MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – General Mills' new customer service facility in Fort Wayne, Ind., has been awarded LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. The facility, which opened today, is the largest warehouse and distribution center project in North America to achieve LEED Gold certification and the third largest in the world. General Mills' customer service facility in Social Circle, Ga., which opened in 2010, is the second largest in the U.S. and the fourth largest in the world.
“We take great pride in the incredible number of environmentally sustainable design elements and construction practices that have gone into this building,” said Mike Nordstrom, vice president of Global Workplace Solutions, General Mills. “We built this facility with LEED Gold certification as our goal. We are pleased to add the Fort Wayne customer service facility to our growing number of LEED certified buildings.”
The building makes use of several efficiency technologies and environmentally friendly design elements, including:
- A white roof and 100 percent concrete paving that reflects sunlight to reduce radiant heat and air conditioning costs;
- Low-flow plumbing fixtures that reduce water use by 33 percent;
- Retention ponds that hold storm water from the roof and paved areas for landscaping irrigation use;
- Energy efficient light fixtures, occupant sensors, high efficient HVAC systems, roof mounted up-blast exhaust fans and wall louvers, that make the facility 45 percent more energy efficient than the baseline model for industrial buildings;
- Superior ventilation that exceeds fresh air requirements by 30 percent.
Further, the project obtained LEED Gold certification for its environmentally-conscious construction and operations.
- Eighty-five percent of the construction waste, totaling more than 596 tons of material, was diverted from landfills by sorting the materials and sending them to the appropriate recycling centers for reuse on other products.
- Forty-four percent of the construction materials were extracted, processed or manufactured within 500 miles of the project site.
- Green Power Certificates have been purchased for 70 percent of the building’s electrical usage, signifying an investment in future technologies of non-fossil fuel energy sources.
The facility also will use a centralized computer-based transportation system, which allows General Mills to deliver products by mapping the multiple destination points of the products and to load more onto each truck. The result is more efficient truck loads, more efficient shipments and fewer trucks on the road.
“Fort Wayne is a highly desirable location, given Indiana’s expansive transit infrastructure and proximity to the General Mills supply chain operations in the Midwest,” said Kevin Schoen, vice president of North American Operations for General Mills. “Indiana has a hard-working, dedicated workforce, and we are excited by the strategic location that Fort Wayne offers.”
The building was constructed by New York-based Rockefeller Group Development Corporation, which completed the project last month.
“The Rockefeller Group is proud to have developed and completed two LEED Gold warehouse and distribution centers for General Mills in the past two years,” said Les Smith, executive vice president of development for The Rockefeller Group. “This project represents our mutual dedication to sustainability and our sensitivity to environmental concerns. We are proud of all the work that has gone into this world-class facility and wish General Mills much success in their new space.”
General Mills Expands List of LEED Certified Facilities
General Mills' new customer service facility in Fort Wayne, Ind., joins the company’s growing list of LEED Certified facilities. In January 2012, an expansion at General Mills Albuquerque production facility was awarded LEED Gold, the company’s first production facility to achieve LEED certification. In October 2011, the Swiss Innovation Center for the company’s global cereal partnership with Nestlé became the first industrial building in Switzerland to receive LEED Platinum certification. In 2010, the General Mills customer service facility in Social Circle, Ga., was awarded LEED Gold. In the same year, the General Mills customer service center in Minneapolis became the company’s first facility to receive LEED certification for an existing structure.
LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally recognized building certification system that provides a framework for integrating environmental sustainability into a building’s design, construction, operation and maintenance. There are four levels of environmental achievement: Platinum, Gold, Silver and Certified.
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About General Mills
General Mills is one of the world’s leading food companies, operating in more than 100 countries. Its brands include Cheerios, Fiber One, Häagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Yoplait, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, and Wanchai Ferry. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., USA, General Mills had fiscal 2012 worldwide sales of US $16.7 billion.