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

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.

Andersen Teams Up with U.S. Green Building Council

We are proud to serve our local communities whenever possible, and in one of our most recent projects we were able to do just that. The U.S. Green Building Council-Minnesota Chapter’s (USGBC) Dynamic Green Home in the low-income neighborhood of Frogtown, an area of St. Paul, is currently being renovated with energy efficiency, health and affordability in mind.

Andersen donated 100Series windows for a full replacement in this 100-year-old home, which has been the most valuable upgrade in this project. 100Series windows have Low-E glass, which provides outstanding overall performance for all climates where both heating and cooling costs are a concern.

These windows also have a durable and low-maintenance exterior, which make them resistant to the elements. According to Don Meyers, learning facilitator at Andersen Windows, “whenever you buy our products, they will always be low maintenance on the outside”.

100Series windows and patio doors are made with our unique, Fibrex® composite material, which is two times stronger and more rigid than vinyl. It is also environmentally responsible, energy efficient and never needs painting.

USGBC members were not only grateful for the windows, but they were also impressed with the quick turnaround from the order process to delivery. “We are very happy that Andersen was willing to step up and that we were able to use their products in this home,” said Stephen Burk, development and membership director of Minnesota USGBC.

Other sponsors and volunteers of this project included Kraus-Anderson Construction, Pope Architects and Hirschfield’s.

Visit to learn more about what this organization is doing in our communities. Also be sure to check out this time-lapse video of the construction process so far.

Sharing Our Sustainability Vision

Chairman and CEO, Jay Lund, was recently featured in an article on where he discussed the variety of sustainability projects that Andersen is currently pursuing.

From increasing and sustaining quality and durability features in our products, to experimental research around end-of-life product recycling, Lund illustrates the importance of supporting corporate sustainability efforts.

Despite being a privately held company, we understand the value of transparency. In the article, Sustainability Chief, Jim Weglewski points out that Andersen is, “evolving as a leader in recognizing [that] the value of transparency outweighs the risks”.

To read the full article and hear more about our sustainability efforts, click here.

Eliza Clark Makes GreenBiz Twitterati Index

GreenBiz has come out with its second annual, exclusive Twitter Index and this year, Andersen’s very own Corporate Sustainability Manager, Eliza Clark, has made the list.

GreenBiz Twitterati takes into account more than just sustainability executives that are on Twitter, but rather ones that have an impressive ranking based on audience, activity and authority. Clark received a GreenBiz index of 42 under the Lurker category, which consists of professionals who observe other activities and professionals within the industry.

“It felt great to be mentioned in the GreenBiz Twitterati index,” says Clark. “I’ve only been tweeting as an individual since February of this year and I look forward to strengthening my connection with other sustainability thought leaders. Twitter is definitely a great way to share Andersen’s story.”

See other sustainability professionals and executives who made the list here.

The Nature Conservancy Presents at Renewal by Andersen

Since Andersen Windows’ founding over 110 years ago, its headquarters have been located on Minnesota’s scenic St. Croix River; because of this, Andersen has always had a beautiful reminder of how important it is to follow green practices in order to protect the river and surrounding environment.

Doug Shaw, Assistant State Director of The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota chapter, recently spoke at Renewal by Andersen as a part of Andersen’s Sustainability Learning Series.

In this presentation, Shaw covered the importance of protecting and sustaining rivers and water systems that surround us. According to him, “for every 10 percent decrease in forest cover, there is a 20 percent increase in water treatment costs”. In other words, when we protect our forests, we protect our water systems, and vice versa.

Why should we care? According to TNC’s website,, less than one percent of Earth’s freshwater is accessible, and our world’s population is only expected to rise. In the Twin Cities alone, 1.4 million people rely on the Mississippi River as their sole water supply, and by the year 2035, we can expect an additional 1 million residents to depend on the river as groundwater becomes unsustainable.

Shaw expressed the importance of watersheds, which are areas of land that drain rainwater or snow into one location such as a stream, lake or wetland. According to TNC, these systems provide drinking water, water for agriculture and manufacturing, offer opportunities for recreation and provide habitats to numerous plants and animals.

Andersen believes in the mission of TNC and has served as a corporate supporter of TNC’s work in Minnesota, including a new initiative on the St Croix River, for more than a decade. To learn more about the importance of our rivers, water systems and watersheds, visit

Andersen’s Sustainability Learning Series was launched in early 2014 in response to an employee survey that illustrated significant interest in ongoing learning about sustainability. To learn more about Andersen’s sustainability values, check out the 2013 Corporate Sustainability Report.

2013 Corporate Sustainability Report: A Window to a Better World

We’re proud to release our third annual Corporate Sustainability Report (CSR): A Window to a Better World. The CSR, highlights the long-standing values, commitments and practices that signify Andersen’s sustainability heritage.

We invite you to read our report  here and welcome your feedback!