NEW YORK, March 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- LRN, a leading provider of solutions and strategies to enhance corporate culture and ethical behavior, today announced that it has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification in the category of Commercial Interiors. LRN's Manhattan-based office is one of only 14 projects in New York City to receive the accreditation in the category in 2013.
Presented by the U.S. Green Building Council, this certification recognizes high-performance green interiors that are healthy, productive places to work, are less costly to operate and maintain, and have a minimal environmental footprint. The company has long provided solutions that address social and environmental responsibility, so it decided to fully embrace its commitment to sustainability by constructing its Manhattan headquarters in as environmentally conscious a manner as possible.
A commitment to reducing environmental impacts echoes the organization's dedication to long-term thinking and fostering a culture of resilience. That dedication arises from a belief that business is a journey, which requires values-based commitment over time.
"We aspired for every element of our space to manifest our commitment to living sustainable values," said LRN founder and chief executive Dov Seidman. "Inspired by LRN's mission and mindful of Winston Churchill's adage that 'we shape our dwellings and thereafter they shape us,' we came together and collaborated to ensure that our space reached the highest standards of environmental responsibility and efficiency and at the same time helped shape behaviors we value—transparency, collaboration and community."
In addition to living its ideals with the space itself, LRN further embraced its principles by implementing a broadly inclusive, collaborative process of office design. LRN approaches all its important decisions and activities in a spirit of partnership, so it organized a steering committee whose responsibility was to encourage company-wide participation and individual contributions. Together, its members spent time reflecting on their values and then followed through in alignment with their consensus.
LRN also believes that employees should live and work in an open space that fosters collaboration, so the floor plan was intentionally fashioned to promote human interaction, meaningful conversations, and innovation. The floor does not have walled off cubicles or offices in which colleagues would be closed off from the rest of the workspace. In keeping with the spirit of transparency that is an integral part of the culture of LRN, the interiors of all conference rooms are visible through glass doors or walls, though the design does allow for privacy as needed. In addition, 90 percent of employees have working spaces with direct sightlines to the exterior through windows.
Investing in Eco-Friendly Design and Energy Efficiencies
With a focus on employee engagement and well-being, LRN constructed a high quality air filtration system that brings in 30 percent more outdoor air than New York City minimum code requires. The organization also installed individual task or overhead lighting for 90 percent of the employees to improve control and comfort.
In addition, LRN's 745 Fifth Avenue location is situated within half a mile of six different subway stations serving 10 different routes. This provides excellent access for employees to use public transportation, thereby reducing their carbon footprint. LRN also offers an indoor space for bicycle storage and on-site showers to encourage commuting by bicycle.
The company also offset its electric energy use for two years by purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), which help fund renewable sources of energy and finances the development and research of renewable energy technologies. LRN's LEED project also reduced water consumption in the office by 32 percent over standard code.
These efforts have translated into immediate electric and gas savings for LRN, resulting in annual energy savings of more than 725,728 kWh per year, and have avoided over 800,000 pounds of CO2 emissions that the company would have otherwise produced.
Since 1994, LRN has helped over 20 million people at more than 700 companies worldwide simultaneously navigate complex legal and regulatory environments and foster ethical cultures. LRN's combination of practical tools, education, and strategic advice helps companies translate their values into concrete corporate practices and leadership behaviors that create sustainable competitive advantage. In partnership with LRN, companies need not choose between living principles and maximizing profits, or between enhancing reputation and growing revenue: all are a product of principled performance. LRN works with organizations in more than 100 countries and has offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Mumbai and Paris.