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Getting Dirty in the Las Vegas Wash

Zappos was thrilled to get down and dirty this month at the biannual Las Vegas Wash “Green Up”. Members of the Zappos LEAF team joined more than 350 other community members (boy scouts, girl scouts, students, church groups and businesses) to plant 3,000 trees and shrubs in a 7-acre area along the banks of the wash. The sun was shining, water was flowing and adults and kids were chatting about the importance of preserving this spectacular oasis inside the Las Valley.

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The Las Vegas Wash Coordination Committee stated, “The efforts of these volunteers have created much-needed habitat for wildlife living along the Las Vegas Wash. Re-vegetation also has helped stabilize the wash’s banks, reducing erosion and improving water quality into Lake Mead, the source of the Las Vegas Valley's drinking water.”

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See you all next fall at the 22nd Las Vegas Wash “Green Up”!

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Cell Phone Recycling at Zappos

The LEAF (Leading Environmental Awareness for the Future) Team is always looking for ways to introduce new eco benefits to our fellow Zapponians. Last week, LEAF set up new, convenient Cell Phone Recycling Centers across our campus. We’re asking employees to clean out that drawer full of old cell phones, power cables, old school pagers, and even Zack Morris cell phones! (We know you have one!) It is time to get rid of that iPhone 1 or Razr you’ve been holding on to.

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LEAF has partnered with Newsweek’s #3 Greenest Company in America, Sprint-Nextel, to launch this exciting initiative. Here’s how it works: LEAF collects the devices from employees and Sprint-Nextel recycles the equipment in an environmentally responsible manner. To seal the deal, Sprint-Nextel donates proceeds from the recycled material to a charity of our choice!

Stay tuned for updates about this and other green initiatives here at Zappos HQ!

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Sustainability at Zappos

On August 27th, two hundred Zapponians made the move to their new office at 302 E Caron St. in downtown Las Vegas. These pioneers made the journey in advance of their other 1,500 colleagues who are scheduled to move there in October of 2013. The leased space in 302 E Carson offers a great opportunity to test innovative office strategies and ideas that will assist in the development of the new office space: cool strategies and ideas that also center on sustainability.

Why 302 E Carson? It had to be a space that could be renovated to fit Zappos’ culture and specific business needs, as well as provide a sustainable workplace. Ultimately, the 6th and 7th floors of the 11-story building at 302 E Carson were chosen to be Zappos’ first downtown office. Build out only took three months and on August 27th, Kuzco the llama chewed through a ribbon made of carrots to welcome the Zapponians to their new home!

In this post, we’ll specifically look at four of the most prominent sustainable attributes of 302 E Carson and how they foreshadow what’s to come for Zappos’ future home at 400 Stewart (Old City Hall).

 

LEED Certification

In 2010, Thompson National Properties, the property owner, completed a major renovation of 302 E Carson. The renovation by Shangri Lai earned a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification from the USGBC (United States Green Building Council) for its core and shell. Some of the most noticeable LEED features that Zappos employees will get to experience are the low flow water fixtures in the restrooms that save 40% annually, the dual glaze windows to keep out the heat, the upgraded efficient HVAC equipment that keep the space comfortable, and the ample bike parking.

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High Performance Recycling

The inhabitants at 302 E Carson are also experimenting with a unique recycling system. Unlike most traditional offices, waste bins at every individual desk are not present. Instead of purchasing two hundred 12-liter waste bins per desk or two hundred waste bins and two hundred recycling bins per desk, the design team bought only forty 46-liter split bin (recycle and waste) containers from Simplehuman and spaced them strategically throughout the office. The design team then went one step further; they flipped the traditional use of the split sides, using the larger waste side for recycling and using the smaller recycle side for waste. The bins are well marked with a quirky Zappos-style graphic sticker on the top lid that clearly labels the two sides and what goes in them. The graphic lists recyclables such as “paper, aluminum and plastic” and trash such as “dirty tissues, gum, boogers, and weird stuff.” According to Brad Tomm, Zappos’ Sustainability Manager, “the removal of bins from employee’s desks make the trash/recycle experience more active and less passive. Having to physically get up and place one’s trash in the bin creates an experience where people are more apt to do the right thing and take a brief moment to sort their waste correctly.” Using this system, Zappos’ goal is to recycle 80 – 90% of the office waste.

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Alternative Fuel Vehicle

One of the favorite guest and employee perks at Zappos is the use of the fleet vehicles for transportation to and from the airport or important meetings. The Zappos Concierge team (ZCON) manages a fleet of six vehicles and one bus. New at 302 E Carson is Zappos’ first alternative-fueled vehicle, a CNG (compressed natural gas) Dodge mini van. This spacious little van was converted by World CNG and is fueled at Clean Energy’s numerous local fueling stations. This van will burn cleaner and produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions than traditional gasoline. As the fleet vehicles reach their life expectancy, Zappos plans to always give replacement priority to electric, hybrid, or CNG vehicles.

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Sustainable Furniture

The last bit of clever coolness to cover is the choice to furnish the office space with the newest modular designs from Herman Miller, a company known for its strong commitment to environmental responsibility. Herman Miller’s Sense™ desking system was chosen for the office space because of its flexibility, compatibility and sustainability. Over two hundred desks offer employees modern work stations that can be moved, modified, and reconfigured without using a single tool. Zappos also chose the Sense™ desking system because it is comprised from 46% recycled content materials, contains FSC-certified wood and is GREEN GUARD® certified as a low emitting product.

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To wrap up, Zappos’ new office space at 302 E Carson is a really sweet spot. Think of it as a sneak peak for what’s to come at the NEW Zappos headquarters at 400 Stewart St. -- Coming soon in October 2013!