Tag Archives: sustainability

Good energy: non-traditional partnerships generate power

When it comes to employing alternative energy sources  and focusing on improved energy efficiency, Shaw Contract Group is in good company. Electric car company Tesla is partnering with several companies, including Jackson Family Wines for the pilot program of  its new industrial battery product, due to officially launch later this summer (a residential version is also underway).

In addition toLEDS in the fermentation room using Tesla’s battery packs for its operations, JFW employs solar arrays at it’s facilities – and the combination will potentially open new doors for self-sustaining systems.

All told, the company has 21 of the commercial PowerPack batteries across six of its wineries, which were installed from late last summer to early this year. By February, they accounted for 4.2 mW of production, or 8.4 mWh of total energy storage capacity.  (For more details, read  the complete fastcompany article ).

Solar is recognized as a mature, reliable energy source and a viable long-term investment. Shaw Contract Group’s carpet tile manufacturing facility in Cartersville, GA, features one of the largest commercial solar panel installations in the southeast – generating 1.4 million kilowatt hours of power annually (approximately 100 homes) which helps power the facility and its processes.  Company wide bench marking for our footprint is published annually in Shaw’s Sustainability Report.

Solar Panels

 

 

 

 

 

 

Viva the alternative! Design is good energy.

 

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NEOCON: THE PARK

The Park is designed to redefine boundaries, enhance our mood & open our minds. We are inspired by the parallels of how we move, gather and connect within different zones of a park & how they correlate to commercial interiors.

The Park

The Park

A renewal of space & spirit, the collection is designed to be transformative-in people, thinking & spaces. The park is a compelling design to infuse elements of outside & influence well-being for everyone experiencing the space. Flexibility compounds through a combination of 9×36 & 18×36 formats and Colorpoint tufting technology.

Creating spaces to gather thoughts or gather together. Varying degrees of pattern, texture & color allow you to design a range of spaces from communal to private .Warm and cool tones with vivid color options reflect renewal and vitality.

 

Product Detail:

Linger provides a moment of calm on the floor.

Drift is a near-solid indulgent bark texture.

Renew captures the reflective visual of water.

Explore adds texture in a large-scale stone aesthetic.

Create is reminiscent of horizontal brush strokes with vivid color – like public art.

Reflect is an abstract vista of sky seen through trees.

Zone adds a playful surprise of turf texture.  

Whether it’s gathering in a greeting area, convening at the end of a corridor, or needing a place to reenergize, we all need a new scene, setting or vibe. Softscape and hardscape: the collection features carpet tile, hard surface & broadloom. The Park will improve the quality of space by instilling a quality of life. Most importantly, it will reinforce our belief that balance can be achieved.

Combined with EcoWorx backing and Eco Solution Q nylon, the Park has superior durability, style and recyclability. The Shaw Contract Group lifetime commercial warranty covers abrasive wear, tuft-bind, edge ravel and delamination. The Park goes beyond Declare & HPDs. Cradle to Cradle Silver & assessed for human health. Made with recyclable EcoSolution Q nylon & EcoWorx Tile, contributes to LEED & offers an environmental guarantee.

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China’s pollution problem, everyone’s problem: Peggy Liu at TED2014

Our world is constantly changing, and it is bold ideas that push this forward. The speakers in session 3 of the TED2014 conference were all big thinkers who are working to reshape the ways we see, think about, and interact with the world.

One of the lead sustainability activists in China, Peggy Liu is a key player in the race for green growth worldwide, and shared her vision of climate change and China’s ongoing battle against pollution.  Peggy emphasizes the point that “pollution crosses boarders”; therefore, “China’s problem is everyone’s problem.” In her talk, Peggy refers to the China’s pollution crisis as an “airpocalypse.”

Today, China is urbanizing at an astonishing rate, and it is expected that an estimated 350 million people who live in China’s rural areas will move into cities over the next 20 years. Peggy points out, “in many ways, this is a great thing, offering opportunities for Chinese children to go to school nearby and for parents to find employment,” but these changes will put unprecedented pressure on our Earth’s limited natural resources.

TED_peggyLui

The decisions China makes in the next few years will determine if China will be ecologically sustainable or a disaster, but Liu focuses on six advantages that she believes will enable China to make small changes that add up quickly due to the size of China’s population:

  1. China has centralized control.
  2. China has just a few key decision makers.
  3. China is willing to learn from others.
  4. China is willing to experiment.
  5. China is willing to change.
  6. China is highly motivated.

“It only takes a few passionate individuals to make transformative change,” Liu says, and through Shaw’s commitment to sustainability and our efforts to creating a better future for our customers, our associates and our communities, we are certainly contributing to this positive change in China.

As part of the ongoing process to make Shaw Contract Group a brand across the globe, we opened our first manufacturing facility in China last September. In keeping with our dedication to sustainable buildings, the Nantong facility is LEED certified and the first manufacturing facility to create Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM products.

TED2014 happened in Vancouver and Whistler, BC, Canada, March 17-21, 2014. Designer David Rockwell relied on Shaw Hospitality Group for the carpet for the design. On the floor is “Crease” from the Layered Luxe collection, which was designed in collaboration with Rockwell himself.

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People, Profit and Performance

Building green delivers more than resource efficiency. It’s an unstoppable force that’s changing the way we do business. For the better.

“We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us.” Winston Churchill’s words are a powerful reminder that our buildings have an extraordinary economic, social and environmental impact on the way we live. The first wave of the green-building movement arose as a response to demand for energy and resource efficiency. Green buildings routinely consume one third of the energy and water of non-green buildings and tread far more lightly on the environment.

