- The Washington Times - Monday, March 16, 2009

Companies “going green” showcased environmentally friendly technologies at FOSE 2009, where hundreds of vendors and government agencies filled the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in the District from Tuesday to Thursday to network and to learn about new products and solutions for government information technology.

Dozens of eco-friendly vendors at the convention, with eye-catching and colorful booths, were eager to inform people about green initiatives and to gain exposure at FOSE.

With President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package, about $60 billion of which is designated in clean energy and environmental projects, it is nearly impossible to miss the vast green economy efforts across the nation.

E-End, a company based in Frederick, Md., performs electric recycling and secure data destruction in an environmentally friendly manner with its zero-landfill policy.

“To give you an example of what E-End does, if a company decommissions computer equipment, we’ll go ahead and break it down to the final screw and recycle all the components,” said Neil Greenberg, vice president of E-End.

“Copper may become copper wiring, aluminum may become aluminum cans, we even break down the components of a computer’s motherboard and make jewelry out of the parts.”

Although Mr. Greenberg says the Dumpster is still E-End’s biggest competitor, E-End has received a lot of positive feedback from companies using the service.

“I think everybody is finally picking their heads up out of the sand and realizing things can’t go into the Dumpster, we’ve got to do something because we don’t have another planet to go to; we need to start taking care of things,” E-End Chief Executive Arleen Chafitz said.

Global Gardant is a strategy, technology and investment firm in the Districtthat helps firms strategize as they move into the government marketplace.

“We look for very unique patented technologies to bring into the government market place,” Global Gardant President Paul Karch said.

From a green technology perspective, many of the products Global Gardant is bringing to the government marketplace are solar charging devices that give people the opportunity to access and maintain power to cellular phones, cameras and computers.

“With our solar technology, you can be sitting on a park bench with no power on your laptop and be able to run the laptop forever,” Mr. Karch said.

A charging device typically runs for $250 on the Gardant Global Web site, with no outside retail channels because it is new out of the United Kingdom to the United States.

All areas of the workplace are being affected by the green mentality. ErgoGenesis is a company based in Navasota, Texas, that manufactures environmentally friendly office seating called BodyBilt.

“We’re here today primarily as a vendor, but going green is a major part of our marketing; during FOSE we are emphasizing our products and how they accompany the environment and saving it rather than destroying it,” said Peter Gaffney, ErgoGenesis sales manager in Silver Spring. “The foam in the chairs is made out of soybean oil, and it’s not manufactured out of a petroleum-based product; therefore saving fossil fuels, the air quality.”

Other colorful and popular booths at FOSE included Kronos Inc. for BlackBerrys and Kodak.

Kronos Inc. is a Web-based application that can be used on the BlackBerry to fill out time sheets, leave forms and scheduling forms. The entire process eliminates the large amounts of paper used, and is convenient for government workers who work out of the office.

Kodak, on the other hand, has a number of document capture products, software and solutions that would certainly be helpful in increasing efficiency in federal offices as well as increasing productivity.

“Kodak has everything from desktop scanners all the way to full range production scanners,” said Jack Kasperski, manager of WW Public Relations for Kodak.

Most Kodak scanners are Energy Star efficient, and the act of taking documents and turning them into digital files is a green act because it eliminates the use of paper, Mr. Kasperski said.

All the vendors at the event said they were pleased with the outcome of the convention, and the majority agreed that the networking opportunities at FOSE were fantastic.

“I would say attendance has been very good, if not above normal, in comparison with other trade shows and trade events within the industry where attendance has fallen off because of the economy,” Mr. Kasperski said.

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