- Method’s factory is the first green factory of its kind with its LEED Platinum certification. The company manufactures biodegradable natural cleaning supplies outside of Chicago.
- The factory, known as Soapbox, leads the pact by creating less waste and using less energy. Soapbox features plentiful natural lighting access for its workers, in addition to a 75,000-square-foot greenhouse.
- “Green” office buildings in the US are at an all-time high. Chicago is the country’s greenest city for the second year in a row. Nearly 70% of Chicago is green certified, and 100% of the city’s public buildings are powered by renewable energy.
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Following is a transcript of the video.
Narrator: Method’s Soapbox is the first LEED Platinum certified factory in the industry.
Okay, great, but what does that even mean?
Short answer, the factory is green. Long answer, the factory creates less waste, uses less energy, and provides better working conditions for its employees than other factories. And when you’re bottling 250,000 units of soap every day, these things matter to the planet and the bottom line.
Aria Bendex: So LEED is basically the most popular green building certification in the world. It was developed in 1993 by the US Green Building Council and it’s since become an international standard for green building construction.
Narrator: Getting LEED certified is good for environment and good for business. So we’re here at Method’s Soapbox factory to see what it takes to go platinum.
“Green” office buildings in the US are at an all-time high. And Chicago is the country’s greenest city for the second year in a row.
Buildings are considered officially green certified if they have an Energy Star label, LEED certification, or both.
Nearly 70% of Chicago is green certified.
Drew Fraser, CEO Method Products: We were inspired by others in the community that had brought a wind turbine on site, and we went through the process of procuring one and building it up to produce as much energy as possible here in the “Windy City.”
The US Green Building Council awards certification at four levels based on a point system. But the Soapboxplatinum distinction is gold medal of certifications.
Method’s 85 points come from five things: location, materials, renewable energy, indoor environmental quality, and innovation.
The turbine provides half the factory’s annual electric energy, while a set of solar trees and renewable energy from the grid provide the rest.
Drew Fraser: “[The turbine] was an investment, but as that investment pays off over time it will be the most efficient and freest energy available.”
Narrator: So that takes care of renewable energy, but what about the other four certification points?
Drew Fraser: It was a toxic site that we kind of renewed and regenerated.
Narrator: The majority of the land the factory is built on has been restored to native prairie land that is open to the community. And the environment inside the factory is intentionally designed to keep employees happy and healthy. Skylights and large windows give workers more access to natural light, while also lowering the building’s baseline energy use. And the paints, flooring, and adhesives are all made to keep air quality high.
Drew Fraser: Probably the biggest impact for indoor quality of air and lighting for our team is actually the products that they make.
Narrator: Method uses naturally derived, nontoxic ingredients in its products, a choice that impacts factory workers as well as the consumer. As for innovation, Method partnered with Gotham Greens to build a 75,000-square-foot greenhouse on top of the factory.
The greenhouse produces 1 million pounds of food a year that goes to stores and restaurants in the area.
Method’s other factory in Belgium is not LEED certified, but they say it’s in the works. While all of these things are good for the environment and community, they’re ultimately part of a bigger business strategy.
The Soapbox houses manufacturing, bottling, and distribution all under one roof, which cuts down on its carbon footprint and costs.
Drew Fraser: So it really kind of hits a trifecta for us, which is creating great product that’s good for people and for planet, but also really helps our business both top and bottom line.