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green@work : Magazine : Back Issues : Nov/Dec 2007 : Green Building 2007

Green at Work Top 25 Green Building 2007
Huge savings exist in owning and operating high performance green buildings.

The 11th Hour is a new documentary film about the environmental crises facing our world. Produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, the film underscores the urgency to address the environmental issues that threaten our planet. The 11th Hour builds on the momentum of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth with a call for hope and action. Commentary from nearly 100 thought leaders underscores the urgency for action, offers solutions, and emphasizes the importance of green buildings.

Green buildings are environmentally responsible, profitable, healthy places to live and work.

The LEED Green Building Rating System was developed by The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to ensure that corporations, builders, universities, government agencies, and NGOs work together to transform the way buildings are designed, built and operated. LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a development’s location and design meet accepted high standards for environmentally responsible and sustainable development. Green At Work is honored to recognize the distinguished and outstanding work of the USGBC. Green buildings are our single greatest opportunity to take immediate, measurable action on the environment. The USGBC brings together leaders from every sector of the building industry to advance the mission of market transformation. 

Introducing The Best Of The Best
The USGBC’s Greenbuild International Conference & Expo is the world’s largest conference on high-performance building practices. Thousands of building industry professionals attend over 100 educational sessions, enjoy hearing from international master speakers, participate in practical workshops, and visit some 500 exhibitors. Inspired to celebrate outstanding achievement in Green Building, we are privileged to present Green At Work’s Green Build Top 25. 

Steelcase made a promise to act as stewards of the environment nearly a hundred years ago. Since then, Steelcase has held on to the belief that every action, large or small, should either safeguard or restore the environment. Their environmental vision is to excel in every dimension, to protect, replenish, and restore the communities in which they live and serve. To do that, they are committed to furthering, and sharing the science and practice of sustainability through collaboration with customers, business partners, and environmental thought leaders. One important extension of their commitment to the environment is their outstanding work to support the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Program-—Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. 

Shaw’s mission is to exceed customer expectations in quality, service and value in an ever-changing marketplace of new products, services and technologies. At the same time, Shaw is committed to continually increasing their value to their stakeholders. The lifeblood of their business is a pervasive recognition of their responsibility to be a leader in product and technology. Shaw has been working for years on innovative ways of reducing waste, improving their manufacturing processes, and preserving our natural resources. Their many innovations and initiatives are collectively known as the Shaw Green Edge. 

Osram Sylvania’s longstanding reputation for lighting solutions that take a conscientious approach to the environment has made them an undisputable industry leader. Osram Sylvania is committed to the future, and to long-term opportunities for generations to come through the development of energy-efficient products, the selection of raw materials with a lesser environmental impact, reduced waste, optimized packaging, and the economical use of energy in all manufacturing processes. 

Osram Sylvania’s manufacturing plants have made significant strides towards greening their production lines and processes. Proactive in reducing the use of lead and mercury in manufacturing their product has had the added benefit of improving the work environment. Through advanced computer software and scientific methods, they have optimized packaging systems from primary through secondary to unit load, saving packaging materials, pallets, fuel, transportation, and warehouse space.

InterfaceFLOR rates a ten as the largest modular carpet manufacturer in the world. Their mission goes beyond producing green products. They have been practicing every creative, manufacturing and building decision possible to achieve a zero environmental footprint by 2020.

Mission Zero takes the guesswork out of decision-making. It has meant taking the time to understand the natural world and all of its species and to understand how everything everyone does, takes, makes and wastes affects nature’s balance. From this knowledge, Interface endeavors to build processes throughout our business that mimic nature and support the environment. 

Invista is headquartered in the United States and justifiably made The Top 25 hit list as one of the world’s largest integrated fibers and polymers businesses with a global presence. Invista’s business philosophy, Market Based Management® (MBM®), is a value system and a framework for action that encourages employees to think and act as principled entrepreneurs working to create long-term value for customers and for society as a whole. Invista’s philanthropic endeavors demonstrate a commitment to environmental excellence. Their environmental stewardship projects apply innovative, science-based solutions to environmental challenges that enhance the quality of life in communities.

