In 2007, Dansko broke ground on our premier green building initiative. Designed to house more than half of their office operations, this new corporate building utilizes sustainable design and construction practices and technologies. Upon completion it will apply to become a LEED® Certified green building. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a registered trademark of the U.S. Green Building Council. The building, slated for completion in early 2008, features proper site orientation to maximize the benefits of passive solar energy, locally sourced and recycled materials, storm water management including a cistern for collecting rainwater, low flow toilets using this rainwater for flushing, a vegetated roof, and a living wall that naturally cleans the air.
- All of their marketing collateral pieces [brochures & linesheets] are printed on recycled paper with soy inks and our consumer brochure uses paper that was produced with wind power.
Their consumer brochure has an added feature: the paper was produced with wind power, decreasing our dependence on other fuels for energy. By printing on Mohawk Options paper, they have saved:
- 150 trees
- 63,987 gallons of water
- 727 pounds of waste NOT generated
- 6,489 pounds of solid waste NOT in landfills
- 87,592,182 BTUs of energy NOT consumed
- 13,297 pounds of air emissions NOT generated
- Their shoeboxes and tissue paper are made of recyclable material.
- They seek environmentally conscious gift with purchase items – for example, organic cotton for our tees and a mug made out of corn that will biodegrade.
- They adopted Dansko’s Vendor Compliance Manual and Supplier Code of Conduct requiring that all of Dansko’s suppliers meet or exceed benchmark standards of environmental as well as social responsibility.
- Dansko supports employee volunteering efforts by providing 16 hours of paid time off each year to each employee to volunteer at a qualifying non-profit organization of their choice. For the past three years, Dansko employees have volunteered to plant trees with Stroud Water Research Center to help restore local watersheds. The equivalent in employee salaries is also donated by the Dansko Foundation to these organizations for the work of the employees. The recipients therefore receive a two-fold benefit: the volunteer work of 15-20 people at a time and the donation of salaries. The employee receives a two-fold benefit as well: paid time to perform the work and the experience of helping others. Dansko has also adopted a 2 mile stretch of a local roadway and the employees provide the manpower to clean the litter from this stretch of road 3 times each year. The cleaning crews recycle the materials that they collect.
- The Dansko Green Team was formed in May of this year to inform and educate the staff [and one day the local community] on how to achieve a sustainable environment. They currently provide single stream recycling for all of their recyclable materials [paper, cardboard, aluminum cans, #1 & #2 plastics] as well as battery and fluorescent lamp recycling and we have a community recycling center in the planning stages for spring 2008. This community recycling center will provide recycling opportunities for all of the residents of the local community who may or may not have access to curbside recycling. They currently utilize an electronic document management program to reduce Their reliance on paper documents. They have installed motion sensors & timers on all restroom and storage room light fixtures so that the lights turn off when not needed. They have installed electronic monitoring and control of our building heating and a/c.
- They are continually reviewing our product materials and incorporating more environmentally friendly alternatives where possible: They currently use leather from a German-owned tannery, ISA. ISA created a low-impact leather by cleaning up the environmental impact of the leather-making process itself. By reviewing their processes they were able to recycle their water, incorporate solar power and use less chemicals. The result is a 30% reduction in CO2 emissions, 40% reduction in water usage and a 50% reduction in electricity usage. While They can’t use this leather in all of our products yet, They continually seek to move more and more of Their raw materials in this direction.
- They have a cork midsole in our Fall 2008 Chatham program.
Their greatest results to date have been our efforts in managing [and hopefully ultimately reducing] the impact of our distribution operations and in the careful selection of our factory partners to ensure that they have the health and welfare of their employees and local communities in their best interests. They view their environmental and social stewardship as a long-term commitment and one that they are excited to continually explore. This is just the beginning of what they hope will become the norm for all businesses everywhere!