A Levi Strauss & Co.’s distribution center has achieved the highest level of LEED green building certification, making it the world’s largest warehouse/distribution center to achieve LEED Platinum, the company says in a blog post.
Levi’s says green building features used at the Sky Harbor distribution center in Henderson, Nevada, the company’s first LEED Platinum facility, will save about $60,000 per year for the next 10 years through water savings, energy efficiency upgrades, and tax abatement from the state of Nevada.
In addition to being the world’s largest, Levi’s says its retrofitted warehouse is the first such facility in the apparel industry, second in the country, and third in the world to earn LEED Platinum status.
Distribution centers create nearly 40 percent of Levi’s carbon footprint; the company says it plans to target its other centers for LEED certification to help reduce its carbon footprint.
Some of Sky Harbor’s green-building upgrades include:
- Installing a highly reflective white roof, which seals against leaks, and keeps the facility cooler (alleviating as much need for air conditioning) despite the harsh heat of the desert sun. Last year Las Vegas saw its hottest summer on record, right in the middle of the LEED energy assessment period.
- Diverting more than 90 percent of its waste from landfill by recycling and composting.
- Switching to LED lighting and power-saving motion-sensor lights.
- Restoring the property’s landscape to the natural desert environment through xeriscaping, saving nearly 10 million liters of water every year. Sky Harbor now uses 90 percent less irrigation water than average for the region.
- Replacing vending machines with Energy Star kiosks that sell healthier snacks, and providing Fair Trade coffee for employees.
- Becoming a smoke-free facility, with smoking cessation support provided to employees.
- Using green cleaning supplies by the custodial staff.
- Installing low-flow fixtures in the sinks, saving more than 325,000 liters of water per year.
The Sky Harbor operations team began implementing environmentally and socially responsible practices in 2007, and started working toward LEED certification in 2010. In December it received Nevada’s LEED Project of the Year Award for 2015.
In addition to its own facilities, Levi’s has helped other organizations implement green building upgrades: in 2014 the Commonwealth Club of California used 7,800 pairs of Levi’s jeans — that would otherwise end up in a landfill — inside its walls for insulation as it worked toward LEED Gold certification.