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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.

Peter Dernbach receives inaugural INTA Service Award for a Better Society

Peter Dernbach, Coordinating Partner of Winkler Partners, recently received the Service Award for a Better Society, in recognition of his and the firm’s efforts to positively impact society and the environment. The award was presented by the International Trademark Association (INTA) at their recently held Leadership Meeting in Austin, Texas. It is the first year that INTA has awarded members for their work to positively impact society and build consumer trust through corporate social responsibility (CSR), diversity and inclusion, or pro bono legal services. Alice Kelly, a partner at Ice Miller LLP in Chicago, Illinois; TOMS Shoes Inc., Los Angeles, California; Natura Cosméticos S.A., São Paulo, Brazil; and FSC Global Development GmbH, Bonn, Germany also received the award.

In their press release, INTA President David Lossignol said, “Mr. Dernbach is a progressive thinker and trendsetter for how professionals can better incorporate CSR into the DNA of their law firm” and that “he and his firm have a clear vision for inclusion, diversity, and sustainability, and have set the standard for law firms and lawyers aspiring to do good in the world. These efforts perfectly align with INTA’s incorporation of CSR into our strategic plan.” INTA drew special attention to our environmental initiatives, including the measuring and reduction of our carbon footprint, waste reduction and our roof garden, including solar panels which provide our office with some of our electricity needs.

INTA Service Award winners and INTA representatives at the Leadership Meeting held in Austin

On accepting the award Peter said, “This is very special for Winkler Partners as a firm, and for me, personally. In recent years, INTA has afforded me several opportunities to share what we are trying to do at Winkler Partners to make a positive impact in our community. This award is a meaningful recognition of our efforts thus far, from a community I care about deeply, and gives us further encouragement to do more going forward.”

Peter has had several opportunities to share the firm’s social and environmental experience at several INTA events, including at the 2019 Annual Meeting held in Boston, Massachusetts, and the 2018 Asia Pacific Meeting held in Sydney, Australia. He also spoke on how law firms can build authentic brands through articulating their vision with employees, at the Leadership Meeting held in Austin as part of their INTA Influencers program.

WP represents a third of the world’s biggest brands for the fourth consecutive year

Interbrand has released its 100 Best Global Brands list for 2019. Winkler Partners represents a third of the brands that made the list for this year, including three of the top five brands.

Technology brands such as Google (2nd), whose value increased 8% year on year, and Amazon (3rd), whose rose 24%, show that increasingly, the brands with the most value are associated with the Internet, information technology and related hardware. The most valuable brand in the world for the 7th consecutive year is Apple, which saw a 9% rise in its brand value over 2018, while LinkedIn (98th), a professional social network now owned by Microsoft, made it into the list for the first time. Two other brands that made their inaugural entry in the list include the ride hailing service Uber (87th), and computer manufacturer Dell Technologies (63rd).

Winkler Partners worked with 31 of these top global brands in 2018-9, a slight increase from 30 in 2018. 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 2019 can be found here.

INTA representative visits WP

Last week, INTA’s Chief Representative for Asia Pacific, Seth Hays visited Winkler Partners to discuss the association’s plans for strengthening ties with trademark practitioners in Asia.

Among the discussion, Seth shared news of next year’s annual conference, which is being held in Singapore between 25-29 April. He hopes that brands, lawyers and IP professionals from across the region will take advantage of the opportunity to connect with over 10,000 expected attendees including lawyers, brand owners and other trademark professionals.

From left to right: Senior Consultant Jason Yan, IP Associate Betty Chen, Chief Representative Seth Hays, Partner Christine Chen

Seth joined INTA in 2011 and oversaw the opening of the Asia Pacific office in Singapore in 2016. His work involves policy development and advocacy, government affairs, recruiting local brands, and working with members on education and communications.

WP welcomes new associate

Winkler Partners recently welcomed a new member to our legal team.

Renee Hsu joins Winkler Partners in support of our corporate transactional practice, with a focus on capital markets, mergers and acquisitions and commercial transactions. She also has experience resolving disputes involving financial derivative products and intellectual property infringement. Renee previously worked in the legal department of a national research institute and is admitted to practice in Taiwan.

WP secures registration of historic motion mark

Winkler Partners is happy to announce that we recently obtained a historic trademark registration on behalf of one of the world’s largest social media companies. Jason Yan, a Senior Consultant at Winkler Partners, successfully registered a motion mark, one of only several in Taiwan, which has the distinction of being Taiwan’s first motion mark to be registered in over ten trademark classes. It is also noteworthy for being the first design-only motion mark to be registered in Taiwan, as it does not incorporate any word or text elements.

Motion marks are a relatively new concept in Taiwan trademark practice, and consist of moving images that would previously have been considered unregistrable in Taiwan and most other jurisdictions. Winkler Partners is proud to offer excellent service in this emerging area of trademark practice. If you or your company are interested in applying for a motion mark, please contact us at info@winklerpartners.com.

2018 Environmental Report

Since our founding, Winkler Partners has striven to have a positive impact on the environment, as well as an ongoing commitment to the professional development of our staff. In 2006, we established a Green Office Department, to undertake the greening of the office, implement methods to reduce our use of energy, promote the use of environmentally friendly products and services, design rainwater collection and conservation systems, reduce our carbon emissions and advocate 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 how we are performing. At a glance, in 2018 we managed to:

  • Cut our total emissions by 1.4% over 2017′s total. Our total emissions for 2018 were 43 tons CO2e.
  • Generated 13,892 kilowatt hours of electricity via our solar panels. We saved a total of NT$48,604 (approx. US$1,574) from our energy bills. We were also able to sell 15% of the energy generated back to the grid for use by other customers, which earned us NT$16,011 (approx. US$ 518). Generating our own electricity reduced our carbon footprint by 7.7 tons.
  • Reduce overall electricity usage by 6%. Since 2004 we have reduced electricity usage by 61%. Anyone can make the same reductions by using air-conditioning sparingly, installing energy efficient lighting and setting computers to sleep.
  • Offset 50 tons of air travel emissions through UK-based B Corporation ClimateCare.
  • Reduce single-use cup and lunchbox container waste by 5%. Total waste however increased by 15%, mainly due to an increase in staff numbers.
  • Encourage people to go paperless. We reduced the amount of printing by 11%.

Goals for 2019

Planting trees is the best way we can reduce our negative impact on the environment. Working with Taiwan’s Forestry Bureau, we have committed to adopting an area of approximately 2.37 hectares in Xindian, New Taipei City, which will be reforested with 3,555 trees. The carbon storage potential (42.7 tons) of this reforestation project is roughly equivalent to our current carbon footprint. Below are some photos of WP colleagues planting trees.

We also plan to continue our energy saving initiatives to further reduce our carbon footprint by 3%. We will increase monitoring of air-conditioning/heating loss from open windows and doors. Staff training will also be increased in an effort to increase recycling and reduce waste. The full report is available in English here and in Chinese here. For inquiries regarding our energy saving initiatives or B Corporation certification, please contact James Hill at jhill@winkerpartners.com.

As part of our mission to contribute to the wider community, the general public is welcome to visit our roof garden to learn about urban farming and our green office program. To arrange a visit, please contact City Shen at +886 (0)2 2311-2345 ext. 346 or cshen@winkerpartners.com.

 

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