It isn’t often that green initiatives in Connecticut get national coverage but it happened last week and it wasn’t a flattering commentary either but I think it’s worth noting. I also think that the author needs to lighten up and maybe find a date.
Late last month, the Connecticut Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council held a reception at Kroon Hall at Yale to honor 15 green building projects in the state. Yours truly was there. (Thanks Tom for making me go.) Anyhow, among the winners was Nestlé Waters, N.A. for their new, green headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut.
Lloyd Alter a design/green architecture blogger for Treehugger, a national on-line green site that is owned by the Discovery Channel, decided to challenge the CT GBC and posted a blog after the event to criticize the CT Chapter for recognizing this horrible company that employs thousands of people world wide. Shame on them. Alter states, “So they are giving an award to the headquarters of a company whose business is ‘healthful hydration’ – sucking water out of the ground while barely paying for it, pouring it into bottles made from fossil fuels, selling it for 10,000 times its real cost and either littering the countryside or having taxpayers pay to pretend to recycle them.”
Nestle is a good corporate citizens and employer in Connecticut. I also believe in part of sustainability is economic impact and they produce a product that has market demand.
According to Alter’s post, the Connecticut Green Building Council, when reviewing nominations, the judges consider water conservation strategies, energy usage, site design, indoor air quality and overall building aesthetics. Nestlé’s Stamford, Conn., headquarters incorporate many sustainably focused features, including:
•A white roof to reduce use of heating and air conditioning;
•Low energy/high efficiency lighting system and low-flow water fixtures in bathrooms;
•Convenient recycling in logical locations, such as kitchens and coffee bars;
•Preferred parking spaces for low-emission vehicles; and
•High recycled content on furniture, fabrics, countertops, carpet and ceiling tiles
Adler also takes a dig at Nestle for providing “…preferred parking spaces for low-emission vehicles. Wow. You can build an office building in the middle of the suburbs where probably every single employee has to drive, but hey, the Prius has preferred parking, probably a good thing because the black asphalt parking lot is three times the footprint of the building. What hypocrisy.”
Adler was obviously having a bad hair day or maybe it was a slow green news day but I’m not in agreement. The company provides a product that has a demand which in turn creates jobs which in turn creates wealth. If plastic bottles were not getting recycled, which is not the case, I may be inclined to agree with him.