global 100" firm. With 700 attorneys collaborating across 25 major practice areas in 17 office locations, including Boston, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York City, Rochester, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Washington, DC, the firm’s size, diversity, and advanced technological resources enable it to offer comprehensive legal services to individuals and organizations of all sizes in local, state, national, and international matters. 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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