Earth Day is April 22, 2011. Many of us will be observing the day with some small act of environmental awareness. This may be the day we bring a reusable cup to the office instead of running through half a dozen Styrofoam cups, the day we begin collecting office paper for recycling, or choosing an eco-friendly pen.
At EthoSource, though, every day is Earth Day. EthoSource is a used office furniture company. They provide Furniture Management Services for companies across the United States, taking office furniture that is no longer working for a company and finding it a new home elsewhere.
They refurbish Herman Miller Ethospace cubicles, creating like-new workstations with the nearly indestructible steel underlayer of the cubicles. Working with facility managers, architects and company owners, EthoSource is able to configure them perfectly for the customer’s needs.
Their entire goal as a company, then, is to reuse and recycle office furniture, thereby reducing the use of resources. EthoSource carries this green outlook into its day to day operations as well. “Along with recycling furniture,” says COO Mark Miller, “we recycle scrap metal, corrugated, paper, and the traditional plastic and cans, so we are working diligently to minimize what goes in the landfill.”
Sustainability is a key concept throughout their operation. Says Miller, “We just replaced all of our energy-hogging metal halide warehouse lights with energy-efficient lighting that consumes half the wattage. Moreover, three quarters of our warehouse is equipped with sensor lights.”
This means that much of the warehouse is dark, unless someone is in the aisle working with product. When a worker enters the aisle, the movement triggers the lights, which come on immediately. The lights will stay lit for five minutes after the last movement, so there is no sacrifice of safety or practicality.
This approach, combining environmental awareness with an understanding of what really works for businesses and for workers, is what has made EthoSource the go-to company for businesses seeking LEED certification. LEED buildings, whether new buildings or renovation projects, are certified to be environmentally friendly.
The U.S. Green Building Council developed the certification process and it is now internationally recognized. Since LEED certification comes from a third party, it is validation that a building is truly environmentally responsible.
The requirements are rigorous, and only a handful of projects in most states at this time have reached the coveted Gold and Platinum levels of certification.
Used office furniture can play a significant role in attaining LEED certification. EthoSource was recently involved in a Gold Certified project in New York and last year was instrumental in a Platinum Certified project in Pennsylvania. In both cases, EthoSource was able to make sure that the furnishings worked for the people using them as well as for the LEED certification.