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Law Center Adopts Policy to Offset Climate Impacts The Frances Lewis Law Center at W&L Law has secured carbon offsets to address the Center’s impacts on climate change.

lawcentercarbon-800x533 Law Center Adopts Policy to Offset Climate ImpactsCOREworks Fellow Ginny Johnson ’20 and Professor Chris Seaman at the Boxerwood solar array.

The Frances Lewis Law Center at Washington and Lee University School of Law has implemented a new policy to address the Center’s impacts on climate change. Boxerwood Education Association, a local environmental education center, will benefit from the effort.

The Lewis Law Center is the research support arm of W&L Law and is a regular sponsor of scholarship endeavors and events that involve travel by W&L faculty and visiting scholars. Since greenhouse gases from transportation, including air travel and automobiles, accounts for about 27 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, the Law Center Committee, chaired by Professor Chris Seaman, Director of the Law Center, decided to adopt a policy of carbon neutrality beginning this year.

“We believe it is important to do our part on sustainability and environmental stewardship, and to help meet the University’s ultimate goal of achieving carbon neutrality,” said Professor Seaman. “We are pleased to partner with Boxerwood, a respected local nonprofit, in this important effort.”

The policy, available on the Law Center website, includes securing carbon offsets from reliable providers for air and ground transportation and lodging for all academic visitors and guests to the University who are invited by, sponsored by, or funded by the Law Center. An added benefit of the new policy is that the funds to secure carbon offsets will be reinvested right in Rockbridge County through Boxerwood’s COREworks initiative.

Boxerwood has long been a leader in the area for environmental education and conservation efforts. Its new program, COREworks, vets and funds local projects that restore soil, protect water, and reduce carbon emissions. Current projects include the development of solar arrays and riparian tree planting. The Law Center secured three COREworks offsets, the equivalent of preventing the release of three metric tons of carbon dioxide into the environment.

Ginny Johnson, a 2020 graduate of W&L and program coordinator for COREworks, noted that many individuals have already secured personal offsets through their online marketplace, but W&L Law is the first institution to do so.

“Since its inception, COREworks has been a collaborative effort with our friends at W&L,” said Johnson. “This leadership is particularly special considering the Community Legal Practice Center’s pro bono contributions to the development of COREworks in 2020. It’s wonderful to see that partnership come full circle.”