IFMA FM Networking Breakfast: Newell Rubbermaid HQ and the Green Globes Sustainability Rating System

newell_rubbermaid_logoEarly on the morning of May 12, a group of facility managers converged on the Newell Rubbermaid headquarters for a tour of the facility and a lecture about the Green Globes rating system for sustainable buildings. This was one of our series of “FM Breakfasts” that are open for free to professional members – great opportunities for both networking AND education.

Calvin Lower, Newell Rubbermaid’s Sr. Manager of Property and Construction and Bobby Johnson, its Facility Manager, led us on the tour of the 355,000-square-foot, 14-story facility – and it was fantastic! The relatively new space, features an open floor-plan and lots of natural daylight. Employees are provided with free coke products, an on-site cafeteria and gym and even a small Starbucks! Mr. Lower and Mr. Johnson are doing a great job at a facility manager’s dream-gig. We are very happy they generously opened their building up to us!

green-globes-logo-150x54The second part of the tour – the explanation of the Green Globes rating system – was equally fascinating. We’ve all heard about LEED in its various forms (New Construction, Existing Building, Commercial Interiors, etc), but Green Globes is still fairly new to those of us in the USA. Kevin Stover, Commercial Programs Consultant at Green Building Initiative, led the presentation and explained the system to us. While not yet as established in the US as it is in Canada, Green Globes is a flexible alternative to LEED which offers many of the same benefits (the two systems have 80-85% overlap) at a potentially more affordable price (the architects for Newell Rubbermaid estimate that using Green Globes certification cost the company about ¼ of the fees and documentation costs compared to what going for LEED certification would have).

It was a compelling presentation- definite food for thought for any facility manager interested in green building. Be sure to join us for our next FM Networking breakfast in June (day/location to be announced), when we look at day-cleaning.