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Local firms are doing their part to be more eco-friendly

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This week’s question to South Florida CEOs who are on the Miami Herald CEO Roundtable: There is a growing movement of companies being more eco-friendly. Has your company done anything to be more environmentally conscious?


We began a cardboard recycling program around two years ago, and we are currently in the process of recycling all bottles, paper cups, etc. We have reduced the use of paper by 30 percent and are working to go paperless or very close to paperless within the next two years. Lastly, as a distributor of packaging products, we have increased our stock of recycled paper products or products made from bio-renewable resources to nearly 400 SKUs, which we are aggressively offering to our customers.

Armando Caceres, CEO, founder, All Florida Paper


Last year, we began a paper shredding/recycling program that, to date, has saved 76 trees. We also found that providing dual screens to all our employees has reduced the amount of paper printed and increased productivity. Recently, we also installed a charging outlet to give our employees/vendors/customers the opportunity to plug in their electric cars while at our offices.

Ralph De La Rosa, president, CEO, Imperial Freight


As a business, we’ve made an effort to be more eco-friendly in any way that we can. We promote recycling at our office and provide easy access to make recycling a convenient option. We’re also conscious about our paper usage and mostly rely on email whenever possible. These are small changes, but we believe every little bit counts.

Jalal Farooq, principal, Al-Farooq Corporation


The University of Miami believes in walking the talk. We are leading the way in mission-driven research that tackles climate change through an interdisciplinary focus. We are also committed to being a leader in sustainability and environmentally friendly operational practices. We have developed a holistic, multi-year sustainability plan, created through collaborations with students, faculty, and staff. The plan identifies specific annual goals and initiatives in energy conservation, recycling and waste diversion, and a sustainability-based curriculum. A dedication to being responsible stewards of our fragile environment is imbedded in the life of our campuses, from the way we build and operate, to the way we teach, and the way we do research.

Dr. Julio Frenk, president, University of Miami


As cigar manufacturers, we have always been very cognizant of our environment as our business actually ties us to the environment. We work closely with our factories to make sure that the soil is properly maintained and that leftover tobacco is put back into the soil. Much of the quality of our product depends on the soil and the environment it is grown.

Kaizad Hansotia, founder, CEO, Gurkha Cigars


Over the last few years we’ve made a concentrated effort to scale back the amount of printed material. Most documents we send clients are PDF-fillable and are filed electronically, and we also send promotions and announcements via email. We are constantly encouraging our clients to switch to e-statements versus receiving the printed version in the mail.

Javier Holtz, chairman, CEO, Marquis Bank


At Mast Capital, we believe sustainability is core to the projects in which we choose to develop. Sustainability is a critical component of any project for us, not an add-on or afterthought. Our environmental approach includes a focus on transit-oriented development and incorporating green spaces into our projects. Examples of our commitment to being more eco-friendly include adding electric charging stations to residential projects, installing lower flush and water usage plumbing fixtures, planning ample bike storage and landscaping projects with native species.

Camilo Miguel Jr., founder, CEO, Mast Capital


We consider the impact on the environment in planning our manufacturing processes such as cutting down on using plastics for molding. The ultimate goal of the company is also eco-friendly by encouraging breast feeding rather than reliance upon manufactured formula.

Noreen Sablotsky, founder, CEO, Imalac


We are always working toward lessening our footprint. Most recently, we’ve replaced all of our fluorescent lighting with LED bulbs, which not only saves on energy by being 30 percent more efficient, but is also better for our employees as the new bulbs do not emit UV light or use heat. We continue to encourage recycling.

Steve Upshaw, CEO, Cross Country Home Services

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