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Nature Preservation Day at Andersen Corporation

Throughout May and June, 152 production and office employees from across the Andersen enterprise participated in the company’s 2016 Nature Preservation Day events.

This year’s events occurred at five different Andersen locations: Bayport, Cottage Grove, Dubuque, Menomonie and North Brunswick.

  • Bayport-area, Dubuque and Menomonie volunteers worked to clear invasive species such as buckthorn and garlic mustard, from local parks in their communities.
  • Cottage Grove volunteers planted native plants and grasses to attract pollinators and provide a place for grazers in the South Washington County Corridor.
  • North Brunswick volunteers participated in a beach clean-up to protect marine life and revitalize the beach .Employees planted 800 native plants and grasses, disposed of 39 bags of beach trash and removed 75 cubic yards of invasive species.

Andersen partnered with The Nature Conservancy, Great River Greening, NY/NJ Baykeeper, Lower Chippewa Invasives Partnership, the city of Hudson and the city of Menomonie to make these events possible. Our partners provided support and educated our employees on the importance of their efforts.

“Nature Preservation Day events provide our employees and opportunity to step outside their daily routine and connect with nature in a meaningful way,” said Annie Perkins, a Sustainability Analyst at Andersen Corporation. “Every day, many of us strive to reduce our environmental impacts, and these events enable us to see the importance of our efforts to the world in which we live”.

Our employees continue to make a difference, both at work and in their communities.

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Our Energy Efficiency Hero

Cardinal Glass CEO, Roger O’Shaughnessy

While some heroes are renowned activists or public figures, others are less well-known, despite their significant impact. That is the case with Cardinal Glass CEO, Roger O’Shaughnessy, whose efforts have increased the energy efficiency of countless homes in the United States. To understand the implication of Mr. O’Shaughnessy’s work on energy efficiency, it is important to understand the importance of Low-E glass on energy efficiency.

There are three types of light in the solar spectrum – ultraviolet or UV light, visible light and infrared or IR light. Each of these types of light impact our world in a different way and each has different wavelengths. UV light is the light that causes your drapes to fade, visible light is the sunlight that illuminates a room and IR light heats a room. While we can agree that sunlight in your house is a great thing, fading fabrics and rouge heat are not. To block the “bad” light while welcoming the “good” light, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory created a thin, clear coating that could be applied to glass, which is now known as a low-e coating. When low-e coatings are applied to a window, it helps keep the warm air from your heating system inside in the winter and the hot afternoon sun outside in the summer, while also protecting fabrics from fading. Learn more about low-e glass here.

Roger O’Shaughnessy’s belief in the importance of energy efficiency and his willingness to invest in the commercialization of low-e glass has dramatically changed the energy consumption in our country. By partnering with organizations like Andersen Corporation, Mr. O’Shaughnessy helped take this impactful coating from a lab to many of our homes. Thank you, Mr. O’Shaughnessy and Cardinal Glass, for protecting our tomorrows.

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Green is Monumental: Reflections from Greenbuild 2015

This post was written by Eliza Clark, Director of Sustainability and Environment.

Every year, 25,000 sustainability enthusiasts gather at Greenbuild, the nation’s largest green building trade show. As a founding member of the U.S. Green Building Council, Andersen has participated in every Greenbuild show to-date, and 2015 was no exception. Andersen was proud to exhibit on the Greenbuild trade show floor, as well as to have our CEO, Jay Lund, participate in one of the conference’s formal educational sessions.

We enjoyed sharing our story and learning from other leading companies in the green building space. We always leave the show feeling inspired with a number of new, provocative ideas to inform our sustainability strategy and direction.

At a high-level, my key reflection from Greenbuild 2015 is that the green building industry has hit its stride. Our dialogue has moved from dreaming about the promise of future innovation, to discussing the best way to scale and accelerate the readily available solutions we have at our fingertips. Rather than bemoaning our global environmental challenges, we’re united around “the work” of implementing an even more aggressive and comprehensive set of green building practices and technologies.

