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Sustainability
Follow the LEED-er
How Legrand is Taking Steps Towards a More Sustainable Future
Hallway of an open office with high ceilings running parallel to conference room with glass walls

 

Since its inception in 1993, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program has been a crucial aspect in the world’s collective effort to minimize the impact of commercial construction. Overseen by the U.S. Green Building Council, the worldwide standard requires a deep conceptual commitment from companies and property owners. And Legrand couldn’t be more ready to embrace it when it came to realizing our company’s goals in West Hartford, CT. The results of our efforts in West Hartford are part of our desire to play a role in a greater cause, driven in part by our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Roadmap. As a global corporate citizen, we’re proud of the fact that our initiatives align with 10 of 17 benchmarks for Sustainable Development established by the United Nations in 2015. We’ll continue our commitment to self monitoring our CSR Roadmap, and work hard to ensure we remain on-track with other environmentally conscious industry leaders and the overarching goals set by the UN.

Our products, which focus on energy, data and power management, are uniquely positioned to assist in meeting the credit category goals outlined with the LEED system. Whether your building is newly constructed or a retrofit installation, our products can be installed and contribute to LEED requirements.

Built nearly 100 years ago, our West Hartford facility is a perfect example of a retrofit installation utilizing new products and processes to meet LEED requirements. It serves as a first-hand reminder of how we can continually service them, and what it takes to truly make the environment a part of your business model. One reminder of our contribution to the environment is our on-wall Arc meter, which serves as our operation scores in the four main areas: energy, water, waste, and consumption. This bright animated disc is displayed in our lobby to keep alive the spirit of office-wide cooperation. Every desk lamp, restroom faucet, and neglected recyclable finds its way into the Arc reading. In short, it knows all, and keeps us honest.

Uniquely impressive about West Hartford is that our LEED status was accomplished in a facility made up of multiple buildings connected over the years as expansion dictated. This represented a unique challenge, requiring us to plan around an array of construction material types and different age-related quality concerns.


However, LEED certification is as much about company behavior as it is building materials and construction. It’s imperative for employees to understand how their actions overlap with the company’s, and team Legrand has not disappointed. West Hartford has managed to reach a 99.5% landfill waste diversion rate by establishing best practices around recycling. Every type of material disregarded throughout manufacturing has a home in the office’s recycling center, including, all metals, paper materials, and of course, plastics.

West Hartford’s manufacturing requires a great deal of compressed air, transported through ceiling-mounted hoses. An ongoing quality control process monitors the hoses for leaks and thus, energy waste. Technicians deploy a range of tools to quickly find and repair the biggest risks of energy loss. And, as manufacturing needs ebb and flow throughout shifts, installed mechanisms shut off or reduce airflow to areas that have ceased operation for the day, ensuring only those areas needing energy are getting it.

Electric forklifts whir through the open factory lanes, hoisting and hauling materials where needed. Each is powered by high-efficiency, wall-mounted battery packs that produce more power in less time, enabling everything to get where it needs to go. But, when the forklift isn’t needed but more muscles are, the West Hartford team hops on one of the supplied cargo bikes to pedal materials from one place to another, helping burn the one type of energy that’s always celebrated: calories.

Outside the facility sits a quiet, compact power source occupying less than six parking spaces and making no more noise than an idling sedan. The natural gas fuel cell generates 85% of all the energy needed to manage the operation year-round while significantly reducing carbon emissions. And sometimes, the best rule of energy conservation is to simply remember what our parents told us to do when we leave the room: turn things off. And while some things need to stay running to ensure efficiency, a facility-wide mantra is in place to remind everyone to power down workstations, switch off monitors, and that the last one out, turns off the lights.

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