Levi Strauss & Co.’s Sky Harbor Distribution Center in Nevada has received the U.S. Green Building Council platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design award for reducing carbon emissions and improving overall sustainability.
At roughly 620,000 square feet, it is the largest distribution center in the world to receive the platinum-level award from the council, a national nonprofi t that certifi es and rates buildings for sustainability. “Our goal, as a company, is to be the most sustainable apparel company in the world,” said Levi Strauss vice president of sustainability Michael Kobori.
Originally topped with black roofs that absorbed the Las Vegas summer sun, the facility was not meant to be a sustainable building when it was built in 1994. Around 2007, Levi Strauss started discussing how it could become more sustainable and efficient. The company realized that 40 % of its carbon footprint came from its distribution centers. Changes to the building started in 2010, with the company installing several slow-spinning, 24-foot fans that help keep the temperatures low and converting the all black roof to a more reflective white. Kobori told media that the building diverts more than 90% of its waste from landfills by either recycling or composting instead. Retrofitting the building and other smaller initiatives, like having employees bring their used batteries from home to recycle at work, got Levi Strauss the recognition.