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2014 Children’s Recycling Art Contest Winner Announced

The following article is by Janet T.

It is crucial to teach our children the importance of recycling and adopting a sustainable lifestyle. Evidence indicates that this generation will have the greatest impact on the environment for the next 50-100 years.  Recycling reduces the amount of resources we consume and helps to remove toxic materials from production. Valuable resources are being wasted in landfills and large amounts of greenhouse gases are being produced as these landfills decompose.

In our efforts to encourage kids to keep the planet near and dear to their hearts, Zappos LEAF holds an annual Children’s Art Contest. This year, we asked kids to express “why they love recycling” through drawing. Up for grabs was a $50 Zappos.com Gift Card just in time for the holidays!

Zappos LEAF Team awarded 10-year-old Ethan V. a $50 Zappos.com Gift Card for providing us with a phenomenal picture describing why he loves recycling! We also wanted to give a shout out to his entire family, for all three lovely children participated in this year’s contest!

The 2014 Children’s Recycling Art Contest Winner

Thank you to all the kids who participated! Comment below and tell us why YOU love recycling!

Check out more awesome news from LEAF at Zappos.com/LEED, Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: Zappos_leaf

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Fall 2014 Updates

Hiya friends,

It’s been a minute since we updated the LEAF blog, but rest assured the LEAF team has been busy. Here’s a quick recap of what we’ve been up to so far this fall.

Grass removal project:

Our LEED Gold campus is 57% more water efficient (compared to the baseline model) thanks in part to the desert landscaping all around the building. However, we do have a patch of grass we call the “backyard”.  The backyard grass is nice for yoga sessions and petting zoos but since we aren’t utilizing all the grass, we just replaced a third of it with more desert landscaping.  Desert landscaping is easier to maintain and helps with water conservation.

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New Trane chiller with VFD and Free Cool:

In order to cool our office space we need big HVAC equipment, such as chillers. This fall we replaced an old chiller with a new Trane 550 ton chiller with a preinstalled variable frequency drive (VFD) and free cool system. The VFD throttles the machine up and down depending on demand instead of running at 100% all of the time. The free cool system should allow us to use outside air in the winter for all of our cooling needs – preventing the need to run HVAC equipment. It’s a big investment that will yield efficiencies and energy savings in the long run.

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Tech Department Coffee Mugs:

Our tech teams were looking for ways to reduce their use of disposable coffee cups so they bought a whole bunch of coffee mugs for their break rooms. The reusable mugs can be washed in our energy and water efficient dishwashers countless times; AKA less paper waste from single use cups. We applaud our tech teams for championing this initiative!

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SXSW Eco Conference:

The LEAF team visited Austin, Texas in October for the SXSW Eco conference. We enjoyed 3 days of awesome speakers, presentations, and networking. We were also proud to sponsor the 2014 SXSW Eco Ping Pong Tournament! There were some ferocious ping pong battles throughout the week, but when the dust settled, an app developer from Sweden, Henrik S., won the tournament and a $250 gift certificate to Zappos.com.

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VERGE Conference:

I’m writing this blog post while in San Francisco at the 2014 VERGE Conference. VERGE, put on by the GreenBiz Group, brings together experts who are integrating sustainability into cities, transportation, and technology. We’re here to pursue growth and learning! (Zappos Core Value #5)

 

Check out more awesome news from LEAF at Zappos.com/LEED, Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: Zappos_leaf

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Zappos Welcomes the “Do More with Less” Frog to the Box

In August 2014 a cute new friend made its first appearance on the iconic Zappos box. He’s the “Do More with Less” Frog, and his presence and message is to promote green thinking and sustainable behavior. He’s named after Zappos Core Value #5 – Do More with Less. You might even be reading this blog for the first time thanks to Frog! Woo hoo!

The new images of the “Do More with Less” Frog and the message of sustainability revolve around the “Three Rs” – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. At Zappos we understand that as our business grows so does our environmental footprint. We also know that our biggest environmental impacts are associated with our logistics – our boxes and our shipping practices.

Reduce – We realize that this is our job. We try hard to reduce the number of packages we send back and forth by offering features on Zappos.com to make sure you order right the first time. We also try to ship your footwear and apparel order in the right sized box. Sometimes when we’re operating at “ludicrous speed” (Spaceballs, 1987) we get it wrong and you receive a small item in a big box - we’re working on that.

Reuse – This is a chance for our customers to be creative and have fun with reusing our boxes. Have you ever used the box as a luxury lily pad like the “Do More with Less” Frog? Let us know the craziest way you’ve reused our box and send us a pic on Twitter (@ZapposLEAF)! We’ve also had discussions about whether or not returned boxes are fit to be sent out again. These discussions are healthy and lead to innovative ideas.

Recycle – We hope you’ll recycle your Zappos box once you’re finished with it. Cardboard is one of the most recyclable materials in the country and there is a flourishing market for it. If you’re currently an avid recycler – HIGH FIVE! If you’re not currently recycling, give it a try. If your neighborhood or apartments do not offer recycling, start that conversation with your neighbors.

