Environmental Initiatives Launched in Chicago

March 13, 2009

Mayor Richard M. Daley, officials from ComEd, and Chicago business leaders recently launched two environmental projects—“Green Office Challenge” and “Earth Hour”—at a press conference held in the OFS Brands showroom in The Merchandise Mart.

Mayor Daley repeated his call to federal and state governments to move quickly toward passing legislation that will boost the struggling economy, create jobs, and rebuild the nation’s aging roads, bridges, schools, and water systems.

The mayor points to two environmental projects—Chicago’s own “Green Office Challenge” and “Earth Hour,” in which the city partners with the World Wildlife Federation—as efforts individuals and businesses can undertake right now … both to save money in these difficult economic times and to help the city meet the goals contained in its “Climate Action Plan.”

The “Green Office Challenge” initiative is aimed at encouraging the operators or tenants of high-rise office buildings to save energy, increase recycling and water efficiency, and reduce paper. OFS Brands’ Merchandise Mart showroom has achieved LEED Gold certification due, in part, to its reduction in energy, lighting, water, and materials, and by incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. By improving its recycling program for office materials, including paper, electronics, light bulbs, batteries, and construction materials, The Merchandise Mart is diverting 743 tons of material from landfills per year.

“Earth Hour,” to be held March 28, is a nationwide event in which lights are turned out for one hour to call attention to the importance of the fight against global climate change. Last year in the Chicago area, more than 2.7 million people turned out their lights for “Earth Hour,” resulting in a 7 percent reduction in electricity usage during that time.

Daley said more environmentally efficient office buildings are critical to helping Chicago reduce its impact on the planet’s changing climate and that the city is looking to downtown commercial property managers and office tenants to demonstrate leadership in environmental performance.

Headquartered in Huntingburg, IN, OFS Brands Inc. is a family-owned corporation that is committed to providing socially responsible furniture and logistic solutions through better design, excellent performance, and innovative products and services. For more information, contact Chris Rogers, director of design, OFS Brands: [email protected].

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