News

WP achieves carbon neutrality

Winkler Partners is today announcing that we have achieved carbon neutrality for 2020 through reducing our emissions, purchasing green energy credits, and offsetting what we can’t reduce.

Running a business has a negative impact on the natural environment and from the beginning we have looked for ways to mitigate our impact. We have installed energy efficient lighting and appliances, greened the office and built a roof garden, captured rainwater, and installed solar panels that provide around 20% of our energy needs.

But we realized that this was not enough. As more people and businesses become aware of the severity of the global climate crisis, we committed to reaching carbon neutral ahead of both the Paris Agreement (2050) and a joint commitment made by over 800 B Corporations (2030) made at the end of 2019.

In 2020 we purchased enough T-RECs (Taiwan Renewable Energy Certificates) to cover the electricity we used that was not produced by our own solar panels. This amounts to 54,000 units of electricity, or approximately 27 tons of CO2e. As in years gone by, we offset international travel, accounting for approximately 50% of the firm’s total emissions, by using fellow B Corp Climate Care‘s carbon offsetting tools. Though international travel was put on hold in 2020 due to the pandemic, we will continue to use offsetting to mitigate our travel emissions once international travel resumes. For the remaining emissions, approximately 12 tons of CO2e, we chose a Gold Standard project based in Changhua, Taiwan, which focuses on wind energy generation and reforestation of 53.8 hectares.

In addition to the above, at the end of 2020 we entered into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with a green energy supplier, in our case, Foxwell Power. Their Tainan rooftop solar installations began providing us with electricity in November and their onshore wind in Changhua County will begin generating electricity in early 2021. We expect this agreement to generate around 90% of our energy needs, with any shortfall met by purchasing T-RECs.

We hope that by sharing our experience, we can encourage businesses large and small to act and reduce their own environmental impact. If you would like to learn more about our energy reduction and carbon neutral initiatives, please contact our Green Officer City Shen at cshen@winklerpartners.com.

WP welcomes new associates

Winkler Partners recently welcomed several new members to our legal team.

Yi-Kai Chen advises domestic and international clients with enforcement and conflict resolution matters, often those involving intellectual property. He also advises clients with general legal matters in connection with their businesses in Taiwan. Yi-Kai is admitted in Taiwan.

Karen Liu joins the firm as an IP Associate, having over a decade of experience helping major domestic and foreign companies safeguard their trademark and patent rights in Taiwan and jurisdictions around the world. Karen is also certified by the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office and the Taiwan Intellectual Property Training Academy in Trademark Maintenance and Application, Trademark Application Management, Patent Technology Engineering, Patent Process Management, and Patent Search Analysis and Value-added Application.

Chi-Hsien Nieh joins our corporate and intellectual property teams, assisting clients with investment, merger and IP transaction inquiries. Chi-Hsien previously worked as a pro bono intern at Fordham University’s Samuelson-Glushko Intellectual Property and Information Law Clinic, receiving a public service award in recognition of his work.

Ming Teng‘s practice focuses on employment law and employer-employee relations, mergers and acquisitions, company formations, restructurings and dissolutions. He also advises clients on data protection and copyright issues as well as general contract matters. He is admitted in Taiwan.

WP represents a third of the world’s biggest brands for a fifth year running

Interbrand has released its 100 Best Global Brands list for 2020. Winkler Partners represents a third of the brands that made the list for this year, including three of the top five brands and five of the top ten.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a predictable impact on the rankings this year, with newcomer Zoom in 100th place, while other eCommerce and productivity brands such as Amazon (2nd), whose value increased 60% year on year, and Microsoft (3rd), whose rose 53%, show that some brands have been able to add value against the backdrop of social distancing measures and lockdowns. The most valuable brand in the world for the 8th consecutive year is Apple, which saw a 38% rise in its brand value over 2019, while Instagram (19th), a photo-based social network owned by Facebook made it into the list for the first time. Fashion and automotive brands saw their brand value fall or stay flat from 2019′s rankings.

Winkler Partners worked with 33 of these top global brands in 2019-20, a slight increase from 31 in 2019. Brands that we have worked with are active in many fields, including fashion, software, hardware, consumer goods, eCommerce, beverages and media.

The full list of Best Global Brands 2020 can be found here.

WP welcomes new associates

Winkler Partners recently welcomed new members to our legal team.

