Andersen Signs Ceres Climate Declaration

CeresExciting News. Andersen today announced that it has signed the Ceres Climate Declaration on behalf of its Andersen Windows, Renewal by Andersen and Silver Line brands. The Climate Declaration works to accelerate the adoption of sustainable business practices to build a healthy global economy. Andersen is the first window and door manufacturer, and just the second in the building industry, to sign the declaration, which also champions the innovative environmental actions already taking place within U.S. companies.

In addition to signing the Climate Declaration, Andersen also announced new corporate sustainability goals, which aim to reduce solid waste, energy and water use by 20 percent per unit of product, by 2020, using 2013 as a baseline. The company is also the first major window and door manufacturer to declare measurable sustainability goals.

What is Ceres?

Ceres is a 25-year-old nonprofit organization advocating for sustainability leadership. The Ceres Climate Declaration champions the innovative environmental actions already taking place within U.S. companies. They mobilize a powerful network of investors, companies and public interest groups focused on building a healthy global economy. Ceres leaders drafted the declaration in 2013 through the group’s Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy coalition, and launched the declaration with 33 founding signatories. Since then, more than 1,250 companies have signed the declaration.

What it Means for the Building and Design Community

“Buildings are responsible for a significant proportion of global greenhouse gas emissions,” said Jay Lund, chairman, president and CEO of Andersen Corporation. “Adding our signature to this declaration affirms our responsibility and commitment to provide energy efficient products that can be part of the solution. Our sustainability goals demonstrate how we put our support to action within our own operations. Signing this declaration is one more step in our evolution as an industry leader and it exemplifies our drive for ongoing improvement across our full product lifecycle – from the forest, to our operations, to our customers’ homes and ultimately our communities.”

For more information about Andersen and its commitment to environmental stewardship, visit our website for sustainability information.

Supply Chain Council Supports Business and Community

We enjoyed hosting our friends from the Supply Chain Council, at our Corporate Administrative Offices earlier this month. Jay Lund, President and Chief Executive Officer, welcomed colleagues from Target, Medtronic and 3M, among others, as we kicked off the Council’s last quarterly meeting of the year.

The Supply Chain Council is comprised of 13 leading Minnesota based companies who work together in support and advancement of emerging local businesses. Supply chain executives, along with the help of McKinsey & Company, collaborate together as part of the Itasca Project. The employer-led civic alliance focuses on building a thriving economy while improving the quality of life in the Minneapolis – St. Paul metropolitan area, by reducing and eliminating socioeconomic disparities.

Andersen has a long history of collaborative partnerships in support of the communities we live and work, and in improving the environment. We’re extremely fortunate to have many like-minded, leading organizations in our community, who share in these efforts. We’re looking forward to making continued strides in the New Year!

Bringing Climate Solutions and Economic Opportunities Together

Wouldn’t it be great if we could reduce the greenhouse gas emissions thatMNEQBGraphic contribute to climate change and grow our economy at the same time? That’s precisely the goal of a recent initiative led by the Climate Subcommittee of the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board (EQB). Together with other state agencies, industries and citizens, the EQB is leading a collaboration called Climate Solutions and Economic Opportunities (CSEO).

Along with the Environmental Initiative, the board hopes Climate Solutions and Economic Opportunities will help engage stakeholders in discussions around options and strategies to reduce greenhouse gasses while growing our economy. The initial kickoff of the CSEO stakeholder engagement series was held last week at the Minnesota Science Museum in St. Paul. As part of this effort, informational events and working sessions are scheduled between now and February 2015.

These sessions will focus on an in depth analysis and evaluation of policy options across Minnesota’s economic sectors to help determine the greatest opportunities. These are the economic sectors being considered:

  • Agriculture
  • Forestry Management
  • Waste and Water
  • Land Use and Transportation
  • Energy Supply
  • Demand-Side Energy Efficiency


These working sessions and discussions will help inform decisions in the development of Minnesota’s roadmap for a low carbon economy. If you’d like to join the conversation, view the agenda and sign up here.

NET Impact Conference 2014: Breaking Boundaries

Photo thanks to @netimpact

It may have been the engaging topics, the talent of the speakers or the energy of the youth, but one thing’s certain, Net Impact’s 2014 Conference, Breaking Boundaries, definitely made an impact on those of us fortunate enough to attend. This year’s conference was held in Minneapolis, MN this past week…before the winter snow storm hit, thankfully!

