As a family mediator who recognises the urgent need to reduce my personal and professional impact on the climate, and to share this commitment with others, I have signed up to the environmental pledge at https://womacc.org/
I commit to the following:
- I explain to (potential) clients that, unless they have a need or vulnerability which prevents this, their mediation assessment (MIAM) will take place on-line, for the environmental and other benefits of proceeding in this way.
- When considering with clients what form their further mediation should take, and in particular whether their mediation is to take place on-line or in-person, we will explicitly consider the environmental impact of that decision in the context of all other key factors such as safety, effectiveness and accessibility.
- At all times during the mediation process I will correspond by electronic means, unless hard copy correspondence is expressly required in the circumstances, while recognising that electronic communication itself is carbon emitting so should be also limited to what is necessary.
- Unless there is a special need to do so arising from the nature of the discussions or financial disclosure, I will not request hard copies of documents to be provided to me and I will discourage the use of hard copy documents generally.
- If screen sharing/video technology is appropriate, accessible and acceptable to all concerned, I will encourage its use in all aspects of my practice.
- At all times during the mediation process, I will consider the most environmentally friendly way to travel if travel is necessary, and, if appropriate, encourage my clients to do the same
- In multi-party or supported mediations, I will encourage participants and their advisers to consider the necessity of participants attending in person if that attendance involves significant travel and is not necessary.
- Wherever possible, I will encourage my clients and their advisers to consider the most environmentally friendly venue for their mediation. At mediation venues I will encourage, wherever possible, an environmentally friendly approach to the use of consumables (for example the avoidance of single-use plastic) and the use of energy (for example level of air conditioning and heating).
- I will consider the appropriateness of travelling to, and my mode of travel to and from, conferences and other events and wherever possible will encourage and use live streaming/remote participation options.
- I will take steps to reduce the environmental impact of my office/workplace, conducting an informal ‘environmental audit’ from time to time
- I will seek to replicate this pledge and its intentions in my personal life.
- I will seek to raise awareness of this pledge, for example by referring to it and the World Mediators Alliance on Climate Change on my website and/or email footer, and by encouraging my colleagues and mediation organisations to follow suit.
Signed by Sarah Smith Accredited Family Mediator. Dated October 2022