Tag Archives: LEED

National Park Service opens the country’s first “Net Zero” visitors center

A 7,000 square foot visitors center in the Santa Monica Mountains – just north of Malibu, CA – can survive off the grid. It has a 94-kilowatt solar roof array to power highly energy-efficient LEDs installed throughout the center. This is the first visitor center from the National Park Service to be “net zero”.

The site also achieved a LEED Platinum Certification by using environmentally friendly materials, incorporating natural light, using light dimmers during daylight hours, and by re-purposing the existing structures. They were originally horse stables for King Gillete – the razor billionaire from yester-year – and his mansion still exists in the 588-acre park.

The project was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – $9.5 million – along with matching funds from the California government and a local conservancy. All materials were made in America. The site will be managed by a joint public-private enterprise.

More on the park – King Gillete Ranch:

One of the most stunning locales in the Santa Monica Mountains, 588-acre King Gillette Ranch is located at the confluence of five major tributaries and offers a rare, unspoiled view of California’s rich archaeological cultural and historic resources. Its broad meadows and low ridgelines serve as a wildlife corridor. The ranch includes the 1928 mansion designed by Wallace Neff for razor magnate King C. Gillette…and includes hiking trails, beautiful grassy picnic areas, a pond and dormitory facilities for overnight educational camps.

 

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The world of professional sports is going green

Allen Hershkowitz, from The N.Y. Times, has written up an interesting piece about The Greening of Professional Sports.

Among the many great points he makes, include how every industry will need to participate and public opinion is the most important factor, as well as:

 

Fifteen professional stadiums or arenas have achieved LEED certification for green building design and operations, and 17 have installed on-site solar arrays. Millions of pounds of carbon emissions have been avoided, and millions of pounds of paper products have been shifted toward recycled content or not used at professional sports sites. Recycling and composting programs have been developed or are planned at virtually all professional stadiums and arenas.

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New corporation type – B Corporation – for sustainable “benefit corporation”

B Corporations are a new kind of company that uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. (It’s like a LEED certification or Fair Trade certification, but for a business, not just a building or a bag of coffee.) B Lab, a non-profit, describes the B Corporation movement like this:

When you support a B Corporation, you’re supporting a better way to do business. Governments and nonprofits are necessary but insufficient to solve today’s most pressing problems. Business is the most powerful force on the planet and can be a positive instrument for change.

To read more about B Lab and the B Corporation movement, take a look at this companion post.

B Lab provides a rigorous independent third-party framework for assessing how you’re doing as a business when it comes to employee, community, and environmental interests. Etsy has gone through the assessment and we learned so much about what we are doing right and where we can improve. After successfully completing the independent B Lab assessment, we are proud to announce that Etsy is now a Certified B Corporation™. There are over 500 certified B Corps but Etsy will be among the biggest, along with mission-driven companies like Patagonia and Seventh Generation.

I think becoming a Certified B Corporation is one of the most important things Etsy has ever done. It helps us keep an eye on the “mindful, transparent, and humane” values we aspire to, and also keeps us focused on our intention to “plan and build for the long-term,” not just when it comes to Etsy but for the world at large. Like other Certified B Corporations, B Lab is publishing our scores from the assessment. In being transparent, we are openly challenging ourselves to continually improve how we impact the world with our company. Like most businesses, we are imperfect, but we are publicly committing ourselves to upholding our values and grading ourselves for the long-term. This is how we hope to make a better world and inspire other companies to do the same.

via – Etsy News

 

Etsy’s score – 80.1

Patagonia’s score – 107.1

Seventh Generation’s score – 116.3

Facebook’s new office of endless snacks, cozies, and “hack out” spaces

Facebook’s new campus is up and the employees are moving in. Here are some insights into the goodies they have laid out:

The whole campus is connected through a central courtyard.  Right now it’s still filled with bulldozers and dirt, but when it’s finished, we’ll have two full-service cafes, two coffee shops, on-site doctors, a fitness center, and much more.  And as always, we still offer other perks like free dry cleaning and endless snacks in our micro-kitchens.

There are no private offices or cubicles.  We tore down those unnecessary walls so that everyone could sit out in the open with their teams.  We’ve scattered hundreds of conference rooms and “cozies”—little breakaway spaces filled with couches and brightly colored chairs—throughout the buildings.  As people run into each other in hallways or at the micro-kitchens, it’s important that they can quickly duck away somewhere if they want to chat or hash out ideas.

We’ve always believed in “hacking out” our space—putting up posters and scribbling ideas on the walls—so we lined the hallways with chalkboard paint and put a box of chalk on everyone’s desk.

We’ve sponsored Zimride to come to the wider city of Menlo Park and help their residents find rideshare opportunities, and soon we’ll launch Facebucks, a program that incentivizes employees to get out, enjoy and spend money in downtown Menlo Park.

We’re pursuing a LEED Gold certification—we offer recycling and composting bins everywhere for employees, and we’ve reused as much of the existing structure as possible.  For instance, there isn’t a single new door on the campus—they’ve all been recycled from those used by our predecessors.

We also offer a robust transportation program that provides alternatives to single-car commuting, including free shuttles from the surrounding areas, vanpools, (and) bicycles. Over 47% of our employees use one of these programs.  In fact, even as we grow, we don’t plan to add a single new parking space to the existing campus.

Our New Menlo Park Home

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Facebook's new office of endless snacks, cozies, and "hack out" spaces

Facebook’s new campus is up and the employees are moving in. Here are some insights into the goodies they have laid out:

The whole campus is connected through a central courtyard.  Right now it’s still filled with bulldozers and dirt, but when it’s finished, we’ll have two full-service cafes, two coffee shops, on-site doctors, a fitness center, and much more.  And as always, we still offer other perks like free dry cleaning and endless snacks in our micro-kitchens.

There are no private offices or cubicles.  We tore down those unnecessary walls so that everyone could sit out in the open with their teams.  We’ve scattered hundreds of conference rooms and “cozies”—little breakaway spaces filled with couches and brightly colored chairs—throughout the buildings.  As people run into each other in hallways or at the micro-kitchens, it’s important that they can quickly duck away somewhere if they want to chat or hash out ideas.

We’ve always believed in “hacking out” our space—putting up posters and scribbling ideas on the walls—so we lined the hallways with chalkboard paint and put a box of chalk on everyone’s desk.

We’ve sponsored Zimride to come to the wider city of Menlo Park and help their residents find rideshare opportunities, and soon we’ll launch Facebucks, a program that incentivizes employees to get out, enjoy and spend money in downtown Menlo Park.

We’re pursuing a LEED Gold certification—we offer recycling and composting bins everywhere for employees, and we’ve reused as much of the existing structure as possible.  For instance, there isn’t a single new door on the campus—they’ve all been recycled from those used by our predecessors.

We also offer a robust transportation program that provides alternatives to single-car commuting, including free shuttles from the surrounding areas, vanpools, (and) bicycles. Over 47% of our employees use one of these programs.  In fact, even as we grow, we don’t plan to add a single new parking space to the existing campus.

Our New Menlo Park Home

Continue reading