Eric Smith, founder of Seattle-based Goodfunds Wealth Management, which provides sustainable and responsible investment services for about $45 million in client assets, is glad it's getting easier to become energy efficient. "I've been in business since 1986. Back then if you went to a print shop and asked for recycled paper you got a puzzled look; now it's pretty much standard operating procedure," says Smith, whose office is affiliated with KMS Financial Services Inc. in Seattle.

Smith uses post-consumer recycled paper certified by the independent, non-profit Forest Stewardship Council. It looks great, works well in printers and copiers, and uses less energy to produce and protects our rivers, he says. He also scans and shreds paperwork once it's processed. "We run a less paper office; there's no such thing as a paperless office."

When Smith relocated his three-person practice to his home office in 2005, he superinsulated the space, put it on a separate thermostat, and installed triple-pane windows, insulated shades and compact fluorescent lighting. His home also utilizes a solar-powered hot water system. Smith turns off his ENERGY STAR-qualified multi-function office machine and monitor at night because they drain a little power in standby mode, he says.   

Smith has taken old computer equipment to Seattle's InterConnection recycling center, certified by the Basel Action Network as an e-Steward for its sustainable and socially just electronic waste exporting practices. For the past five years, Goodfunds has used the GreenDisk Technotrash Can ( to dispose of non-recyclable printer cartridges, cables, rechargeable batteries, diskettes, compact discs and old cell phones. "We scrub all the data first," says Smith. A handful of his clients have accepted his invitation to bring in their own technotrash for disposal.

Smith, who rides his bicycle to visit local clients, has also purchased offsets to help cancel out the global warming footprint of his home, office, travel and car by enrolling in the WindBuilders program of NativeEnergy Inc. a South Burlington, Vt.-based company which helps finance renewable energy projects.

Thinking of starting your own green office program? "Slight changes over time versus a huge rollout with pomp and circumstance are much easier to integrate and well received," notes Fournier of Spire Investment Partners. "The first thing to do is be more efficient - that's the low hanging fruit," says Smith.

First « 1 2 » Next