|Legally Green - Solicitors earn the gold eco-standard
Pupils from St Aidan's Primary School with (from left) Melanie Varey and Steven Taylor from Stephenson Solicitors, Rebecca Hill from the Environmental Education team and Borough in Bloom co-ordinator Damian Jenkinson.
Legal eagles in Wigan and Leigh have proved they're not only experts when it comes to the finer points of the law - they are also well-versed in caring for the environment.
Stephensons Solicitors LLP, which has offices in both towns, has become the latest local firm to win the coveted Tidy Business Award.
The company has three offices in the borough and each has embraced the council-run scheme. So much so that each has earned the highest - gold standard Tidy Business Award.
Not only has Stephensons reduced its waste through clever ideas such as re-using envelopes for internal purposes, recycling all cardboard, paper and ink cartridges but the firm has made a positive impact on the community as well. It has paid for 10 fruit trees to be planted at St Aidan's Primary School in Winstanley and St Thomas' in Leigh.
Apple and pear trees were chosen so that each school can have a 'mini-orchard' and enjoy the fruit for years to come. It will also help the children to learn more about important subjects such as bio-diversity.
Andrew Leakey, partner at Stephensons, who heads the firm's Corporate Social Responsibility, says: "We're always looking for ways to engage with our local community, not just by providing legal services to many vulnerable people, but also by getting involved in projects such as tree-planting which can benefit the area as a whole. We support the ethos behind the Tidy Business Award and as a large local business with a social conscience; we've already formed a 20-strong team to look at ways in which we can indentify areas for improvement in the firm."
The Tidy Business Awards programme aims to reward businesses that have demonstrated a commitment to improving the environment. In particular, the programme asks a business to keep their shop frontages clean and tidy and reduce, re-use or recycle the amount of waste wherever possible.
Ellen Belshaw, who is from the council's Environmental Education team, explains: "Over the past 12 months we've worked with 75 businesses on the Tidy Business Awards' programme and it's given us a great working relationship with the business community.
"We've have just started Wigan's Big Tidy Up, which runs throughout April and we're sure that all our award winners will be helping out.
“Stephensons donation of the trees is a great example of linking businesses, schools and the council to work together for the benefit of everyone."
To find out more about the Tidy Business Awards' programme you can contact Wigan Council Environmental Education Co-ordinator Nick Burdekin on 01942 488222.
You can register your tidy up event at www.thebigtidyup.org and claim a free campaign pack which includes rubbish sacks, tabards and handy tips on how best to make your event a success.
For more information on waste , litter, the environment in our borough and what you can do visit Wigan Council’s website – www.wigan.gov.uk