New York creative production studio The Lab is leading the way when it comes to green business. For several years, the Chelsea-based company has been working to offset its carbon footprint, and now it's moving to make a positive impact on the environment.
"The approach we take is to make sure we zero out our influence," says Julian Schlaver, VP-chief strategic officer, of his company's philosophy.
The Lab has incorporated a number of eco-friendly practices into its business. It recently moved into new offices on the West side and, in choosing and decorating, made sure that there was substantial natural light -- enough for half of the company to work without using artificial light. Mr. Schlaver also says that the power The Lab does need comes from wind sources, and that most sources are local.
"Addressing the energy consumption was a no-brainer for us, in terms of making a difference," he says. In addition to its energy-saving efforts, The Lab relies on special Technotrash Cans to discard industrial products such as computers, ink cartridges and wires. The Sammamish, Wash.-based company that provides these bins, GreenDisk, partners with for-profit and nonprofit organizations across the country to build a web of recycling opportunities in the workplace.
"You can pretty much dispose of anything there," Mr. Schlaver says, estimating that The Lab recycles 60 pounds to 100 pounds a month with the program. He adds that GreenDisk sorts through the materials and provides an accounting so The Lab and its clients are ensured of the destruction of intellectual property.
This year, The Lab has started a new environmental initiative, working with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant trees. Pledging $2 for every proof it makes, thelab donated money to plant 25,000 trees, which translates to about 182 tons of clean air, Mr. Schlaver says.
Mr. Schlaver says the costs for going green are minimal, both in terms of time and money. "It's just sort of something we wanted to do. It was the right thing to do," he says. "[These] were things that were easy to establish, easy to maintain and make sense."
So why aren't more companies following in The Lab's carbon-free footsteps? Mr. Schlaver isn't sure. He says he hopes that more agencies and clients will catch on soon.
"Collectively if everyone could do something like that, we'd have a huge impact," he says. "It's not much of a burden."