Johnson Controls, Inc. has pledged to work with the Clinton Climate Initiative, a project headed by former U.S. President Bill Clinton that is dedicated to working with cities and governments worldwide to positively impact climate change. The initiative’s C40 Large Cities Climate Summit in New York City involves working with municipalities to improve energy usage in buildings through energy-efficiency solutions and retrofits. Fifteen cities are taking part in the effort to decrease carbon emissions.

The company has a 122-year record of developing energy efficiency solutions and has created a number of technologies and systems that make the most of energy usage. According to the Leonardo Academy, a nonprofit think tank that focuses on sustainability strategies, Johnson Controls is poised to help customers with energy conservation efforts leading to $18 billion of utility savings and a 352-million-ton reduction in power plant emissions by 2010. 

“Sustainability and energy efficiency are our core values … and how we run our business internationally,” says David Myers, president of Johnson Controls’ building efficiency business. “This initiative is an excellent platform for educating developers, owners and managers of large facilities on ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make their facilities part of a more comfortable, safe, sustainable and efficient world.”

Georgia-Pacific scored as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of tissue, pulp, paper, packaging, building products and related chemicals. As a global corporate citizen, Georgia Pacific has continually demonstrated their responsibility in helping to build a sustainable world. Every day approximately 50,000 Georgia-Pacific employees are committed to translating our Market Based Management® Guiding Principles into sustainable practices to make the tissue, paper, packaging, building products and related chemicals we all depend on. Georgia-Pacific has expanded the scope of their own environmental reporting by conforming closely to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)—a long-term, multi-stakeholder, international process with a mission to develop globally acceptable guidelines for reporting on the economic, environmental and social dimensions of an organization’s activities, products and services.

Knoll, Inc. earned the right to be on the list. Hands down a leading designer and manufacturer of branded furniture for the office and home, Knoll recently announced their greenhouse gas reduction commitment through its membership in the Chicago Climate Exchange, Inc. (CCX®). 

Knoll will be the first contract furniture manufacturer to become a member of CCX. CCX facilitates the trading of “credits” (known as Carbon Financial Instruments) that companies earn for achieving reductions of emissions measured against baseline calculations. The project is the result of the Company’s participation in the 2006 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, a non-partisan forum that includes discussions about Energy and Climate Change. 

“Joining CCX through the Clinton Global Initiative complements an already ambitious environmental program at Knoll,” said Andrew Cogan, CEO. “For well over 25 years, we have been a quiet leader in policies and practices designed to protect the biosphere, conserve natural resources and reduce waste,” he added.

Kone came out a clear winner as one of the world’s leading elevator and escalator companies.  Kone assumed technology leadership in the elevator industry by developing the Kone EcoDisc® and using it to create the first commercially viable machine-room-less elevator, Kone MonoSpace®. Known as the elevator innovation of the century, this permanent magnet synchronous motor hoisting machine made it possible - for the first time in history - to use a single elevator technology in all buildings regardless of travel height. Kone EcoDisc halved the size, weight and energy consumption of earlier hoisting machines. These new products have more power and performance than earlier ones, and they are environmentally friendly. 

Owens Corning’s commitment to sustainability ensured their position on the list. Owens Corning creates value for their customers and shareholders by positively impacting the environment and enhancing the lives of those with whom they interact. Owens Corning understands the importance of operating in ways that meet the needs of the present without compromising the world we leave to the future. Sustainability is at the heart of Owens Corning’s stated purpose – Delivering Solutions, Transforming Markets and Enhancing Lives. They are successfully committed to operating with three balanced outcomes: economic growth, environmental stewardship and social progress.