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Our sustainability team also noticed a distinct shift away from thinking about buildings as strictly physical structures, to exploring them as space for human interaction, healthy living and collaborative problem solving.  Drawing inspiration from nature, sustainability leaders are now actively working to improve the connection between humans and the built environment.

In the words of Andersen sustainability analyst Annie Perkins, “This year’s show gave me hope. It’s clear that the expansion of green buildings goes beyond building efficiencies to include human aspects relative to our relationships with buildings – encompassing communities as well. Each year is more evident, the trajectory of green building is on track to apex by addressing and solving global issues far beyond brick and mortar buildings.”

We also observed other themes that tie to the challenge of expanding our circle of influence and impact, including a growing focus on transparency (see my thoughts here), diversity and mentorship. While Greenbuild Nation is 25,000 strong, we need to bring more diverse perspectives to the table to build a movement capable of stemming the tide of climate change.

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Our team was also encouraged to see a renewed focus on housing, with Greenbuild’s new Residential track. We’re hopeful that net-zero homes, designed to consume the same amount of energy as they produce, will quickly become the new standard among progressive, eco-conscious homeowners.

Our own educational session, Bringing Net Zero to the 99%, was focused on advancing net zero performance in affordable housing and highlighted St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity’s “Eco Village” project in River Falls, Wis. You can learn more about this innovative net zero project in this short video.  We’re proud to have played a role in making Eco Village a reality and were thrilled to share its successes with the Greenbuild audience.

Now that the dust has settled and we’re back at our desks for this short holiday week, we’re also feeling thankful – thankful to play a role in both calling for more action and advancing new and proven solutions. The green building industry has already made such impressive strides, but there is plenty more to do. Let’s get to work!

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Meet Our Women in Sustainability at Andersen Corporation

With the current challenges of sustainability creating new job opportunities in large corporations like Andersen, the topic of gender balance comes into play. Who fills these roles?

At Andersen, we believe that having diverse perspectives at the table yields better results for our business and world. Many positions throughout our company are infused with sustainability-related responsibilities; however, in our formal sustainability function, we are proud to have a strong, all-female team.

In the spirit of Greenbuild’s Women in Green Power Breakfast, we thought we’d provide a little introduction to our awesome women sustainability leaders!

 

Karen Richard

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As Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for Andersen, Karen Richard is responsible for Human Resources, Safety, Environmental, Security, Communications, Community Relations, and (last but not least!) Sustainability. Karen joined Andersen in 2014, after spending the majority of her career at Select Comfort, most recently as their CHRO and senior vice president of Human Capital.

What role does employee engagement play in Andersen’s approach to sustainability?

We hear from many employees that Andersen’s long history of sustainability leadership is a key reason that they came to work for Andersen. We provide a wide variety of opportunities for employees to stay involved, including ongoing education, volunteering, green teams and more. Their active engagement and commitment to innovation is what allows us to drive progress in sustainability, as well as better results for our company, customers and communities.

 

Eliza Clark

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As the Director of Sustainability and Environmental at Andersen Corporation, Eliza Clark is responsible for developing, advancing, and communicating sustainability initiatives for the company. She works on a variety of projects that span the organization, including environmental footprint reduction, employee engagement, corporate communications, supply chain and marketing.

After working with other companies to advance their sustainability programs, what do you think is unique about Andersen’s approach?

I feel very proud to work for a company that has such an authentic commitment to environmental and social responsibility. From our CEO, to our senior leaders, to our more than 11,000 employees around North America, our enterprise is united around living our core value of corporate citizenship. Our desire to advance sustainable practices within our broader industry results in a willingness to take risks and to invest in meaningful, continuous improvement.

 

Susan Roeder

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Susan Roeder manages Public Affairs at Andersen Corporation, which includes brand public relations, government affairs, and community relations. Susan develops relationships with key external audiences both locally and nationally; including community leaders, government officials, the media, non-profits, and non-governmental organizations. Susan has worked to advance the field of green building with many of our key nonprofit partners, including Yellowstone National Park, Habitat for Humanity and the U.S. Green Building Council.

What are you most excited for at Greenbuild 2015?

