MARIN COUNTY -- Marin’s largest attorney alliance is going green.

The Marin County Bar Association has commenced efforts to certify all member offices as environmentally sound. Four offices have applied for the local endorsement, and others are preparing to file.

“Typically the legal profession is a very paper-intensive industry, and our new president thought it would be good to bring to the forefront ways members can make changes,” said Elizabeth Brekhus, Brekhus Law Partners attorney and Marin Bar board member.

[caption id="attachment_16421" align="alignleft" width="108" caption="Marlene Getchell"][/caption]

Elected 2009 bar President Marlene Getchell spearheaded the “green star office program,” asking members to strive for Marin County’s green-business certification. The bar also developed its own rating and green certificate program.

Firms will be awarded ratings between one and six stars for implementing various energy and sustainability changes. The measures include mitigating printing of e-mails and faxing, recycling, downloading research in lieu of printing and using double-sided copy.

The higher ratings include actions such as formal policies that require all nonessential devices and lights be turned off when not in use and rearranging workspaces around natural light. Replacing light bulbs and fixtures is also on the list along with other changes.

“We tried to identify measures that members can do independent from the building," Ms. Brekhus said. "It’s difficult for renters to make structural changes; a lot of it is just making or changing policy.”