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Walker, Pender, DLA among sustainable companies to be honored
Tampa Bay Business Journal
Eighteen Tampa Bay companies will be recognized Friday at Earth Charter U.S.’s second annual Sustainable Business Awards luncheon. A partnership with the University of Tampa’s Center for Ethics, the event will be held at UT’s Vaughn Center.
The honorees were selected out of a pool of 32 companies nominated by graduate students of Jan Roberts, founder of Earth Charter and an adjunct instructor at UT, a release said.
The students, guided by Roberts and Dr. Daniel Verreault, co-director of the Center for Ethics, developed the award criteria using sources such as Global Reporting Initiatives, Sustainable Seattle, Sustainable Florida and the U.N. Global Compact.
“These companies are setting the standards for Tampa Bay area sustainability practices,” Verreault said in the release. “They are taking a people, profit, planet approach to company policies and also realizing significant cost-savings in their operations.”
Case studies were performed on a single honoree in each of the three categories, based on number of employees, to assess the sustainable measures the companies have put in place.
The law firm DLA Piper in Tampa, the leader in the large company category, put in place its Climate Change Project that aims to provide subsistence farmers in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda with the means to reduce the effects of deforestation, drought and famine using the sale of greenhouse gas credits to create long-term revenue. DLA Piper attorneys have donated $300,000 to the relief efforts and will continue to invest in the rebuilding of Haiti, the release said.
DLA Piper also offers a hybrid vehicle reimbursement policy and an alternative commuting incentive program for employees who use public transportation, carpool or bicycle for at least 60 consecutive days.
In the medium business category, Pender Newkirk & Co. in Tampa reinvested half its profits in 2005 in software programs aimed at becoming a more paperless company, the release said. Employees can now store files electronically, receive faxes via e-mail, employ electronic payroll and scan documents instead of making paper copies. The office also uses all recycled computers.
Walker Brands, a branding agency in Tampa, is among the honorees in the small business category.
The company is the first privately funded company with a building certified Gold by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, the release said. It includes heat flow reduction features, native landscape with less irrigation required, motion-sensored lighting, reclaimed heart pine wood flooring and more than 75 percent exposure to natural light.
As a result, the building’s design has reduced energy consumption by 30 percent and water consumption by more than 40 percent.
The complete list of honorees includes:
Large Business Category, 251 or more employees:Xerox
Medium Business Category, 51 to 250 employees:Pender Newkirk & Co.
Infinity Business Systems
Creative Recycling Systems
Rev1 Power Services
Small Business Category, 50 or fewer employees:Rising Force Construction
Bay Tech Label
Happy Feet Plus
Special Award for Innovation:K.B. Industries Inc.
Tom Garrett, assistant professor of communications at UT, will have his students film the award presentation and conduct interviews with the honorees on their sustainability efforts. The footage will appear on Earth Charter’s Web site.
Based in Tampa, Earth Charter U.S. is a nonprofit organization that aims to provide an ethical framework to building a more sustainable global society.