I am most excited to share our Eco Village story. Affordable, net-zero homes connected within a walkable, healthy neighborhood make these LEED Platinum homes more than simply energy efficient. The environmental savings are but one aspect of this 18 home neighborhood. Living sustainably touches the lives of the people, and infiltrates throughout our communities. Raising the standard of living for everyone begins with energy efficiency; from there we can begin to save the world.

 

Angela Swenson

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Angela Swenson is responsible for social media strategy and implementation at Andersen. Since joining the company after obtaining her M.A. in 2013, she has worked to develop a strong social media presence for the company to help accomplish business goals and achieve its sustainability vision.

How do you live out a sustainable lifestyle each day?

Personally, I am really working on being increasingly more thoughtful and intentional about how I live in my space and how I purchase and use goods. I love recycling and make sure everyone around me does too, have integrated smart home technology into my home to manage my energy usage and try to limit the amount of “stuff” I have in general. I also think it is important to engage in conversations around sustainability on a regular basis. By starting the right conversations and asking the right questions, I feel like I can encourage those around me to strive for a more sustainable lifestyle.

 

Annie Perkins

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Sustainability Analyst Annie Perkins works to reduce Andersen’s environmental footprint across its value chain, and to engage key partners inside and outside of the business to achieve sustainability objectives for our broader society. Her focus areas include sustainability reporting, employee engagement, green product certification and customer outreach.

Why is sustainability important to you?

Reducing our environmental footprint, addressing the triple bottom line, and educating others to live more sustainably are important to me because I care about the future well-being of my children, and all people and ecosystems long after I’m gone. Humans have occupied Earth for a minuscule fraction of its existence, yet the impact we’re leaving is huge. My hope is to have people see the big picture, and begin to consciously choose the legacy we leave.

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Five Facts about Fitz & The Tantrums

As part of each Greenbuild Expo, attendees of the conference are invited to a Greenbuild Celebration event which always features talented performers, dancing, food and beverages. This year, Greenbuild 2015 is proud to welcome Fitz & The Tantrums to the stage on the evening of Thursday, November 19. Here are a few facts about this dynamic group:

  1. Fitz & The Tantrums are an American neo soul/indie pop band from Los Angeles, formed in 2008.
  2. The band has two albums, Pickin’ Up The Pieces (2010) and More than Just a Dream (2013).
  3. “Fitz” is a shortened version of the last name of the lead singer, Michael Fitzpatrick.
  4. They were deemed a “band to watch” in an April 2011 profile in Rolling Stone.
  5. Los Angeles Times music critic Ann Powers wrote, “Fitz & the Tantrums is the kind of band that communicates best in concert, but [‘Pickin’ Up the Pieces’] serves as a fine proxy and party-starter”.

Watch the music video for one of the band’s singles, The Walker, and get ready to groove at Greenbuild in two weeks!

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Our Top Ten What-We-Can’t-Wait-for-at-Greenbuild 2015 List

Andersen proudly joined U.S. Green Building Council in 1997 as a founding member and has been attending Greenbuild since 2001. It’s our favorite show and we get more excited about it each year! Here are some of the reasons we can’t wait for Greenbuild this year:

  • Greenbuild 2015 Opening Plenary – What will it Take to Get Meaningful Action on Climate Change? James Cameron and Mika Brzezinski address the defining issue of our time, climate change, and its best offense – green buildings, green communities and strong leaders.
  • The Affordability Gap: Bringing Net Zero to the 99% – An education session highlighting Habitat for Humanity’s (HfH) award winning Eco Village. This community of 18 volunteer-built LEED Platinum homes boasts negative HERS ratings, net-zero energy, community gardens and much more. Andersen’s own Chairman, President & CEO, Jay Lund, joins HfH leaders in presenting details around this wonderful learning laboratory
  • 2015 Greenbuild Legacy Project – an urban food studio designed to catalyze the long-term vision of the Urban Food Garden. This collaborative project educates community members on food security, wellness, and the importance of healthy food, in addressing hunger and diet-related illnesses.
  • USGBC Volunteers!! Need we say more?
  • Women in Green Power Breakfast – This year exploring barriers and challenges around meaningful mentorships.
  • Social Media conversations  – Join us! #Greenbuild #NetZeroNow @AndersenCorp @AW_inournature @ElizaCClark
  • Our Booth 1637, and our other 800+ exhibitor friends!
  • Net Zero Energy Zone read about it here.
  • Pavilionsthe center hub of activity is the Expo Hall, from Wood Pavilion, Lighting Solutions, Technology and more!
  • Sustainability at Greenbuild – moving toward zero waste, sustainable sourcing, GHG emissions reductions and more here.
  • Bonus #11…YOU! None of this can happen without a strong, dedicated group of sustainability champions, so we’re excited to share ideas, celebrate and dream about the future with you.

