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Key West firm joins green business ranks

It’s a small accounting office with only eight employees, but the opportunities for greening operations continue to be explored at Ward & Meyers, the most recent business to meet the standards of the Green Business Certification Program offered by Florida Keys Green Living & Energy Education.

Located at 3201 Flagler Ave., Suite 506, Ward & Meyers uses only energy-efficient fluorescent lighting throughout its 760-square-foot office. The company recycles everything possible and uses recycled paper supplies and eco-friendly cleaning products.

But the biggest impact on the accounting firm’s carbon footprint might be the move to electronic files, eliminating the mass consumption of paper that was once considered necessary in the accounting industry.

“Using electronic files saves us time and money in printing, ink and paper,” said Maria Diaz, leader of the firm’s green team. “Fewer file cabinets also means more office space.”

Printed documents, most of which are confidential in nature, are shredded for recycling immediately, while electronic versions are stored online. The process of scanning nearly 570 client files for electronic storage took almost a year, but Diaz says it was well worth it.

The staff at Ward & Meyers have also adopted a “Go Green” policy to emphasize the importance of energy conservation and waste reduction. According to the policy, the thermostat is kept at 78 degrees during the day, and turned down to 80 at night. All computers, copiers and fax machines are turned off at night, and when not in use during regular hours, offices are dark. In the kitchenette, staff has access to reusable cups, and paper cups — not Styrofoam — are provided for visitors.

As an added conservation measure, Ward & Meyers plan to experiment this summer with less overhead lighting in an effort to reduce heat and overall energy consumption.

For more information on how to become a green certified business, contact Bridget McDonald at info@keysglee.com or call 923-1994.

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