DuPont is a leading science company that made the top ten for their experience and expertise in putting science to work in the early stages of product development. These attributes have lead to the protection or enhancement of human health, safety and the environment. They have designed products and processes that pass even the most rigorous criteria for the use of renewable resources, energy, water and materials. For almost 20 years, DuPont has been reducing the environmental footprint of their operations. By 2015, DuPont plans to double their investment in R&D programs with direct, quantifiable environmental benefits for their customers and consumers along their value chains.

BASF earned a top spot for their tool called SEEbalance® which refers to the SocioEcoEfficiency Analysis. The analysis considers the three dimensions of sustainability: economy, environment and society. The magnetic SEEbalance® is an innovative tool which allows, for the first time, the assessment not only of environmental impact and costs but also of the societal impacts of products and processes. The aim is to quantify performance of all three pillars of sustainability with one integrated tool in order to direct and measure sustainable development in companies. 

USG is on the list for their leadership in producing innovative products and systems to build the environments in which we all live, work and play. As the inventor of wallboard and mineral wool ceiling tile, USG enjoys the unique distinction of virtually creating North America’s building materials industry. Their products are used in everything from major commercial developments and residential housing to simple home improvements. USG has a long-standing commitment for “giving back” to communities in which they do business. By encouraging social and environmental awareness in all of their practices and core values, USG helps to revitalize communities and protect and preserve human health and natural resources. A solid history of environmental responsibility includes providing product solutions that reduce environmental impact, reduce waste, conserve resources and recycle materials.

Pella takes their place on the list for having a comprehensive approach to environmental stewardship that maximizes recycling opportunities, minimizes waste and pollution, and reduces energy consumption. Pella products are made to last. 99% of the sawdust is recycled or reused.  More than 95% of aluminum sash cladding comes from recycled aluminum. 20% of glass is from a recycled source. Most Pella products have at least 20% recycled content. 

As a member of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), Pella encourages the use of the LEED® certification process and offers products that can contribute to more than 20 of 69 possible points. As a result, Pella products have been used in a number of nationally recognized green projects including the Phillip Merrill Environmental Center (LEED Platinum) and IslandWood (LEED Gold).

Pella’s commitment to environmental stewardship is firmly rooted in their culture, and has been since the company was established in 1925. Founder Pete Kuyper’s words in 1950 still ring true today. “We recognize our responsibilities as stewards of our natural resources and the environment, and will avoid wasteful or harmful disregard of the environmental effects of our operation.”

UTC has programs that focus on reducing the negative environmental impacts of their operations, and therefore earned them a place on our list. UTC pursues environmental goals the same way they pursue financial and business goals: by continuously improving their processes at every level of the company. For example, to achieve an aggressive greenhouse gas reduction goal, UTC will undertake significant conservation projects and equipment upgrades. These will be based on audits of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. It goes without saying that the reliability, longevity, and energy efficiency of their products naturally becomes part of their customers’ environmental footprint.

Stantec is on the Top 25 for providing essential professional design and consulting services in planning, engineering, architecture, surveying, economics, and project management. Continually striving to balance economic, environmental, and social responsibilities, Stantec is recognized as a world-class leader and innovator in the delivery of sustainable solutions. Stantec’s 3D Business Model diversifies their risks throughout their operations and ensures that they are not dependent on any single geographic region, practice area, or life cycle solution for their business. Their solutions conserve energy and reduce the need for scarce natural resources. Stantec focuses on life cycle solutions that encourage their clients to consider the environment, and look for opportunities for energy efficiency.

HDR captured its place as an employee-owned architectural, engineering and consulting firm that helps clients manage complex projects and make sound decisions. HDR offers clients the best possible economic, social and environmental value by delivering integrated sustainable solutions. HDR’s Sustainable Solutions Program has a staff of 15 full-time professionals, who support the company’s expertise and initiatives in many areas including sustainable specifications, sustainable material selection, LEED training and implementation, renewable energy, indoor air quality, site planning, energy efficiency, green roofs and water resource management. HDR is not only a leader in green building with two LEED Platinum-rated buildings, but is also a national leader in the number of wind farms designed and street car programs implemented.

