The U.S. Green Building Council New Jersey Chapter (USGBC NJ) honored LG Electronics USA for "outstanding achievement and best practices in green building and sustainability."
USGBC NJ's 2015 Top Honoree award recognizes the new design for LG's North American Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs that will create a world-class, sustainably designed building to the benefit of LG and the state of New Jersey, while protecting the iconic vistas and integrity of the Palisades Park, a National Natural and Historic Landmark.
"LG has taken its environmental commitment to the next level – launching its new LEED Platinum building project, with strong support from local conservation groups, and transforming its corporate culture by implementing a number of noteworthy voluntary sustainability practices aimed at reducing its carbon footprint, said USGBC NJ Board Chair Faith Taylor, Wyndham Worldwide's senior vice president, corporate social responsibility.
In June, LG and leading conservation groups reached a win-win agreement on an amended design for the company's headquarters project. The landmark settlement – with Scenic Hudson, the New Jersey State Federation of Women's Clubs, the Natural Resources Defense Council, New Jersey Conservation Foundation and NY-NJ Trail Conference – paves the way for construction to begin next year. These conservation groups pledged to work with LG to secure necessary municipal approvals so the project can move forward expeditiously.
"In addition to our enthusiasm for LG's LEED Platinum building plans, USGBC NJ applauds LG for being a great corporate citizen and especially for its spirit of cooperation with various stakeholders to move this project ahead in a way that will meet the company's business needs and 'Protect the Palisades' at the same time," said USGBC NJ Executive Director Florence Block.
The amended building design, reflecting compromises by all the parties, calls for a five-story north wing just shy of 70 feet in height and a three-story south wing, protecting the scenic views of the Palisades. LG will implement landscape, lighting and other design features to further reduce visual impacts, while retaining the scale of the complex as home for LG's growing U.S. business.
The new 360,000-square-foot building maintains the LG complex's green design that aspires for LEED Platinum certification and includes planting 700 trees and protecting woodlands and six wetlands on the 27-acre site in Englewood Cliffs. Site improvements are expected to significantly reduce runoff into the Palisades and help eliminate flooding issues for neighbors to the south.
The $300-million building project at 111 Sylvan Ave. will allow LG to double its local employment to more than 1,000 by 2019, while creating thousands of much-needed New Jersey construction jobs in the shorter term. Exemplifying ways that LG will give back to the community, the new building will house the LG Science and Environmental Learning Center for local school children to learn about green building among other things.
William Cho, President and CEO of LG Electronics USA, said, "This award recognizes the shared mission of USGBC NJ and LG to build a greener New Jersey. Beyond our exciting new headquarters project, LG is supporting green building projects with our super efficient commercial air conditioning systems, advanced solar and LED lighting solutions, and ENERGY STAR® certified appliances and consumer electronics."
LG was honored at USGBC NJ's 13th Annual Emerald Awards Ball on Oct. 30 at the Conference Center of the LEED® certified University Hall at Montclair State University.
Joining Cho and other LG executives at the gala and awards ceremony were Laurance Rockefeller, the environmental lawyer whose family donated the land 80 years ago that became the basis for the Palisades Interstate Park, and senior representatives of NRDC, the New Jersey Conservation Foundation and the NY-NJ Trail Conference.