“Our clients appreciate working with a ‘green’ company and being sustainable is also an incredible boost to company pride and morale,” said Financial Advisor John Clay, Jr., Senior Vice President and Branch Manager at Crowell, Weedon & Co.
Founded in 1932, Crowell, Weedon & Co., is a full-service brokerage and money management firm that makes a commitment to its clients by offering top-quality, long-term investing opportunities. As a new City of Ventura green certified business, the company is now making a name for itself that more formally recognizes its longtime commitment to community.
“We moved to Ralston Street three years ago,” said Clay. “We’ve always practiced sustainability in one form or another, but it wasn’t until we met with City of Ventura Environmental Specialist Courtney Lindberg that we became aware of exactly how we could be doing more to help the environment and our community.”
With 12 offices located throughout Southern California from Santa Barbara to Newport Beach and Carlsbad, each branch of the company has a hand in how sustainability is handled in-house.
In 2013, Crowell, Weedon & Co. merged with a larger firm, D.A. Davidson & Co., that has learned from, and adopted, some of Crowell, Weedon & Co. green practices while offering others of its own. As an example, D.A. Davidson has provided all employees with reusable shopping bags to curb the use of plastic shopping bags. With offices in states across the country, D.A. Davidson increasingly is turning to videoconferencing capabilities, reducing both costs and the environmental damage of business travel.
A sampling of these eco-friendly practices include a company-wide blog that disseminates green tips, recycling bins in every office, and programming computer monitors to sleep mode after work activity subsides.
“At our Ventura branch, staffer Tyler Brueckner handles the coordination of all our sustainable initiatives,” said Clay. “We welcome and encourage employee feedback and ideas.”
“When we moved into this office,” continued Clay, “the office was gutted. We upgraded the wiring and lighting to either meet or exceed Title 24 on energy use. We also post ‘conserve energy stickers’ on every light switch, and ‘save water conservation stickers’ near all faucets and sinks.”
The office lighting is connected to a timing device that shuts down all company lights at the end of the workday. Employees working overtime are able to adjust the lighting timer as needed.
In the kitchen, Energy Star appliances are the preferred products purchased. Composting of food scraps as well as coffee grinds is encouraged.
“Technology has helped us with our green initiatives as well as our bottom line,” said Clay. “We’re very big on being as paperless as possible and make it a habit to correspond internally, and with our clients, via email. Our filing system is also electronic. However, if we have to print something, all our printers are set to print double sided on 100% recycled paper using recycled print toner cartridges. The cost savings is tremendous.”
The company works with their building management to discuss sustainable efforts. Most recently, this included getting the cleaning crews to use, whenever possible, environmentally friendly products.
The company also thinks green when it comes to transportation. For meetings at a distance, carpools are the standard modus operandi. Additionally, staffers who live close to work often bike to work on a regular basis to save on gas as well as greenhouse gas emissions.
“I have three children, and they will walk on this earth when I’m gone,” said Clay. “I know I feel as most parents do, I want my kids to have all the joys and benefits and resources that we enjoy today. We have to be good stewards, not only for the present, but for the next generation.”
–Maryann Ridini Spencer for SustainableVentura.TV
Crowell, Weedon & Co.
5740 Ralston St
Ventura, CA 93003