Insurance specialists prove social responsibility commitment

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Sparke Helmore is proving that it is committed to its social responsibility goals.

In its recently released “In Kind” social and environmental sustainability report for fiscal 2015-16, the firm reported that it exceeded the National Pro Bono Aspirational Target for the first time since becoming a signatory firm in 2013.

The target is an average of 35 hours donated for each full time equivalent (FTE) lawyer at the firm. In 2015-16, the firm recorded 11,767 pro bono hours for an average of 38.5 hours per FTE lawyer, an increase of 25% over the previous year. Paralegals and law clerks also contributed an additional 435 pro bono hours.

“This report contains just the headlines of our programs and only scratches the surface of our community involvement. We thank everyone who has been involved in our activities during the year,” said Phillip Salem, national managing partner.

The firm assisted 40 individuals and 36 charitable organisations referred by members of the National Association of Community Legal Centres. It also raised $438,000 at the Newcastle City Triathlon for various local charities.

The firm funded 50 blue bags for the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children’s Teleschool Program and supported 80 families through food hampers through the Weave Youth and Community Services organisation. The firm also invested 25% of their insurance premiums to make a difference through QBE’s Premiums for Good.

In terms of environmental sustainability, the firm is currently working on an environmental management system, which will be launched in Sydney before a firm-wide rollout. It also continues programs like its transition from halogen to LED lights and its recycling program for paper, cardboard, e-waste, glass, and plastics. The firm reported 2,358 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.


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