JBS International

Going green is part of the company culture at JBS. Pictured, clockwise from upper left, are: Max Handelsman, Stefan Brooks, Beth Thomas, Isaac Paul, Diane Harder, Jennifer Trickey and JBS co-founder Jerri Shaw. Photo by Darren S. HigginsCategory: Businesses that have significantly incorporated green practices into their culture and operations

JBS International has embraced recycling since its founding in 1985, but an expansion into larger North Bethesda office space in 2008 served as a catalyst for incorporating more green practices.

The new offices for the firm were renovated with eco-friendly building materials and paints, and rely more on natural lighting, according to Jerri Shaw, co-founder and co-CEO of the firm, which provides high-tech and project management services to private companies and public agencies. JBS also began composting lunch leftovers from its seven kitchens, a move that keeps 12 tons of waste out of the local landfill each year.

Shaw says some employees worried that the composting would be smelly or messy. But since compost bins are emptied as regularly as trash baskets, the practice soon became routine, says Diane Harder, chairwoman of JBS’s Green Team, a volunteer group with about a dozen members that meets monthly.

The team has driven the company’s efforts to reduce paper usage by making more information available on websites. It also lobbied successfully for reusable and recyclable tableware instead of paper and plastic at the firm’s headquarters and at client events and conferences held elsewhere.

The Green Team has won awards and accolades and has instituted its own Green Employee Award for JBS workers.


“It’s really a nice benefit of the culture here,” says Isaac Paul, a Green Team member who led a recent cleanup along Schuylkill Road in North Bethesda as part of Montgomery County’s Adopt A Road program.

Shaw says going green is becoming part of the company’s culture. “More and more people are looking at this as the way we live, not the extra things we do,” she says.