Helen Chen‘s practice focuses on helping clients protect their intellectual property rights, assisting them with dispute resolution as well as advising on contentious and non-contentious employment issues, reviewing commercial contracts and advising on general civil law matters. Previously Helen worked for a Taiwanese law firm specializing in maritime law.

Niki Chen joins Winkler Partners as an Ontario-licensed paralegal, supporting our transactional, intellectual property, employment and dispute resolution teams. She previously worked for several law firms in Canada specializing in personal injury law and in Taiwan on US immigration matters.

2019 Environmental Report

Since our founding, Winkler Partners has aimed to reduce our negative impact on the natural environment, while looking for meaningful ways where we can create positive impact, both in our immediate community and further afield. In 2006, we established a Green Office Department, to coordinate office greening by implement methods to reduce our energy usage, promoting the use of environmentally friendly products and services, collecting rainwater, reducing our carbon emissions and advocating for green office initiatives throughout our community by way of open visits to our office and roof garden. As part of that commitment, we will be publishing annual reports on our progress. At a glance, in 2019 we managed to:

  • Reduced our total emissions by 70%. Our total emissions for 2019 were 13 tons CO2e.
  • Generated 12,545 kilowatt hours of electricity via our solar panels, accounting for 17% of our total electricity needs.
  • Purchased green energy credits covering the remaining 83% of our electricity. This means that 100% of our electricity is sustainably sourced.
  • Reduced gas usage by 30% and water usage by 16%. We collected 25 tons of rainwater, used to irrigate our gardens and flush our toilets.
  • Reduced overall waste by 12%, including paper cup and bento box waste by 27%. Paper use increased by 2%.
  • Offset our international travel emissions, which in 2019 were 62 tons. We do this through a fellow B Corporation, Climate Care.
  • Planted 3,555 trees, roughly the carbon capture equivalent of our 2018 emissions, or 42.7 tons.
Goals for 2020

Net Zero. At the end of 2019, we joined over 500 B Corporations around the world by publicly committing to net zero emissions by 2030, 20 years ahead of the goals set in the Paris Agreement. We plan to reach this goal even earlier, by 2020. To that end, we will be looking for meaningful ways to offset our remaining 13 tons of emissions. We will also continue to strengthen our in-house waste reduction policies and look into improved window insulation in our offices, which we hope will reduce the amount of air conditioning used. We also plan to review our existing Green Purchasing Policy, to ensure that the firm spends locally and sustainably. Finally, we will look to offset our historical emissions since our firm was founded in 2002.

Our full environmental report is available in English here and Chinese here. For inquiries regarding our energy saving initiatives, please contact City Shen at cshen@winkerpartners.com.

Partner Greg Buxton takes part in Covid-19 webinar

On Thursday, 30 April, partner Greg Buxton took part in a webinar titled “The New Economic Normal? Assessing the Immediate and Longer-term Prospects for Asian Economies Post COVID-19“, held in collaboration with our Interlaw partner firm in Singapore, CNPLaw. Partner Bill Jamieson of CNPLaw co-organized the webinar, inviting economist Manu Bhaskaran at Centennial Asia Advisors in Singapore to join them in discussing how Asia-Pacific economies are weathering the pandemic and what considerations they may face as governments and businesses look to opening back up.

A recording of the webinar is available here.

Winkler Partners joins 75 Taiwan companies in announcing a climate emergency

For many years, Winkler Partners has taken action to reduce the negative impact on our environment. In 2004, we set up a Green Office, to track our emissions and coordinate initiatives to reduce our electricity consumption, reduce waste and look for other ways we can increase our positive impact. We aim to be a sustainable business that looks after our colleagues, clients and community, which we believe includes the natural environment. As we have seen, the changes happening to our climate around the world are accelerating at an unsustainable pace.

To date, we have done the following:

  • Reduced our energy consumption by 61% since 2004
  • Installed solar panels that generate approximately 20% of our electricity needs
  • Reduced our water consumption by 46% since 2005
  • Collected rainwater for irrigation and flushing our toilets
  • Offset the emissions generated by our international travel which account for over 50% of our total emissions
  • Reduced waste by 12% between 2018 and 2019 2018-2019
  • Reduced paper cup waste by 27% between 2018 and 2019
  • Reduced paper use by 11% between 2014 and 2018
  • Planted 3,555 trees, the carbon capture equivalent to our 2018 carbon footprint
  • Joined 1% for the Planet, donating 3% of our revenue each year to environmental groups
  • Joined over 500 B Corps around the world in committing to net zero emissions by 2030

