Businesses all around the country were rocked by the global pandemic this year. For plenty of business owners, just keeping the doors open was the central struggle.

“Many in Wyoming though,” notes City Councilmember Sarah Stankorb Taylor, “not only faced down this incredible set of economic and public health realities, they also somehow kept to their environmental commitments. That deserves a special celebration.”

In 2019, the Environmental Stewardship Commission inaugurated its Wyoming Green Business Award. The goal was to spotlight businesses making efforts to conserve where they can and make a positive impact on the environment. In this unprecedented year, the 2020 Wyoming Green Business Award winners are Sally L. Noble Architect, LLC and Sheldon Reder CPAs. 

Sally L. Noble Architect, LLC has obtained Platinum LEED certification, an advanced certification in sustainable building practices. Noble explains that her business educates clients on current “green” building practices, such as geo-thermal heat, solar collectors, and local manufacturers of green products. The business location itself features consistent recycling since the birth of Wyoming’s recycling program. The firm’s work is produced digitally and when possible and done virtually. The office employs a programmable thermostat and utilizes an agreement with Duke Energy to control temperatures during summer when energy demand is at its highest. Since the onset of COVID-19, the staff members have increased ZOOM or phone meetings, a cut in travel that is likely to continue into the future. 

“Designing projects that take into account green building practices, lower emissions, and recycled products is my most important contribution I can make to protect our world for future generations,” says Noble.

Sometimes the best way a business can positively impact the environment is in its everyday decision-making, the cumulation of careful choices. Mark Reder of Sheldon-Reder explains: “One of the things we love about being in Wyoming is the beautiful tree canopy that enriches our neighborhood,” says Reder, noting that accounting firms are traditionally big consumers of paper. “When we looked around and considered the impact on Wyoming if that paper came from our local trees, we felt a responsibility to be better stewards.”

As such, the firm moved to paperless files and is pushing clients to adapt to receiving electronic materials. Additionally, Sheldon Reder CPAs’ twenty-person team has a shared recycling program (that includes their file shred). Office supplies are carefully reused, and food service items that can be reused appear again at corporate picnics and events instead of buying new. Rooms are also equipped with motion sensors to decrease energy use, and bathrooms include water-efficient toilets.

“We’re pleased to be able to highlight the steps Sally L. Noble Architect, LLC and Sheldon Reder CPAs are taking to reduce their impact on the environment and educate others about the multiple benefits of sustainability,” says Sarah Flem, ESC member. “Their actions show how our local businesses walk the talk when it comes to supporting Wyoming’s identity as a ‘green’ community.”

The 2020 Wyoming Green Business Awards will be presented at the November 16, 2020 Wyoming City Council meeting, with a reading of a proclamation.

Prior winners of the Green Business Award include: Ascension & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Tela Bar + Kitchen, and Wyoming Community Coffee. Look for the Wyoming Green Business Award logo on the doors of local businesses and on their websites.