GSA Presents 2011 Evergreen Award to Five Green Businesses

PHILADELPHIA - The U.S. General Services Administration's Integrated Workplace Acquisition Center recently presented the Evergreen Award to Jasper Group, Bentley Prince Street, Lexmark International Inc., Playworld Systems Inc. and Metalworks Inc. The annual Evergreen Award Program was developed in 1998 by the IWACenter to recognize the efforts of industry partners who do business in an environmentally-friendly way.

Forty businesses were considered for the 2011 Evergreen Award. The award was presented to one business in each of the following categories: furniture, furnishings and floor coverings, technologies and electronics, sports and recreation and small business.

"We are honored to partner with companies that help to protect human health and the environment," said Linda Chero, GSA Regional Commissioner for Federal Acquisition Service. "These companies have done an outstanding job of making environmentally-friendly options available to our federal customers and are committed to helping us reduce waste and save taxpayer dollars. Their commitment helps GSA to green the government's supply chain while creating a more sustainable environment and building a greener future."

Jasper Group, a manufacturer of commercial furniture located in Jasper, Ind. received the 2011 Evergreen Award in the furniture category. The company has eliminated over 417 metric tons of CO2 emissions through recycling efforts. They also eliminate over 23 tons of material through reuse by a local organization that supports the handicapped and by lighting retrofits that increase safety, productivity, quality, light output and motivation. This lighting provides a 96,000 plus kWh reduction as well as the elimination of over 141 metric tons of CO2 emissions.

Bentley Prince Street based in Los Angeles and a subsidiary of Interface, Inc. received the 2011 Evergreen Award in the furnishings and floor coverings category. This provider of floor coverings, manufactures and markets award-winning broadloom and carpet tile products for commercial interiors around the world. Bentley Prince Street is committed to sustainable commerce and innovations to integrate style and function with environmental practices through its Mission Zero(R) goal of eliminating any negative impact the company has on the environment by the year 2020.

Lexmark International Inc. received the 2011 Evergreen Award in the technologies and electronics category. The company is a global provider of printing and imaging products, software, solutions and services headquartered in Lexington, Ky. Lexmark continues to earn numerous industry praise in recognition of its deep commitment and substantial efforts to be a responsible neighbor and employer, as well as a leader in environmental stewardship. The company also works closely with its customers in meeting their sustainability objectives, striving to help them "Print Less and Save More" by reducing wasteful, unnecessary printing.

Playworld Systems Inc., a leading manufacturer of imaginative playground and fitness equipment and site amenities based in Lewisburg, Pa. received the 2011 Evergreen Award in the sports and recreation category. The company has taken a broad approach to sustainability by auditing and carefully selecting environmentally-friendly materials to be used in its products and creating a green operation. In 2011, Playworld Systems' products received the respected Cradle to Cradle CM Basic certification for material content safety, social responsibility and water stewardship. Playworld Systems recycles 96 percent of its waste and has installed energy efficient office and plant lighting, which saves 170,000 kwh per year.

Metalworks, Inc. a family held furniture manufacturing company in Ludington, Mich. received the 2011 Evergreen Award in a new award category - small business. This new category was created this year to recognize a small business from any of the four main categories that demonstrated a strong commitment to the environment. In 2010, the company's dedication to recycling saved the following resources: 1,322 trees, 544,215 gallons of water, 257 cubic yards of landfill, 4,665 pounds of air pollution effluents out of the air and 6,142 gallons of oil. Over the past years, the company has made several process improvements in their paint department which have resulted in a 50% reduction in water usage. Metalworks, Inc. has reduced water consumption from 24 million gallons per year to 12 million gallons. Their goal is to further reduce consumption within the upcoming years to 7 million gallons per year, a 70% reduction.

The Evergreen Award itself closes the recycling loop and is made from recycled glass. The award sets a high standard for business partners to follow and is a wonderful example of how the federal government and businesses can work together to create a greener world. GSA remains committed to building partnerships with businesses that provide services and products that are environmentally sensitive and demonstrate its leadership in sustainability.