|ITOCHU International Inc. Awarded Prestigious LEED® Green Building Certification|
|December 07, 2009|
December 7, 2009 (New York, NY) – ITOCHU International Inc. announced today that it has been awarded LEED® (Silver) Certification established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). LEED is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.
In June 2009, ITOCHU International Inc. completed the renovations of the company’s North American headquarter offices in midtown Manhattan. “From the initial planning phases of the office renovation project, it was important to us that our new offices not only provide a comfortable, professional environment for our employees, but that the new space fulfill our parent company’s corporate mission, ‘Committed to the global good,’” says Yoshihisa Suzuki, President & CEO of ITOCHU International Inc.
“We made certain that all the materials used in building the new space are low in VOCs and the work stations are all ergonomically designed. We built a café, where team members can relax and mingle, and the wellness room, for nursing mothers and any employees who need to rest. Additionally, to conserve energy, all the lights in the office turn off automatically and in the bathrooms the sinks and toilets are hands-free to avoid overuse of water.”
ITOCHU International Inc. achieved LEED certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. By using less energy and water, LEED certified building save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.
“Building operations are nearly 40% of the solution to the global climate change challenge,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “While climate change is a global problem, innovative companies like ITOCHU International Inc. are addressing it through local solutions.”
LEED Certification of ITOCHU International Inc. was based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the project itself and the broader community. These features include:
ITOCHU International’s offices have high-efficiency toilets and waterless urinals (the urinals alone reduce on average 40,000 gallons of water per year per urinal).
ITOCHU International bought Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) based on the company’s estimated annual energy usage. The funding for these credits will go to renewable energy sources, to offset greenhouse gas pollution and support clean energy development (a mix of wind and solar). According to the USGBC, in the U.S. alone buildings account for 72% of electricity consumption and one of the largest impacts a company has on the environment is created by the electricity it consumes.
Employee Comfort and Wellness
The work stations at ITOCHU International have many ergonomic features such as the chairs, flat-screen computer monitors, adjustable keyboard trays, and dollies for the computers. The office also has efficient lighting and heating/cooling systems.
U.S. Green Building Council
The Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. With a community comprising 78 local affiliates, more than 20,000 member companies and organizations, and more than 100,000 LEED Accredited Professionals, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to soar to $60 billion by 2010. The USGBC leads an unlikely diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students.
Buildings in the United States are responsible for 39% of CO2 emissions, 40% of energy consumption, 13% water consumption and 15% of GDP per year, making green building a source of significant economic and environmental opportunity. Greater building efficiency can meet 85% of future U.S. demand for energy, and a national commitment to green building has the potential to generate 2.5 million American jobs.
The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED green building certification system is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system is the preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. 35,000 projects are currently participating in the LEED system, comprising over 5.6 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 91 countries. By using less energy, LEED-certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for
residents, workers and the larger community.
USGBC was co-founded by current President and CEO Rick Fedrizzi, who spent 25 years as a Fortune 500 executive. Under his 15-year leadership, the organization has become the preeminent green building, membership, policy, standards, influential, education and research
organization in the nation.
For more information, visit www.usgbc.org.