Kraft Foods/IGA Food Stores, American Express, and Xerox Announce Support for Green Schoolhouse Series

Community outreach will result in new, sustainable, high performance classrooms for four Title 1 Arizona schools

Dec 15, 2009, 17:50 ET from The Green Schoolhouse Series

PHOENIX, Dec. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- They're creating healthier learning environments for children and stronger teaching environments for instructors. So say organizers of The Green Schoolhouse Series about Kraft Foods, IGA, American Express and Xerox Corporation. That's because they've pledged major funding to help build four high performance, sustainable schoolhouses in the City of Phoenix.

The Green Schoolhouses are 5,000 square foot stand-alone, multi-purpose classroom facilities that are used for traditional educational instruction during the day, after-school programs, and community meeting spaces on evenings and weekends.

Each of the four themed models targets a specific K-12 student demographic; The Loft for high schools, The Studio for middle schools, The Safari for elementary schools, and Tierra Verde as a multicultural school and community center.

Kraft Foods, in partnership with IGA, will support The Green Schoolhouses on a national level with hundreds of IGA stores participating. Jeff Chahley, Senior Director of Sustainability for Kraft Foods, said that Kraft Foods' support aligns perfectly with their corporate sustainability goals. "Our approach to sustainability is meeting the needs of today while being mindful of the future. We're a proud supporter of the Green Schoolhouse program because it provides kids with a better, greener learning environment and teaches future generations about the importance of sustainability."

Mark Batenic, IGA USA Chairman, President and CEO shared why he feels this is a compelling partnership. "For more than 80 years, IGA Retailers across the U.S. have been giving back and supporting worthy causes everyday--not just because it's good business, but because it's the IGA way. With The Green Schoolhouse program, we're taking the community support our retailers are well-known for to the next level and addressing two key national concerns-- sustainability and education. IGA Retailers look forward to working with Kraft Foods and The Green Schoolhouse Series to create a better educational environment for our nation's children."

It is the objective of the group to achieve USGBC LEED-Platinum certification in each of the schools. Currently, there are no LEED-Platinum Certified K-12 schools built or under construction in Arizona.

Solar, day lighting, acoustics, energy-efficient HVAC systems, earth-friendly wall systems and flooring, zero-VOC paints, drought-tolerant landscaping, motion detectors, and energy management systems create a "green" educational learning environment. The sustainable design, products, and components are expected to help achieve net-zero energy, resulting in no additional electricity costs.

American Express has committed substantial financial resources in addition to developing an employee team-building volunteer program to help with the building of the schoolhouses. Christa K. Burkhalter, Director of Corporate Affairs and Communications for American Express said, "American Express is excited about this unique opportunity. Our employees are well known throughout the community for their good citizenship, and we look forward to the opportunity to work with our community partners to make this dream a reality."

Xerox Corporation has also agreed to provide funding and establish an employee volunteer program to assist with this dynamic community outreach initiative. In addition, Xerox will donate energy-efficient office equipment to one of the schools in need.

Other funding for The Green Schoolhouse Series has been provided by some of the most respected and sustainable general contractors in the nation, including Turner Construction, Weitz, Hensel Phelps Construction Company, and Kitchell Contractors.

For more information, please visit

    Marshall G. Zotara
    CAUSE AND EFFECT Evolutions

SOURCE The Green Schoolhouse Series