Tremco is on the list as North America’s premier provider of roofing restoration and repair services and materials. Tremco is also a leading worldwide manufacturer and marketer of construction sealants and adhesives, caulks, glazing, gaskets, waterproofing systems, concrete admixtures and sealers, grouts and mortars, and fire-stopping systems. Of course, everyone knows that it is important to reduce the environmental impact associated with fossil fuel energy use. The LEED rating system encourages the use of renewable energy by offering up to 3 points to buildings that use on-site renewable energy sources. These points can be obtained through the use of Tremco’s Photovoltaic Roofing Solutions. 

Wausau Paper has over 100 years of experience and is one of the industry’s leading producers of paper products. Wausau Paper’s Printing & Writing segment has earned two distinguished certifications, Green Seal® and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), for specific portions of its products line. The Green Seal certification gives Wausau Paper the broadest assortment of Green Seal-certified printing and writing papers on the market. Wausau Paper earned FSC certification for its Exact Eco 100™ line. FSC certification recognizes products that support the responsible management of the world’s forests and forest resources. 

APCO is well known as an environmentally conscious company. During its 40 years of operation, it has developed products and manufacturing processes that have reduced the amount of waste they produce. Not surprisingly, APCO made the list for consistently meeting or exceeding EPA guidelines and regulations for air quality control. The company’s practice of incorporating modular sign systems within a facility, especially those featuring recyclable and easily maintained components, is ecologically smart, earning it a place on our list for helping to reduce waste and energy consumption without sacrificing quality or design.

Atlas International has been included on the list for compiling green building information regarding Cool Metal Roofing, Transpired Solar Collector panels and various means of credits from the federal government and possible state credits and incentives from various companies. As green building practices become more important not only for environmental reasons, but also for cost savings and tax credits, new products supporting this philosophy are popping up everywhere.

The Forbo Group’s wooden floor production has been an important center for the wood industry for many decades. One reason for the high quality is the Forbo BlocTech method. This manufacturing method gives them a unique position in the market for parquet floors. It also helps to ensure that Forbo’s social and environmental responsibility remains a core value for many more decades to come. Forbo’s constant efforts to improve the environmental performance of their processes earned them a place on the list. Their manufacturing operations are ISO 14001 certified. Raw materials and energy are used efficiently, waste is recycled wherever possible, and emissions are kept to an absolute minimum.

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities began as a small network consisting of public and private organizations in 1999. They are the only NGO on our list, and their mission is to increase the awareness of the economic, social, and environmental benefits of green roof infrastructure across North America and rapidly advance the development of the market for green roof products and services. They are striving to facilitate changes that will bring green roof technologies to the forefront of high performance green building design, implementation and maintenance.

Schüco cannot be forgotten as one of the world’s leading providers of solar energy technology. Schüco systems are guaranteed to deliver clean energy for a minimum of 25 years. Around for 55 years, their systems are in use all over the world. Their third-generation, highly integrated thermal systems capture heat from the sun and store it in high-efficiency tanks for use in the home. Solar energy is one of the best ways to make a real contribution to sustainability. Schüco solar energy systems are optimized to give you the best total performance. 

Armstrong World Industries is a global leader in the building products industry. Armstrong is committed to environmental sustainability, fulfilling its commitment by systematically reducing the environmental footprint of its operations and by providing products and services to customers that enable them to reduce the environmental impact of the buildings they create. Armstrong has a history of environmental stewardship. The pioneering, industry-leading Armstrong Ceiling Recycling Program has recycled over 47 million pounds of material that otherwise would have gone into landfills. Armstrong recognizes the importance of protecting the environment and using resources responsibly, and is committed to environmental stewardship in all dealings with customers, employees, the government and community. Broadening its environmental stewardship efforts, Armstrong has made commitments to expand in four areas—energy, greenhouse gases, water and forest management. 

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