 

Photo credit: Lochwood Lozier

Modern Reimagined- Andersen Helps Northwest Idea House Embrace Future Trends While Honoring Spirit of the Architectural Past

Each year, 425 Magazine organizes a luxury home tour that offers visitors a glimpse of the latest interpretations of Northwest living while raising funds to benefit a local charity. This year’s home is remarkable for its blend of past and future as well as how it uses Andersen Windows to deliver on the project’s promise.

Photo credit: Lochwood Lozier

Photo credit: Lochwood Lozier

Ralph Anderson was a one-of-a-kind architect who not only pioneered Northwest Regional Style in the mid-20th century, but was also a strong proponent for preservation efforts. It is Anderson who is credited with saving Pike’s Market from the wrecking ball. It seems fitting, then that a residential Anderson design be selected for a remodeling project to be presented as the 2015 Northwest Idea House organized by 425 Magazine.

 The home, located on Bellevue’s Clyde Hill, was one of seven homes designed by Anderson – all lining a cul-de- sac. The extensive remodel and addition were planned with an eye towards preserving Anderson’s style of broad windows and exposed frames to take advantage of views while blending vintage and modern elements. When the home opens for tours in late October, visitors will experience an innovative and unique style that Bellevue-area fans have come to expect from the Northwest Idea House. The plans called for a remodel that was extensive yet true to the home’s character. The home’s relatively small footprint – 3,600 square feet – meant every selection would have tremendous impact on the Scandinavian Contemporary redesign. With an emphasis on connecting to its natural surroundings, the windows used in this design have to stand on their own, with no ornamentation. Mike Weihe, project manager with Lochwood-Lozier, worked with local dealer Windows, Doors & More to identify the perfect window brand for the project: Andersen Windows and Doors.

Photo credit: Lochwood Lozier

Photo credit: Lochwood Lozier

 “The caliber of this project meant every single detail had to be high-end,” explained Weihe. “With Andersen windows, you just look at them and you know they’re a top-quality product.”

 Andersen Windows’ selection of color choices and window design options meant the dual challenge of honoring Anderson’s vision while reimagining the space for modern families would be all the easier. This flexibility led to dramatic design touches such as a floor-to-ceiling window connecting the master bedroom to the attached bath, and a kitchen sink window that stretched 8 feet across the counterspace.

 The Andersen Windows also offer a unique addition to the home’s security system through integrated security sensors, known as Verilock. These sensors are completely hidden in the hardware of the windows or doors and can notify the homeowner if their window or door is open or closed, as well as locked or unlocked. For the future owners of this unique home, this feature not only increases the security of the home, but can also help the homeowner manage their energy bill by ensuring all windows are closed and locked when the heat or air conditioning is on.

Photo by: Lochwood Lozier

Photo credit: Lochwood Lozier

 The windows, installed in a home originally designed to connect the occupant with the landscape, help refine and amplify the project goals, and offer inspiration for visitors who want recreate their own Scandinavian Contemporary-influenced retreat at home.

 

 

 

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Greenbuild 2015 Education Session- The Affordability Gap: Bringing Net Zero to the 99%

This November, we’re so excited to be heading to Washington D.C. for Greenbuild 2015! Andersen Corporation has been a proud sponsor of U.S. Green Building Council since 1997, and has attended Greenbuild since 2001- It’s always been such a fun show, and we love returning year after year.

