Taking green global

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wind farm

Being green is something that we've all become quite accustomed to over the past ten years or so.

One company from Lancaster, NY, however, has been green for so long it should be going gray.

Ecology and Environment (E&E) has been around since long before 'being green' was a recognised attitude.

It is as a result of both the company's pioneering past and its plans for the future that allowed this green pioneer to go global and feature in CNN Money.

E&E has been in business for 40 years and concerned itself with issues such as climate change and alternative energy long before the majority of the world had even heard either of these phrases mentioned.

It is as a result of this history and the depth of knowledge and understanding that E&E has of its industry that has rendered the company virtually recession-proof.

The company was founded in 1970 by four friends and has gone from strength to strength ever since. When you consider the global – but particularly western – attitude towards the environment now, it is perhaps of little surprise that the company is doing better than ever.

E&E offers advice to fledgling firms in the industry trying to gain a foothold, as well as conduct environmental impact studies and give counsel on the cleanup of toxic waste.

Despite it's now very high reputation, as with all firms, E&E wasn't without its hiccups. One example perhaps epitomises the company's strength and longevity more than the rest, however.

In the mid-seventies, a newly purchased wind turbine (a relatively revolutionary purchase back then) spun free and buried itself in the company's car park.

The accident could well have been the end of a number of company's – the failure of the very kind of products you are trying to champion is an often catastrophic problem – but E&E survived.

Since that day, E&E has consulted on over 200 wind-power projects.

It would be accurate to say that the company leads by example and very much follows its own mantra.

Its headquarters are built on a 64,000sq-ft site that, according to chief executive Kevin Neumaier, consumes half as much energy as an "energy-hoggomg" building of equal size.

The rooftop boats solar panels and the building is flooded in natural light as a result of the vast windows.

As one of America's original green buildings, it has recently been honoured with a platinum designation from the US Green Building Council.

So what's the secret of the company's success? Pam Hall, chief executive of Normandeau Associates (a competitor of E&E), said: "E&E manages to be on trend without being trendy. It has a reputation for sound science, which makes it very formidable."

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Top image from Siemens