"Greening" is everywhere. It's definitely a concept we should all consider and implement when appropriate in our home and business lives."/>

"Greening" is everywhere. It's definitely a concept we should all consider and implement when appropriate in our home and business lives."/> Zebis is doing business in an eco-friendly manner | News, Sports, Jobs - SANIBEL-CAPTIVA - Island Reporter, Islander and Current
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Zebis is doing business in an eco-friendly manner

By Staff | Sep 9, 2009

“Green” is a common buzzword these days, especially here on a sanctuary island. You may see it at the grocery store, you are reminded of it every time you see a recycling symbol and you’ve read articles about how to reduce your carbon footprint or how to use alternative energy sources.

“Greening” is everywhere. It’s definitely a concept we should all consider and implement when appropriate in our home and business lives.

Zebis, an information technology (IT) business based here on Sanibel, regularly practices a wide variety of “green” efforts at their Periwinkle Way offices.

“As time goes on, we’ve been thinking more and more about environmental conservation,” said owner Dorothy Wallace. “It hasn’t been a real big priority in the United States like it has been in other countries around the world, because here we’ve felt like we have had infinite resources for so long.”

That way of thinking, Wallace noted, has changed recently. As a result, Americans are putting a greater emphasis on going “green.”

“IT companies, in general, use a lot of power,” said Matthew Reed, co-owner of Zebis. “Part of our effort to use less power is we all use laptops. The Panasonic computers we are using can power down systems that aren’t being used, which gives you longer battery life and there’s less heat being generated.”

Throughout their offices, Zebis works hard to function in an environmentally-friendly manner. For instance, they utilize the smallest number of servers and computers required to provide necessary redundancy and storage space. This reduces unneeded processing power and power usage along with requiring less hardware, thus reducing the amount of raw materials that need to be mined from the earth.

“Servers are located in one room, physically distant from the thermostat so that the heat from the servers does not initiate the A/C,” their most recent newsletter reads. “The door to the server room is closed during the day to keep heat from entering the rest of the office and to reduce noise. The door is open at night to circulate/dissipate heat, reduce wear and tear on systems, prolong system life and reduce the need for parts to be replaced.”

More internal Zebis eco-friendly details includes:

Shipping materials are 99 percent pre-used. They exclusively use cartons and filler that were used to ship products (plus new tape to secure the cartons).

Their lighting is 99 percent fluorescent.

They utilize disk-free and package-free software when offered by the manufacturer for internal use and for clients.

They encourage our vendors to send paperless invoices and use recycled paper for printing and office products.

Internal printing utilizes black ink unless color is mandated for presentation: printers are set to mono/black print feature automatically.

All procedures, product information, technical training, etc. are produced and stored digitally.

“We’ve always made an eco-friendly effort to do things like turning off the office lights at night, lowering the air conditioner settings and not leaving any computers on,” added Reed. “We’ve been doing things like this for years, so we might as well tell people about it and encourage them to do it, too.”

One of the more proactive “green” efforts discovered by Wallace includes using an eco-friendly font – the typeface used on printed documents – which reduces toner usage by approximately 20 percent.

“Reducing your carbon footprint and helping the environment in the ways we have described here lead to reducing the cost of ownership of each product purchased,” their newsletter notes. “Durable and long lasting products have been proven to cost less over their life span. It just makes sense. You end up saving money, time and frustration along with the environment.”

In addition, Zebis has recently been approved as a member of the GenGreen Network. The goal of GenGreen is to be the most comprehensive and diverse resource available for people looking to live a locally-focused, environmentally conscious lifestyle.

“Doing things that will reduce our carbon footprint means that we’ll be putting less and less into landfills,” said Wallace. “That’s a great thing for all of us, not just for people living on Sanibel but anywhere in the world.”

To read Zebis’ newsletters detailing their “green” efforts, visit www.zebis.com/newsletters.html. Their newsletters are available for download and you can sign up to receive future ones automatically.