As Zappos’ customer base grows, so does our potential to talk with many new friends about the impacts we all have on the world. We’re excited to Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication (Zappos Core Value #6) with you about your thoughts on the environment.

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Check out more awesome news from LEAF at Zappos.com/LEED, Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: Zappos_leaf

PS: Is the Frog a he or a she? LOL It is up to you to decide; all we know is that the Frog is pretty darn cute and has great eyelashes. Shoot, I have long eyelashes myself… and I’m a dude.

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Zappos Installs Solar Panels

Here comes the sun! - and Zappos is taking full advantage of the more than 300 sunny days a year in Las Vegas to generate clean electricity using new photovoltaic solar panels. For the first time in company history, Zappos installed 66 280-Watt solar panels creating an 18.48 kW solar array on the roof of our Z-Bistro

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Las Vegas is known as a solar hot spot with excellent solar radiation. The deserts around Las Vegas are home to some of the world’s largest solar arrays including the 64 MW Nevada Solar One power plant and the 390 MW Ivanpah Solar Power Facility. Additionally, many Las Vegas residents are adding small solar photovoltaic and solar thermal systems to the rooftops of their homes. That rocks!

The 18.48 kW Zappos Bistro solar project might be small in comparison to the ones mentioned above, but it’s our first step towards clean, renewable energy while our sustainability team researches larger solar installations. We certainly are proud parents!

Check out this sweet time-lapse video of the installation filmed by the awesomely talented Zappos A/V team.

Check out more awesome news from LEAF at Zappos.com/LEED, Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: Zappos_leaf           

Zappos Garage Lighting Retrofit

Here’s a story to brighten your day! ;) On May 29th, we completed a retrofit of the Zappos South Garage’s lighting by replacing the old, yellow high-pressure sodium (HPS) fixtures with bright white, energy-efficient induction lighting fixtures. The Zappos garage is quite large and offers parking for more than 600 cars.

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Garage lighting retrofit projects are the ultimate low-hanging fruit in the sustainability world. In addition to providing superior illumination, the Zappos retrofit is projected to reduce the annual energy consumption of the garage by two thirds! That’s 323,000 kWh/year; the equivalent of roughly 25 homes and a reduction of 223 metric tons of CO2e emissions.

Induction lighting is really cool and dates back more than a century to when Nikola Tesla advanced the technology in the 1890s. Induction is unique because the power required to generate light is transferred from outside the lamp envelope to the gas inside via an electric or magnetic field. Benefits of induction include long life spans, low heat output and excellent color. The Zappos induction lamps are even more advanced. The lamps have two brightness levels, dimming controls, daylight sensors and occupancy sensors – reducing the “ON” hours and saving even more energy!

Check out more awesome news from LEAF at Zappos.com/LEED, Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: @Zappos_leaf       

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Zappos Earns LEED Gold Certification

Hi friends!

The Zappos LEAF team wanted to share with you this very exciting press release that was issued last week! We are so proud to have earned LEED Gold certification for the new Zappos Las Vegas headquarters! A heart felt THANK YOU to all of our consultants, architects, contractors, project managers, and Zappos leaders that made this certification a reality!

 Zappos Las Vegas Headquarters, Zappos LEED Gold Certification, Zappos Downtown Las Vegas, Zappos HQ, Zappos Campus, LEED Certified workplace, LEED Gold Certified office, sustainable workplaces, U.S. Green Building Council, Zappos Downtown Las Vegas Headquarters, Zapponians, Zappos Employees, Zappos Sustainability efforts,

Las Vegas, NV – May 15, 2014 – Zappos.com, Inc., a leading destination in online apparel and footwear sales, is proud to announce that it has been awarded LEED® Gold certification for New Construction and Major Renovation, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System is also internationally accepted as the standard for design, construction, and operation of high performance “green” buildings. The LEED system promotes a holistic approach to sustainability by recognizing five areas of human environmental health: sustainable site development, water efficiency, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

Zappos earned LEED Gold for New Construction and Major Renovation by renovating the 300,000 square foot Las Vegas City Hall; a staple of the downtown skyline. The Zappos headquarters relocated from Henderson, Nevada in October 2013 in order to blend Zappos’s unique culture of customer service with that of the urban Las Vegas community, while also considering the environmental impact of Zappos’s presence in the southwest.

