Verdigris Group, the visionary real estate development and consulting firm that has operated as a certified carbon-neutral corporation since its inception, advances their ongoing commitment to operating the most environmentally and socially responsible organization possible by marking 2013 as their seventh year as a certified carbon-neutral organization.
Verdigris Group has operated as a “carbon-neutral” business since their start in 2007, driven by a comprehensive internal and transparent organizational sustainability policy which is outlined in detail on their website. Verdigris Group carefully measures and verifies their total organizational impact on the environment and offsets their energy, resource consumption and waste production to maintain a carbon neutral organizational status.
The total set of green-house gas (GHG) emissions caused directly and indirectly by an organization is commonly called its ‘carbon footprint’. In order to best understand the extent to which a company’s operations negatively impact the environment, a business measures, analyzes and manages their carbon footprint. “Calculating natural gas usage, electricity usage, vehicle usage and air travel as well as waste production and water consumption, enables us to identify not only our impact as a company but at the same time facilitates our process of developing methods of reducing our consumption” said Garratt Hasenstab, Principal and Director of Development at Verdigris Group.
For 2013, Verdigris Group has renewed their commitment to their Sustainable Enterprise Operations Strategy through their purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to offset their corporate energy footprint, Carbon Offsets to equalize their corporate travel footprint among other uses of carbon-based fuels, Watershed Restoration certificates which support our nation’s aquifer renewal support and an annual Carbon Sequestration tree-planting initiative to further reduce their company’s impact while at the same time engaging community action to better understand these initiatives and their impact on a local and global scale.
Additionally, Verdigris Group supports non-profit organizations throughout the nation, such as the High Country Conservation Center of Colorado which provides sustainability education, recycling, composting and waste reduction services, green business support, home energy audits and ratings, and more throughout their region.
Hasenstab continues,“The companies that will thrive in the 21st century are those that commit to sustainable business practices by transparently examining their environmental and social impact on the world and taking measures to minimize their footprint.” Garratt Hasenstab is a LEED Accredited Professional with the US Green Building Council with a specialization in Building Design & Construction. Hasenstab adds,“Sustainability’s business case is further strengthened by the ways in which our thinking of human progress encourages us toward innovation. It offers business opportunity, and it pushes our organization toward thinking about more sustaining forms of energy, construction, mobility and resource-use.”
Hasenstab, a long-time advocate of corporate environmental stewardship said about his efforts in the field of sustainable business,“there are several critical and difficult roles as a professional in the sustainability field, such as bridge-builder, silo-buster, collaboration developer, as well as serving as Translator in Chief, helping differing business divisions and functions understand what sustainability means in their own language.”
So, how does Verdigris Group actually achieve "Carbon Neutrality"? After having implemented each of their Sustainable Management Initiatives intended to reduce their environmental impact, Verdigris Group purchases Renewable Energy Certificates and Carbon Emissions Reduction Credits (or offsets), as well as Watershed Restoration Certificates through the Bonneville Environmental Foundation. As a BEF corporate partner for the last six years, Verdigris Group is among good company in their mission, as other corporate partners of BEF include Coca Cola, Chevrolet, The North Face and National Geographic.
Mr. Hasenstab said,“Although carbon offsetting can help reduce the impact of our activities in the short term, offsetting is not a long-term solution to global climate change and is not a substitute for reducing our emissions at their source. It is our goal to achieve as minimal an organizational carbon footprint as possible before implementing offsets.”
He continues,“Carbon offsets work like this: whatever pollution we add to the atmosphere, we can “deduct” by purchasing carbon offsets. These are credits for emissions reductions achieved by contributing to the development of projects such as solar installations and wind farms. By purchasing carbon offsets we apply them against our own carbon-footprint and reduce our net impact on the environment with positive contribution toward the creation of new sources of sustainable energy.”
“As we continually assess our efforts in developing a model sustainable enterprise, our knowledge-base and experience will persistently drive the progress of our Sustainable Management Initiative toward our goal of being a carbon-neutral business and a model for other organizations to emulate.”
Verdigris Group’s latest award-winning real estate development project is as well a beacon for sustainability, having earned the US Green Building Council’s LEED Certification as well as the US EPA’s Energy Star Certification. Also, Verdigris Group won the award for Best Sustainability in the 2012 Parade of Homes as well as Best Over Multifamily Development (and 4 other awards including 2012 People’s Choice Award by Mountain Living Magazine). Hasenstab states,“By attaining the LEED® Certification on each project we undertake, we ensure that our sustainability goals with regard to the built environment are achieved, while by example, our community and market leadership transforms our industry.” Each real estate development project Verdigris Group undertakes must conform to the principles of the US Green Building Council’s LEED Certification program, ensuring the highest level of sustainability throughout each of their developments.
Verdigris Group is ranked #2 Globally for Top Green Building and LEED Consulting Services, ranked by Total Client Nominations for The Green Survey, conducted by Brown-Wilson Group and Black Book Research - an annual survey of clients and users from 95 countries determining Consulting Service Providers’ pro-environmental initiatives from the perspective of their client experience. These research results are recognized as the most extensive and representative perception study of organizations, validated by 1,338 unique company respondents from service users around the globe between January 1 and March 1. Over 7,000 individual nominations were received during the survey.
Additionally, Green Collar Research ranks Verdigris Group as the leader in their "Top Rated LEED Consultants" AND "Top Rated Green Professional Services" companies nation-wide.
With their corporate headquartered based in Chicago, IL - the "US Capital of Green Building" and their Western Regional offices located in Colorado, Verdigris Group's vertically-integrated organizational entities engage in a broad range of consulting services including:
• Green, High-Performance Property Development;
• LEED® Certification Management Consulting;
• Energy Star® for Homes Property Development Consulting;
• Residential and Commercial Energy Consulting;
• Green Product Certification Documentation Development;
• Commercial & Residential Brokerage Services;
• Carbon Solutions & Sustainable Business Consulting Services;
• Green Business & Sustainable Enterprise Management Consulting.