The opening keynote offered a dynamic, engaging presentation by TED Talk success Dan Pallotta of Advertising for Humanity and the Charity Defense Council. Some of our favorite breakout sessions addressed climate change, cultivating sustainable innovation and valuing natural capital. Stealing the show however, was Unilever’s CEO Paul Polman. Since joining Unilever in 2009, Polman has set ambitious goals to better serve the world’s citizens, not just the company’s stakeholders. His vision for the company includes doubling in size while reducing its environmental footprint and increasing its positive social impact.

Net Impact is a global non-profit empowering students and professionals to make positive social and environmental impacts in their work, for a more sustainable future.  Tackling the world’s toughest issues often requires a completely new way of thinking – a paradigm shift, a crazy new idea and likely unexpected alliances; it requires brave individuals to build bridges and break boundaries.

A Reflection on Greenbuild 2014

By: Eliza Clark, Sustainability Manager

According to author Max DePree, leadership in the modern workplace is akin to playing jazz. It’s an art and a science, requiring both careful planning and the ability to spontaneously adjust to rapidly changing circumstances. In his book, Leadership Jazz, DePree argues that leaders who are open to improvisation and evolution spark extraordinary vitality and productivity from their work force.

“Leadership Jazz” was the unifying theme of the 2014 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo – aptly held in the birthplace of jazz: New Orleans, La. More so than in other years, the conference took on the spirit of the host city – fueled by the distinctive energy and culture that the City is known for.

Like the zesty potpourri that is traditional Louisiana creole cuisine, Greenbuild 2014 offered a diverse range of perspectives in a more fluid and “spicier” format. I was heartened by the sense that our green building tent is widening to include more voices and experiences.

My favorite session of the conference was Inspiring Sustainable Communities and Change through Storytelling. Over the course of two hours (that flew by!), eight unique storytellers chronicled how they changed their community or, in many cases, changed themselves. The interactive storytelling format was an unexpected and welcome change from the “talking head plus PowerPoint slide” that dominates conferences everywhere.

The Human Side of Sustainability

Overall, the content presented at this year’s Greenbuild reflected an important shift toward illuminating the human side of buildings and communities. This year, new social and community-focused credits have been added to the LEED Pilot Credit Library to formalize the connection between buildings, the environment and human health.

USGBC announced its commitment to align with the WELL Building Standard which sets building performance requirements in seven categories: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. The WELL Building Standard fulfills a Clinton Global Initiative commitment to improve the way people live by developing spaces that enhance occupant health and quality of life.

The movement toward the social side of sustainability signals an important shift. While LEED certification and the USGBC have experienced meteoric growth over the past ten years, it still seems nearly impossible to galvanize any significant interest in green building from the general public.

However, like organic food, if we can convince people that green buildings are better for their kids and their own health, we can build a real revolution that can spread beyond architects and commercial buildings to homes and families.


Resiliency was another key theme of this year’s conference – again aptly supported by the backdrop of the host City. New Orleans still bears battle scars from Katrina, but it also pulsates with life and hope.

In a demonstration of support and solidarity after the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, the USGBC made a promise to return to New Orleans once the City was ready to take on a show the size and scale of Greenbuild. In the interim, New Orleans has worked tirelessly to rebuild and has become a model for resiliency.

Greenbuild 2014 helped me understand that resilient design goes beyond buildings that can shift in an earthquake to forging life-saving connections for people who currently live in isolation from their neighbors. Resiliency planning means first acknowledging that the climate is changing and our shorelines and communities will need to withstand more frequent extreme weather events.

We had a lively discussion on Oct. 22 in the Andersen booth about Designing for Disaster. Our panelists included Chrysanthe Broikos, Curator, National Building Museum; Sarah Murdock, U.S. Director of Climate Change Adaptation, The Nature Conservancy, Bill Huey, Architect, Bill Huey + Associates and Jim Weglewski, Vice President of Sustainability, Andersen Corporation.

My key takeaway from our booth discussion and the resiliency-focused sessions that I attended throughout the show is that we need leaders from many different sectors to come together to first agree that climate change is happening and then to work collaboratively to identify new solutions.

Resilient design is not just about buildings; it’s about public health, infrastructure, economic development, community engagement, and natural systems (and more). It is encouraging to see this conversation happening in more diverse industries forums and governments.

Final thoughts

Greenbuild is always an energizing and rejuvenating experience for me personally. The practice of sustainability can sometimes be a lonely road. It can be frustrating and isolating to always be engaged in the act of trying to convince people to change; to innovate; to do more with less. The status quo is comfortable.

However, we know that our planet faces growing climate change challenges and resource scarcity. Our shared problems demand that leaders in the field of sustainability focus on their own personal resiliency.

For me, personal resiliency starts with optimism and a focus on solutions. Greenbuild provided a wealth of green solutions that are available today to build a net zero future. The overall spirit of the show felt more hopeful and collaborative than it has in recent years.