Together with 75 other businesses from Taiwan, we’re announcing a climate emergency, to signal to our colleagues, clients and community stakeholders that we cannot wait. The planet cannot wait. It is imperative that businesses take the lead where governments have failed. Over the coming months, we plan to do the following:

  • Purchase clean energy credits, guaranteeing that 100% of our energy is generated from renewable sources
  • Explore meaningful ways to reduce our emissions even further
  • Reach net zero emissions by 2020, 30 years before the Paris Agreement deadline
  • Explore ways to meaningfully offset our historical emissions starting in 2002, when the firm was founded

While we are only one business, we encourage others anywhere to join similar movements where you are. In Taiwan, you can learn more about announcing a climate emergency here. You can also see what actions each business is taking to mitigate their impact on the environment.

WP ranked as top IP firm

Winkler Partners has been ranked as a top tier firm for intellectual property by the World Trademark Review. Only three law firms in Taiwan appear in the top tier for 2020.

In their annual WTR1000 report, The World Trademark Review says that our firm “has been achieving dazzling outcomes across the contentious/non-contentious divide, defying the low average success rate in overturning TIPO decisions with several recent triumphs” and the “law firm of choice for 30 of the 100 Best Global Brands, as measured by Interbrand’s 2018 survey”. They also note that we offer a client-focused service.

Individually, the World Trademark Review also recommends partners Peter Dernbach, Christine Chen and Gary Kuo for enforcement and litigation. Peter is also recommended for prosecution and strategy.

You can read the full WTR1000 rankings for Taiwan here.

WP recommended by the Legal 500

Four of Winkler Partners’ practice areas have been recommended by The Legal 500 as part of their research into legal service providers in the Asia Pacific region for 2020. Our employment practice was ranked in the first tier with Partner Christine Chen listed as a Leading Individual. The Legal 500 notes that we help clients navigate contentious and non-contentious employment matters and that mass redundancies are a particular strength.

Our corporate and M&A practice, led by partner Gregory Buxton, was ranked in the second tier and was noted for our work structuring, negotiating, and executing a broad range of transactions including M&A and divestments involving businesses and assets in Taiwan. A client testimonial read, “Gregory Buxton is exceptional counsel and highly sensitive to meeting client budget concerns.”

We were ranked in the second tier for intellectual property while practice head partner Peter Dernbach was listed as a Leading Individual. The Legal 500 mentions that we have a “particular specialism acting for clients in the technology and entertainment sectors, and also work with clients in the areas of internet technology, luxury goods, consumer products.” Partners Gary Kuo and Christine Chen are recommended for IP litigation.

Finally, our dispute resolution work was ranked in tier three, and recommended as “strong in IP enforcement and disputes involving commercial contracts, casualty insurance, and employment matters.” Partners Christine Chen and Gary Kuo were named respectively for employment and IP disputes, whilst Associate Ling-ying Hsu was also noted for her IP work.

The Legal 500 has been ranking law firms worldwide for over 25 years, with a special attention to practice area teams who are providing the most cutting edge and innovative advice to corporate counsel. You can read the latest Legal 500 Asia Pacific rankings here.

WP commits to net zero by 2030

Today, Winkler Partners is joining over 500 certified B Corporations around the world committing to accelerate the reduction of our greenhouse gas emissions to reach a 1.5 degree trajectory leading to net zero by the year 2030. This commitment is 20 years ahead of the 2050 targets set in the Paris Agreement and includes our Scope 1, 2 and most relevantly, Scope 3 emissions. The commitment is being made public at COP25, the UN Climate Change Conference being held in Madrid, Spain.

For many years Winkler Partners has taken the initiative to lower our negative impact on the natural environment. Since 2004, we have worked to reduce our energy consumption, lower the amount of waste we produce and look for sustainable ways to operate our business. More recently, in 2017 we installed solar panels to meet approximately 18% of our energy needs and began offsetting the emissions of our international travel, which accounts for approximately 50% of our total emissions. In 2019 we planted 3,555 trees with the carbon storage potential roughly equivalent to our 2018 carbon footprint.

In light of the climate crisis, we believe businesses can do more to mitigate the effects of an increasingly warming and unstable climate. We are proud to stand with fellow B Corps including Patagonia, Dr. Bronner’s, Natura Cosméticos SA, The Guardian and others around the world and in Taiwan by committing our name to the most aggressive climate action effort by as large a constituency of businesses in the world to date.

B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest verified standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and legal accountability. You can find out more about B Corporations on their website here.

 

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