The project was awarded points toward LEED Gold certification in the following ways:

  • A 25% reduction in energy use against the baseline consumption
  • Landscape irrigation and domestic water fixture improvements yielding a 57% reduction in water consumption against the baseline consumption
  • More than 20,000 yards of low-emitting, C2C certified Shaw EcoWorx carpeting, which contains 44.4% recycled content
  • A waste management plan during construction that led to over a 75% total waste diversion rate
  • 48 preferred parking spaces for Low Emitting and Fuel Efficient (LEFE) vehicles, as well as four electric car charging stations
  • A lighting power density (LPD) of 0.57 Watts per square foot—nearly half the average office LPD of 1.0 Watt per square foot
  • Allocation of less than 100 square feet per employee, therefore less energy used per square foot per employee (kWh/ ft2/employee)
  • Enhanced Commissioning (Cx) to verify that systems operate according to planned requirements (typically yields 5-16% additional improvements in efficiency)
  • Herman Miller furniture in workspaces and conference rooms comprised of total pre-and post-consumer recycled content ranging between 24 and 67%

In September and October of 2013, Zappos smoothly transitioned 1,500 employees to the newly renovated, 300,000 square foot headquarters over a period of 40 days. Brad Tomm, senior manager of campus operations and sustainability, managed logistics for the move and also spearheaded the campaign for LEED certification with the assistance of The Cadmus Group, a social good consulting firm. “We are excited and humbled to have earned this prestigious certification for our new headquarters. The benefits of building to LEED standards will be enjoyed by our Zappos family, the community, and the environment”, said Tomm.

Check out more awesome news from LEAF on Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: @Zappos_leaf

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Recap: Zappos 3rd Annual Earth Day Party

On April 24th, Zappos hosted its 3rd Annual Earth Day Party at our new LEED-Gold* downtown Las Vegas campus! The plaza courtyard was packed with employees, vendors, and friends – this year’s event was leaps and bounds larger than the two previous year’s events. 

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Zappos LEAF teamed up with Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day this year to bring our kids to our Earth Day Party. The LEAF team gave a presentation about recycling, solar energy and water conservation to more than 100 kids! The kids already know so much about the importance of protecting our earth’s resources – it’s inspiring!

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The LEAF team raffled two awesome beach cruisers for Zappos employees who participated in the event. Employees could earn extra raffle tickets for bringing used cell phones and batteries for proper recycling.  Needless to say, we collected a whole bunch of cell phones and batteries!

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It is evident by the excitement around this event that Zappos employees really care about the environment and actively seek out ways to reduce their impacts. Though we celebrate Earth Day just one day a year, we really try to remind our employees and friends that it is important to celebrate every day with daily acts of “greenness”. The Zappos LEAF team is thankful to have such great support from the company and employees. You guys rock!

Thanks to these very special friends for making Earth Day 2014 a huge success:

prAna

Keen

Republic Services

Renu Oil of America

Springs Preserve

Sierra Nevada

BluMarble

Klean Kanteen

ChicoBags

Clean the World

Friends of Nevada Wilderness

NV Energy

A1 Organics

Vegas Roots

Create a Change Now

Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC)

WonderSoil

Zerorez

Outside Las Vegas

Taylored Photo Memories

Fat Daddy’s Ice Cream

Eurest Catering (for the bomb grilled corn)

Check out more awesome news from LEAF on Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: Zappos_leaf

 

*Pending final USGBC approval

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Zappos Employees Leave The Car At Home

Las Vegas is known as a “car-town”. The city’s infrastructure was built for the car commuter and almost everyone drives a car to work (even Zappos employees). But a few Zappos troopers are bravely taking alternative transportation for the majority of their commutes.

One such employee is Steven Allen, the Zappos Campus Programs Manager. Steven lives in one of the City’s farthest suburbs but takes the RTC bus to work at least three times a week. The round trip is more than 30 miles per day; he averages 90 miles a week on the bus! The cool thing is that he rides the Centennial Express route, one of RTC’s express buses that jumps on the freeway and has a direct route (no stops) into downtown. In fact, the first stop on the route is just 3 blocks away from Zappos. Even better, the bus stop Steven uses to get home from Zappos is literally on Zappos’ campus perimeter. “I don’t even have to cross the street. I just walk around to the back of our campus, hop on the bus, and enjoy a stop-free ride home. It’s awesome! Plus, the bus is able to utilize the carpool lane, which I am painfully reminded of on the days I drive my car into work”, said Steven. He’s able to do it all on the bus. He can relax and listen to music or power through work and emails. The RTC also understands that we live in a very ‘connected’ world these days and is currently piloting a free WIFI program on the Centennial Express route.

 

Chris Race is a Technology Project Manager at Zappos and rides to work once a week and for fun 2-3 times a week.  When riding in, he uses the bike rack just off the North Garage behind the lobby.  For the sake of everyone in his area, he’ll clean up in the locker room located in the basement before heading upstairs full of endorphins and ready to ROCK.  Zappos installed more than 10 showers for men and women based on the guidelines established by the LEED certification.  Chris likes to ride his bike because it is a great fitness perk and helps save almost 200 miles a month on his car, which is money in the bank!  Morning rides in are usually full of neat sunrises, still air, and a line of people lined up to high-five everyone riding a bike to work.  In other words, jump on the saddle and head in on two wheels!

 

 

Check out more awesome news from LEAF on Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: #zappos_leaf

Written by Brad T.