Personal resiliency also requires strengthening connections with likeminded sustainability champions who are willing to take the risk of imagining a future that looks different than today. I’m grateful for the many people at Andersen and broader network at Greenbuild who support me and, more importantly, the vision of a more sustainable future.

Greenbuild: Women in Green Power

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
~ Maya Angelou~

A team of women from Andersen Corp. at the breakfast

As always, Greenbuild has kept us engaged, busy and inspired. For many female Greenbuild attendees, this morning started off on a high note with the Women in Green Power Breakfast. Kicked off by Shannon Stage, the Executive Director of USGBC Louisiana, the breakfast featured inspiring women, including Robin Carey, Priyanka Kochhar, Gina Duncan and Martha Jane Murray. Each woman shared their inspiring story and the role they see women having in the future. All women agreed that the key to moving forward, specifically as women with a heart for sustainable living, is focus on the task at hand. Throughout the breakfast, the speakers were empowering, the conversation was riveting and the company was exceptional.

Greenbuild’s Great Lessons on Resiliency, Sustainability & Storytelling

We wish we could attend each and every Greenbuild session, but it’s not humanly possible. To get as much as we can out of the conference, our team tries to divide and conquer the sessions and then shares highlights with the team. This year we decided to share our key takeaways with you, too. Since resilience and sustainability were today’s hot topics, here’s some of our key takeaways from sessions on those topics.

NYC and NOLA: Enhancing the Resiliency of the Built Environment
Presenters: Michael Marrella
, Ariella Maron & Jeffrey Heber
“We’re focused on real challenges, real issues, real solutions.” -Ariella Maron

This session evaluated the strategies and multifaceted solutions that New York City and New Orleans have implemented to rebuild after Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. It is difficult to balance short-term recovery goals versus long-term resilience; however, we need both to be successful. Here are a few things we can learn from NYC and NOLA when it comes to resilience:

  1. New Orleans Strategic Recovery + Rebuilding Plan focuses on storm protection, coastal restoration, infrastructure and community growth – focusing on these things before disaster hits can have massive impact
  2. The role of the state is to create plans for the federal government to approve, while the federal government helps with guiding through to implementation and funding. A lot of funding and implementation happens at the local level.
  3. Physical resiliency includes increasing coastal edge elevations, minimizing upland wave zones, protecting against storm surge, and improving coastal design and governance
  4. Resilient design must include a mixture of gray and green infrastructure and strong public engagement

Marketing & Sustainability: The Tools and Tips to Tell Your Story
Presenters: Taryn Holowka, Gabe Wing, Jenny Rushmore and Katie Weeks
“You can make a difference and make a salary”

The goal was to cover marketing and communications strategies for brands and organizations interested in telling their sustainability story for the sake of improving their business’ bottom line. This session taught us that and so much more, laying out clear facts for how companies must communicate today.

  1. Five to ten years ago, green actions were nice but not necessary. Now a focus on sustainability is expected and not being active in this space can have negative impact on your business.
  2. 88% of millennials are looking for employers who are socially responsible
  3. Sharing your sustainability story is just as important as doing the sustainability work.
  4. Find the one thing your company can focus on to make an impact (i.e. For Andersen, this is energy efficiency) and boldly share that story
  5. Don’t forget about your employees; internal messaging just as important as external messaging
  6. Don’t oversell your “greenness”
  7. Accept that you’re not perfect and speak with an authentic voice, being open about our flaws and shortcomings
  8. Illustrate that you understand what actions your organization is taking to improve sustainability to establish credibility

Inspiring Sustainable Communities and Change through Storytelling
Presenters: Majora Carter, George Bandy, Tanya Harris, Amy King, Jodi Smits-Anderson, Nikole Sheaffer and Ross Yamasaki
“Showing up every single day matters.”

This inspiring and fun session featured an engaging range of different storytellers who told stories of origin and transformation. It was stimulating and enjoyable to see how community was formed within the session through empathy and humor (and live music & high fives). Here are some of the great things we took away from the session:

  1. Through powerful storytelling, we can engage more people in working towards healthy and sustainable communities
  2. Storytelling is about human connections and shared experiences; this is what helps facilitate change
  3. A good sustainability story ties green building to the human element that can move people to action

We’re very excited for all of the great sessions happening tomorrow and will have plenty of updates to share, stay tuned to check out our highlights!

