As the oldest law firm in British Columbia, we are deeply rooted in Vancouver, and have been active members of the local community for 150 years. It is our obligation and privilege to contribute to and celebrate the well-being of the community that has allowed our firm to succeed.
RBS strongly believes in investing our time and resources in our local community. Over the years, we’ve collaborated with various organizations and societies to provide annual donations, pro bono legal services, and volunteer hours to meaningful initiatives.
These causes include and are not limited to:
- Funding towards mental health issues for children and adults;
- Programs that finance the basic necessities of life, ensuring food and shelter are available for the underprivileged;
- Fundraising efforts to support the upkeep and purchase of new state-of-the-art medical equipment for hospitals and to endorse innovative medical treatments for illnesses and diseases including cancer and Alzheimer’s;
- Bursaries to higher learning institutions to endorse that education ultimately leads to awareness of social and environmental responsibility; and
- Monetary contributions to assist members of our own legal community and their families who may have suffered an illness or injury arising from any cause.
Planet Earth is ours to share, and we take pride in our ecological efforts. We recognize the significance of operating our business as sustainably as possible. In turn, these actions have a positive effect on those around us. Our firm makes conscious choices to reduce our environmental footprint through:
Educational sessions on sustainability;
Mindful purchasing decision-making;
Sustainable waste reduction and recycling efforts;
Targeted energy conservation including eco-friendly equipment use;
An aim for zero paper waste; and
Encouraging public transit.
We are active participants of the Oxford Green Tenant Committee which promotes sustainability in our office tower. On behalf of our staff, we recycle unused electronics, batteries, Styrofoam, plastic, and other recyclable items. Reusable mugs are provided to deter single-use plastics and a 50% discount was offered on the purchase of stainless steel containers in replacement of plastics. To endorse environmental awareness, each member of the firm was provided wildflower seeds to encourage rejuvenation of our bee population.
We are the exclusive law firm sponsor of HUB Cycling, a membership-based organization that supports cycling enthusiasts through organized events, with an emphasis on reducing carbon emissions by improving cycling conditions in Vancouver. Firm members regularly participate in HUB’s biennial initiatives including “Bike to Work Week”.
Through Climate Smart, an award-winning social enterprise based in Vancouver which helps organizations reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen their businesses, and build a resilient economy, our firm participated in training sessions in 2020, and we are now Climate Smart certified. With support from firm members who make up our “Green Team”, we are committed to continue this work in 2021 with a focus on reductions in paper, staff commuting, and waste.
Volunteerism and Annual Donations
RBS recognizes that time can be as valuable an influence as monetary contributions. As a firm, we are proud of our investment both financially and through many person hours starting in 2009 through to 2019 to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. Since then, we have donated over $210,000.00 which in turn has allowed the Food Bank to purchase over $600,000.00 worth of nutritious food. We have organized monthly work events annually at the Food Bank’s warehouse, sorting food donations and taking part in additional duties that alleviate pressures for the Food Bank’s full-time volunteers. In support of this, our RBS team has donated over 1,000 person-hours to these efforts.
We support Covenant House Vancouver annually, and focus our efforts on youth experiencing housing instability or a crisis that put them at risk of homelessness. Our donations fund programs that provide youth with a range of resources that include access to registered clinical counsellors, housing workers, education and employment guidance, and life skills training designed to lift youth out of crisis so they have the stability needed to work towards a brighter future. As the new decade continues to unfold, our lawyers and staff are ready and willing to volunteer our services.
Our Corporate Social Responsibility efforts have not only benefited our greater community, it has also strengthened our internal culture immeasurably, and has brought each active participant immense gratification.