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FIRM ENCOURAGES GREEN SOLUTIONS

Silverton company works with employees and clients to promote sustainable practices.

By Beth Casper

Marion County EarthWISE

 

Compex Two, as an information technology company, certainly takes advantage of the fact that the nature of its business is inherently green- a lot of its employees’ work can be done for clients remotely, reducing the need for transportation. Compex Two provides innovative medical and professional grade technology solutions to businesses and medical offices.

But Compex Two’s efforts can hardly be considered simply inherent.

The Silverton-based company issues a pair of running shoes to each employee to encourage walking to appointments and the company bike is available for travel farther away. For access to clients located on the extreme ends of its reach—say Wilsonville or Eugene—a staffer can take a ride in the electric Nissan Leaf, kept fully charged at the charging station at the office.

In 2001, Compex Two earned EarthWISE certification from Marion County and the business’ efforts to go green have only grown since then. In fact, they won the 2013 Mid-Valley Green Award for Sustainable Small Business of the Year and have encouraged other businesses to join them in the EarthWISE program.

The EarthWISE program is a free business environmental assistance program of Marion County. EarthWISE staff helps businesses recycle, save energy, reduce waste and much more. To earn certification, a business meets criteria in six areas. Compex Two is one of more than 100 EarthWISE businesses and organizations in Marion County.

Compex Two’s office on Oak Street has a comprehensive recycling program that includes glass, printer cartridges, Styrofoam, paper, cardboard, batteries and electronics. The electronics recycling extends beyond the Compex Two employees. Compex Two’s clients—companies with up to 60 employees—benefit from the recycling: old equipment is brought back to Silverton, the information is destroyed from the hard drive and the electronic device is either recycled or if deemed useable, brought to the local high school for students to dissect and build again.

“These students are learning about computers but they are not ruining computers that the school district needed or purchased,” said Heidi Redford, green team manager for Compex Two.

In addition, the companies benefit from Compex Two’s knowledge of green electronics. Compex Two staff recommends energy-efficient monitors or solar-powered keyboards that help reduce their clients’ energy use.

“And we test everything we roll out to clients so that we are sure of the quality,” Redford said.

Another way that Compex Two helps clients become more environmentally friendly—and save big money—is by offering them an alternative to the tradition server. Businesses used to spend $5,000 to $20,000 for a server to “manage” the other office computers. In addition to traditional costly hardware and software expenses, the business would need to pay to power the server and keep it cool.

Compex Two’s cloud solutions essentially offer a hosted server on the internet. It saves companies money upfront and then the continued costs of maintaining the equipment, updating software, servicing and powering the device.

To ensure that green practices remain at the forefront of Compex Two’s business mission, the company offers ongoing environmental trainings to employees and holds regular green team meetings. It also spreads the word to the community through events, such as Earth Day at the Oregon Garden. There, Compex Two holds an electric car driving activity for children that leads recyclers from the ‘recycle bins’ to the ‘recycle center’ in electric radio controlled cars. The children earn EV drivers licenses and parents have an opportunity to ask questions about how the electric car has improved green business.