Andersen Featured in 2014 Greenbuild Expo LivingHome®

Andersen is a proud partner of the LivingHome at this year’s Greenbuild International Conference & Expo in New Orleans, October 22-24. Presented by Hanley Wood, the LEED-Platinum level concept home features Andersen 100 Series windows and patio doors. But the most unique elements of the LivingHome are how it was constructed and where it’s going after Greenbuild.

The home is temporarily located in the center of the expo hall and is open to all Greenbuild attendees. It offers exceptional sustainability, resilience, durability and affordability. The Greenbuild LivingHome, was designed and developed by LivingHomes® — a modular home design and construction company — and features market-ready and replicable design innovations, modular construction systems and a wide range of certified products. These selections were made to meet advanced performance criteria for energy and water efficiency, indoor environmental quality, durability, and materials and resource attributes.

This unique concept home offers a full range of green building takeaway ideas that can be adapted to projects of all kinds. It is ENERGY STAR® v3 Certified and achieves several of LivingHomes’ Z6 environmental goals, including a wide range of Cradle to Cradle® certified products, and integrates many of the new International WELL Building Institute certification guidelines.

The Andersen 100 Series windows and doors featured in the home are made of the company’s Fibrex material and are SCS certified for pre-consumer recycled content and indoor air quality. Fibrex material is a wood composite containing 60 percent polymers and 40 percent pre-consumer reclaimed wood fiber from the company’s manufacturing process. “We are proud that our 100 Series windows could contribute to the green building objectives of the LivingHome,” said Eliza Clark, manager of sustainability at Andersen. “This project is closely aligned with our company’s commitment to advancing sustainability in residential construction to build and foster healthy, affordable and resilient communities.”

After demonstrating the latest green building technologies and practices at the 2014 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, the home will be permanently placed on a Make It Right site in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward to become part of Make It Right’s ongoing Katrina recovery efforts.

A virtual tour and more background on the 2014 Greenbuild LivingHome is available at http://livinghome.greenbuildexpo.com.

Top 7 Reasons We’re Excited About Greenbuild 2014

Attending Greenbuild is a special time for our team each year. It gives us the opportunity to connect with people, companies and organizations who share our commitment to energy efficiency and environmental sustainability – there’s nothing quite like it!

Greenbuild consistently offers new and engaging content, conversations and events each year. Here are seven reasons we’re excited about Greenbuild 2014:

1. LivingHome – The LivingHome is a 1,550 square foot, three-bedroom, two-bath modular demonstration home that meets LEED® v4 Platinum requirements and showcases exceptional sustainability, high-performance products and healthy living. We are proud to be a part of LivingHome as a platinum sponsor. Learn more about the LivingHome online or take an in-person tour at booth #1139 on the Expo floor 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Wed., Oct. 22 and Thurs., Oct. 23.

2. Speakers – There are so many speakers we’re excited to see this year (see our post Ten Sessions Not to Miss at Greenbuild This Year.) To make sure we don’t miss a beat, our team is going to divide and conquer. You can follow our tweets if you’d like to join us via Twitter: Jim Weglewski at @Quarktrack; Eliza Clark at @ElizaCClark and our sustainability-focused Twitter handle, @AW_InOurNature. You can also follow us on our Andersen handle at @AndersenCorp.

3. The City – New Orleans has a deep history of cultural, musical, spiritual and culinary influences from around the world.  We have a special place in our heart for New Orleans! After Hurricane Katrina devastated the community in 2005, a team of Andersen employees helped build 50 Habitat for Humanity kit homes and sent a volunteer crew to New Orleans to help with relief efforts.

4. Happy Hour – One of the best parts of events like Greenbuild is attending happy hours to connect with others in the building industry. We’re hosting a Happy Hour in the Hall at the Andersen booth (#1609), 3-5 p.m., Thursday Oct. 23. Please join us to enjoy signature New Orleans Hurricanes and light appetizers, while listening to a live jazz trio.

5. Designing for Disaster – Join us 11 a.m. – noon on Wednesday, October 22, for a lively panel discussion at our booth (#1609) on natural disasters and the challenges that are shaping a more dynamic and adaptive relationship to the built environment. We’ll explore new avenues and solutions to reduce our risks from the most destructive forces of nature. Our moderator will be Chrysanthe Broikos, Curator, National Building Museum; our panelists are Sarah Murdock, U.S. Director of Climate Change Adaptation, The Nature Conservancy, Bill Huey, Architect, Bill Huey + Associates and Jim Weglewski, Vice President of Sustainability, Andersen Corporation.

6. Product Transparency – We’re hosting another panel discussion at the Andersen booth on Product Transparency, 10:45 – 11:15 a.m., Thursday morning. Jim Weglewski from Andersen Windows and Heather Gadonniex from PE International. We’ll be digging into the “why” and “how” of putting transparency into action. The key question to be addressed during the presentation is: Why should manufacturers, the building industry and consumers care about Environmental Product Declarations? We hope you’ll join us.

