Businesses are going green
Responsible companies today implement sustainable practices in new construction and existing buildings to save energy and money, and to respond to the concerns of employees, customers, and investors. In the TVA region, these are just some of the companies leading the way in sustainable development:
The new VW Passat assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., has earned the LEED Platinum certification, awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification recognizes buildings designed to the highest standards of performance to protect human and environmental health. The assembly plant is the first and only automotive manufacturing plant in the world to earn the Platinum rating. Since the LEED system was created primarily for commercial buildings, VW had to meet some unique challenges in adapting the standards to the industrial structure, which covers 2.1 million square feet. A training facility at the VW site also achieved the Platinum rating.
Alstom, a manufacturer of components for nuclear, steam and natural gas power plants, inaugurated its first solar project at its boiler retrofit plant in Chattanooga. The 56-kilowatt solar array consists of 234 solar panels suspended above the plant’s parking lot. As part of a $600,000 funding and support package, Alstom secured long-term energy credits from TVA and a grant from the Tennessee Solar Institute covering about 25 percent of the cost. The solar panels were produced by Sharp Manufacturing in Memphis.
Centiva Flooring in Florence, Ala., takes a comprehensive environmental approach in its manufacturing processes, products, shipping and procurement. Among many of its Green Way initiatives, it has examined every aspect of its energy use to reduce power usage, reduced its production waste almost to zero, and subjected its products to air quality testing. The company is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council.
Flexco is a flooring manufacturer in Tuscumbia, Ala., and an active participant in the LEED program. Flexco’s EnviroFlex products are made using post-industrial and post-consumer waste, recycled substances, and renewable resources. These environmentally friendly offerings cover over 95 percent of the company's products.
This state-of-the-art business and industrial park is designed to exceed current environmental standards in design, landscaping, lighting and signage. Storm water treatment systems, for example, remove harmful pollutants such as sediment, trash and oil before water is discharged to retention basins. In addition, the park is a “no idle” development that encourages occupants to use EPA-recommended guidelines for long-duration truck idling.