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Did you know that in addition to our booth presence in the expo hall, we will be hosting an education session on Thursday, November 9 of Greenbuild from 3-4pm? Andersen Corporation’s own Chairman, President, and CEO Jay Lund will be joining Habitat for Humanity (HfH) leaders in a discussion highlighting HfH’s award winning Eco Village in River Falls, Wisconsin.     

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Eco Village in River Falls, Wisconsin is a wonderful example of a community of volunteer-built LEED Platinum homes (18 when all complete), achieving negative HERS ratings and net zero energy. Our presentation, The Affordability Gap: Bringing Net Zero to the 99%, is designed to enlighten and explore a new model for attaining net zero in affordable housing using existing technology, integrated project design and ongoing community engagement. Upon entering the session, attendees will be greeted by sensory experiences that bring the sights, sounds, and smells of a familiar neighborhood into the room. How and why should net zero building be nationally relevant? Sign up and attend the session to hear from our three presenters- and live tweet your thoughts and opinions with the hashtag #NetZeroNow!

 

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Andersen Corporation and Habitat for Humanity Join Together to Build Generation Acres

Andersen Corporate Foundation was founded in 1941 with the mission to “better people’s lives and strengthen communities focusing primarily where Andersen employees live and work”. One of the five focus areas of Andersen Corporate Foundation is to provide funding to organizations that deliver affordable housing to low-income families. For more than 20 years, Andersen Corporation has partnered with Habitat for Humanity to build quality affordable homes for families across the country and around the world.

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September 15 through 17, 75 Andersen employees joined together with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity to volunteer at a multi-year housing project in Hugo, Minnesota. Andersen Corporation is donating all the windows and patio doors for the 33 Habitat for Humanity homes. In addition, Andersen Corporation donated $300,000 over three years to support construction of the Generation Acres neighborhood. The three days spent at the build site in Hugo, Minnesota gave employees at Andersen a chance to not only build homes, but to also build relationships with each other. Tasks included sheetrocking and installing Andersen 100 Series windows. By the end of the multi-year project, there will be a neighborhood of completed townhomes which will provide safe and affordable housing for approximately 175 individuals, including 100 children.

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Mindy Sachs, Community Relations Specialist at Andersen Corporation says, “I’m proud to be an Andersen volunteer!” “There is gratitude in knowing that we are building homes that families will grow and thrive in for years to come.”

This project is one of the many Habitat for Humanity builds Andersen Corporation employees have participated in this year. Corporate citizenship is a value that Andersen honors deeply, and Habitat for Humanity embodies that mission. To learn more about Andersen Corporation’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity, click on this link: http://www.andersencorporation.com/corporate-responsibility/community-involvement/

 

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Andersen Publishes First Environmental Product Declaration

Earlier this month, a collaborative group of fenestration industry companies released the industry’s Product Category Rule (PCR). Today, Andersen Corporation is proud to lead the fenestration industry as the company releases its first Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for a Renewal by Andersen Double-Hung window.

Product Category Rules define the scope in which life cycle assessments (LCAs) and EPDs are conducted, and increase transparency about manufacturers’ efforts to reduce product environmental impacts in a manner that is consistent across companies. Green building certification systems, such as the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, recognize and reward the use of products that have a published EPD. Andersen was honored to work alongside its peers for the past four years to develop this window PCR.

This first EPD from Andersen addresses the cradle-to-gate lifecycle impacts of its Renewal by Andersen Double-Hung window. The EPD is on UL Environment’s website. This window is made with Fibrex®, a pre-consumer recycled material made of up to 40% reclaimed wood fiber by weight.

“Publishing our first EPD is an important step in Andersen’s sustainability journey,” said Jim Weglewski, vice president of Sustainability. “Increasing product transparency supports our ongoing efforts to produce durable, energy-efficient products that help customers reduce energy consumption, lower utility costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

This increased product transparency also supports Andersen’s commitment to the Ceres Climate Declaration and its public sustainability goals to reduce operational water and energy use and waste by 20 percent, per unit of product, by 2020. Jointly, these efforts affirm the company’s ongoing work to drive sustainable improvements across its value chain – from the forest, to its operations, to customers’ homes.