7. Connecting with Friends - We’re thrilled to connect with friends from around the world and other organizations we admire, such as the National Building Museum, The Home Depot, Kohler and Habitat for Humanity (just to name a few). Please stop by and say hello to us at the Andersen booth – we’d love to get to know you too!

Let us know what you’re most excited about for Greenbuild this year. You can leave a comment here or tweet it to us at @AndersenCorp. See you soon!

10 Sessions You Don’t Want to Miss at Greenbuild 2014

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) will be holding the annual Greenbuild convention in New Orleans next week October 22-24.  Our team is looking forward to attending many of the sessions, as well as connecting with attendees in the Expo hall at the Andersen booth.

We know how tough it can be to decide where to spend your time at an event with so many amazing speakers and sessions lined up, so the Andersen team put our heads together and developed a list of the top 10 sessions we recommend you check out at Greenbuild this year. Click the link on each session title for schedule and location information.

The 10 Sessions You Don’t Want to Miss:

10. Marketing + Sustainability: The Tools and Tips to Tell Your Story – Speakers Taryn Holowka, Katie Weeks, Jenny Rushmore and Gabe Wing will cover the why and how of marketing sustainable buildings and products.

9. Designing for Resilience in the 21st Century – The Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Challenge is engaging communities around the globe to improve their environmental, economic, and social systems in the 21st century. This session will cover what the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Architecture for Humanity are doing in partnership with the Challenge to promote resilience in the built environment.

8. Greenbuild Opening Plenary – The Dollars and Sense of Climate Change – Leading environmentalist and author Paul Hawken will host a conversation on climate change as the defining issue of our time with Tom Steyer, President of NextGen Climate, and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley.

7. Frontiers in research: health, material transparency, social equity, business strategy – USGBC’s Senior Research Fellows Ashley White, Matthew Trowbridge, Dan Winters and Heather Rosenberg will dig into four of the most pressing issues facing the industry today: human health, materials transparency, and business strategy and finance.

6. Transforming Markets through Data Collaboration – Dr. Chris Pyke, Vice President of Research for the US Green Building Council, will give attendees the opportunity to hear from the people and organizations that are on the forefront of making health and environmental data more accessible, interpretable, and, ultimately, actionable. This session features a number of top notch speakers and we expect it will be a lively discussion.

5. The investor perspective on sustainability in real estate portfolios – This panel of green building veterans, including Nils Kok, Chris Pyke and Dan Winters will share new information highlighting trends in portfolio and asset-level data collection and analysis. Attendees will gain an understanding about the emerging ecosystem of data-driven tools helping investors propel a new wave of market transformation.

4. Master Speaker Katharine Hayhoe – We can’t wait to hear Katharine Hayhoe share some of her research focusing on establishing a scientific basis for assessing the regional to local-scale impacts of climate change on human systems and the natural environment.

3. Spatial Daylight Autonomy – How the Metric Informs Design Decisions – In this session, Vinay Ghatti and David Eijadi help participants leverage new metrics and requirements to create better daylighting designs that address the dynamic nature of daylight and users’ requirements.

2. Indoor Environments and Health – This session will feature four presenters who will share the results of their field studies of four federal office buildings, specifically focusing on stress and circadian functioning. The speakers will be Judith Heerwagen, Esther Sternberg, Mariana Figueiro and Kevin Kampschroer.

1. Master Series: Deepak Chopra, MD, FACP – This will surely be one of the most well-attended sessions   for Greenbuild this year, as Dr. Deepak Chopra is revered as an international presenter and keynote speaker. His views on wellness (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social) are compelling and we are excited to hear his thoughts on energy and the role we all play as leaders in this space.

We also hope you’ll join us for two special presentations at the Andersen booth #1609 in the Expo Hall:

Designing for Disaster - Wednesday, October 22, 11:00 a.m.

National Building Museum Designing for Disaster Exhibit Curator Chrysanthe Broikos will serve as the moderator, hosting panelists Sarah Murdock, U.S. Director of Climate Change Adaptation Policy for The Nature Conservancy and Jim Weglewski, Vice President of Sustainability, Andersen Corporation.

Product Transparency – Thursday, October 23, 10:45 a.m.

Jim Weglewski, VP of sustainability for Andersen Corporation and Heather Gadonniex, Director of Strategy for PE International will present on the subject of product transparency.

Which session are you most looking forward to seeing at Greenbuild? What did we miss? Let us know in the comments.