WGBC1

As the green building movement has matured, we’ve gained a deeper understanding of the value of green buildings, and the emphasis has shifted from “planet” to “people and profit”. Consequently, the conversation is now geared around how green buildings deliver on social priorities, such as employment, productivity and health, and on economic priorities, such as return on investment and risk mitigation. Today, green building is increasingly seen as a business opportunity, with client and market demand and brand recognition being the dominant forces.

Pervasive presence
Around the world, green building has become an unstoppable force. The latest World Green Building Trends report, published in 2013 by the World Green Building Council, in conjunction with McGraw-Hill Construction, found that green building is accelerating around the world as it is recognised as a long-term business opportunity. Of the professional-services firms surveyed in more than 60 countries, just over half anticipate that more than 60 percent of their work will be of the green variety by 2015. This is up from one quarter of work in 2012. Even more astounding, green building’s global market share was just two percent in 2005.

WGBC3

Driving productivity
When energy expenses account for just three percent of a company’s budget, a 50-percent savings doesn’t make those sitting at the boardroom table take notice. However, when salary costs amount to around 80 percent of operating costs, finding ways to improve staff productivity, health and wellbeing, as well as reduce sick leave and turnover, gets the board’s attention. The WorldGBC’s Business Case Report (2013) found offices that incorporate green building features—such as fresh air, natural light, views of the outdoors and materials low in toxins—are healthier and more productive places to work. A productivity increase of up to 11 percent, for instance, can be achieved simply through improved ventilation. An 18-percent increase is possible through access to daylight and operable windows, and a massive 23-percent improvement in productivity can be realised through good lighting.

Educated impact
In school environments, green-building design has been found to enhance student performance, decrease student and teacher sick days, as well as reduce teacher turnover. One study of green schools in the United States found students progressed 26 percent faster in reading and 20 percent faster in math when compared with their counterparts in non-green schools. Research indicates that green schools also lead to healthier, happier teachers who take fewer sick days. Greening America’s Schools: Costs and Benefits (2006) estimated that teacher retention in green schools translates into a financial savings of about US$4 per square foot over a 20-year period.

WGBC2

Healthier assets
And in healthcare settings, sunlight and views of nature can reduce the average length of stay by 8.5 percent, hasten recovery speeds by 15 percent and reduce the need for pain medication by up to 22 percent. The story is similar for our homes. A range of studies have underscored the connection between homes and health. Asthma sufferers have reported enjoying 63 percent more symptom-free days after green retrofits improved indoor environment quality. In developing nations, low-cost green retrofits have reduced the frequency of respiratory illnesses by 76 percent. When we consider 235 million people around the world currently suffer from asthma, green buildings have the potential to improve the health and well-being of millions of people. Green-building analyst Greg Kats has estimated that up to 70 percent of a building’s whole-of-life value comes from improved productivity and health benefits. Our challenge is to shift the green-building conversation away from the technical towards why investing in better indoor environments can lead to better returns on our greatest asset—our people.

Interconnected accountability
The first step is to establish a common way of measuring the previously unmeasurable. The WorldGBC has embarked on an ambitious new project to do just that, aiming to provide best-practice guidance on the type of green-building features that will enhance productivity and performance. This report, which we hope to release later in 2014, will help industry, organisations and governments make better investment decisions about their buildings. As sustainability becomes a “mission critical” issue for businesses, nations and indeed the planet, we must begin to operate with a new set of values. We need to recognise that, as the world shrinks, we are increasingly interconnected. Businesses cannot operate in isolation but must think about the long-term impacts of their decisions, which will affect people, communities and the environment. Leading organisations such as Shaw Contract Group are thinking about the legacies they’ll leave future generations—and it is these leading companies that will lay the foundation for a new set of values to transform our buildings, communities and cities.

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Recognising measurable actions
We are proud to partner with Shaw Contract Group to present the inaugural Asia Pacific Regional Network Leadership Awards in Green Building. The awards will honor outstanding organisations for their commitment to sustainability and will celebrate innovative green-building projects that are reducing carbon emissions and other environmental impacts, cutting costs and driving higher levels of health and productivity for building occupants.

The announcement of the awards in September will coincide with the anniversary of Shaw’s grand opening of the first manufacturing facility in the Asia Pacific to produce globally-consistent, cradle-to-cradle certified carpet tile. We look forward to collaborating with Shaw in applauding the leaders, innovators and champions of sustainability and green building—and in building a greener future for us all.

Jane Henley

 

~ By Jane Henley, Chief Executive Officer, World Green Building Council

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Sustainability Fuels the Future: Earth Day and Beyond

Earth Day is an annual day to show support for environmental protection. If the right investments are made now, we can help make changes in the built environment and the fight against carbon emissions and climate change.

Sustainability starts at the top and drives everything Shaw Contract Group does, every Cradle to Cradle Certified(CM) step of the way. Shaw Contract Group carpet also contributes to LEED credits in recycled content, low-emitting materials, innovation in design, construction and waste management. In celebration of Earth Day and Shaw Contract Group sustainable products and projects from Shanghai to Chicago, check out some of our ‘green’ efforts across the globe:

LEED projects

Shaw Contract Group products cover the floors of many LEED-certified projects across the globe. From clockwise left: SmithGroupJJR Office, Shore Hotel, Rosa F. Keller Library and Community Center, Douglas Park Elementary School. Visit our project profile page HERE to view more sustainable projects.

Some of our showrooms and manufacturing facilities are certified or pursuing LEED certification, including our Shanghai showroom and new manufacturing facility in Nantong, China. Take a virtual tour of these spaces HERE.

View more environmental stories on our blog.

Happy Earth Day!

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