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Icebreaker U.S. Headquarters Achieves LEED Gold Certification
– New Zealand Comes Alive in New LEED-Certified Offices –
Portland, Ore., February 8, 2010 â€“ Icebreaker, the Wellington, New Zealand-based outdoor company that invented the natural and technical outdoor merino apparel category, today announced it had received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) gold certification for its U.S. headquarters in Northwest Portland from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Green Building Rating Systemâ„¢.
â€œWe are very proud to receive LEED gold certification for our headquarters, and thank everyone who helped us achieve this honorable distinction,â€ said Russ Hopcus, president of Icebreaker USA. â€œThis certification shows how Icebreaker is genuinely committed to reducing our environmental footprint by thinking long-term, designing sustainability into our products and packaging, and improving our business operations to reduce waste and pollution.â€
LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
Icebreaker’s U.S. headquarters, located at 1330 NW 14th Avenue, opened in December 2009 and was designed by Portland’s GBD Architects, Inc. with various green features. All of the wood in the space is either reclaimed or FSC Certified (responsibly forested woods). Low VOC paints and coatings were used throughout. No urea-formaldehyde glue, a known cancer causing substance, was used in the composite wood products. All systems office furniture is Green-Guard Certified, meeting strict VOC standards. The headquarters was also designed to maximize natural daylight, and to be as open as possible to inspire employee collaboration.
The space includes many touches from Icebreaker’s New Zealand home, including conference rooms named after Kiwi sheep stations and imagery of the country’s spectacular Southern Alps, where its merino fiber is produced.
Icebreaker moved its U.S. operations from Ketchum, Idaho, to Portland in 2007, the same year it opened its first Touch_Lab store in North America, which is across the street from Powell’s on NW 11th Avenue and Burnside Street. In 2008, the company began a product traceability program called â€œBaacode,â€ which enables consumers to track their garments back to the farms that raised the sheep that provided the merino fiber used in their apparel. Earlier this month the company announced it will open its first factory store in the U.S. in Woodburn, Oregon in April 2010.
About Icebreaker: Launched in 1994, Icebreaker was the first company in the world to develop a merino fiber layering system for the outdoors. It was also the first outdoor apparel company in the world to source merino directly from growers, a system it began in 1997. There are now 10 distinct pure merino fabrics in the Icebreaker system, covering underwear, mid layer, and outerwear.
Icebreaker is sold in more than 2,800 stores in 24 countries throughout Europe, Asia, Australasia and North America. Based in Wellington, New Zealand, Icebreaker uses only pure merino hand-picked from 120 high country stations in the country's Southern Alps to create edgy outdoor clothing that combines nature's work with human technology and design. The company is committed to sustainability, ethical manufacturing and animal welfare. In 2008 the company launched â€œIcebreaker Baacode,â€ a pioneering supply chain transparency and traceability program. Each Icebreaker includes a unique Baacode, which enables customers to trace the garment online from rearing the sheep through to each stage of the supply chain process.